america west: the worst airline ever?

email your nightmare travel stories to: spaamiam ( the at sign )
Saturday, August 04, 2001 has some interesting travel feedback from random people, including one guy's story about drinking with the pilot of the plane for a few hours before they took off.

one dude's 2 day stay in the airport courtesy of America Werst airlines delaying and cancelling his flight at least 5 times. His letter is called Layover and Play Dead. (scroll to the bottom of the page)

Thursday, August 02, 2001
One Newark area resident dishes on the treatment her bags received on an AmericaWerst flight. To summarize, AmWerst lost one of her bags on a direct flight to Newark, and the other bag showed up on the carousel broken open and missing her mom's red coat! When her bag was finally located, AmWest told her she needed to come in to pick it up, they wouldn't deliver it. Insult to injury: they gave her a $25 voucher for AmWest travel!
Forbes ranks America West as worst airline in the biz. Hee hee, this is getting fun!

Wednesday, August 01, 2001
just found this site,, where you can go to rant about everything from your ISP to airlines.
another man's America Worst (West) story.

Monday, July 30, 2001
My own horror story with America West:

my boyfriend (a workaholic who desperately needed a vacation) and i planned a 5 day trip to La Paz, Mexico, our first vacation in over a year. We board our flight to Phoenix in San Francisco, sitting in the back of the plane, and wait. An hour passes. I get nervous about our Cabo connection in Phoenix, especially when word filters back that it's an oversold flight. Finally the captain tells us what our wait is for: they've discovered a dent in the cargo door, where it looks like someone rammed into the door with a piece of equipment. They're not sure they can take off yet, they need 20 minutes for more tests. Every 20 minutes we get these updates. Finally, they deboard the plane saying it will take an hour to exhaustively test the door's safety. It's 2pm by this time, and our Cabo flight is totally missed. Since we're in the back of the plane, we're in the back of the line at the gate. My boyfriend scampers off to another gate and waits in a much shorter line there. I stay with the bags at the back of the huge line of people getting their travel arrangements re-arranged. By 4:30 I'm no closer to the front, but my boyfriend managed to get to the front of his line, so I go join him to hear that instead of leaving today on our vacation (a Saturday), the first flight we can get on is on Monday at 6am. Gross. So we dejectedly leave the airport and incur an extra $40 cab ride back to our apartment.

Have you ever postponed travel like this when you were all ready to go, actually sitting on the plane that will take you to your connecting flight? It messes with your mind. I spent the next 2 days sleeping, since the feeling was much akin to the 'coming down' off certain drugs. Monday, pre-dawn arrives, and we incur another extra $40 cab ride to the airport. We get to Phoenix with as little trouble as America West can manage, but by listening to all the gate changes, it seems like they just don't have their act together. In Phoenix we board our flight to Cabo. And then we deboard, since apparently our plane is not registered to land in Mexico. THIS IS SOMETHING TO TAKE CARE OF BEFORE YOU BOARD PASSENGERS. An hour later we were finally on our way to Mexico, and we had a great time.

Total cost of inept America West: $80 in extra cab fare, for the 2 additional trips to the airport. $60 for our hotel reservation on Saturday night that we couldnt' cancel in time. 6 hours spent in the airport on Saturday, wasted = $100. Total: $240. When I got back from my trip I emailed their Customer Relations department with our sad tale and told them I expected at least an $80 check to be sent my way for the extra cab fares. Instead a few weeks later I get 2 vouchers for their crappy airline, for $150 each. Are you kidding me? I wouldn't fly their airline again even if they sent a voucher for an amount that would actually purchase an entire ticket. So I get on the phone to bitch someone out, and here's their voicemail:
"You've reached America West Customer Relations. For lost baggage from 5 or more days, press 1. For completed travel, press 2..." so I press 2 and hear the following "You've reached America West Customer Relations. For lost baggage from 5 or more days, press 1. For completed travel, press 2..."

How is this airline still in existence?

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