Whenever I hear people complain about the TSA, I wonder how often these people actually fly. For most, it's probably an one-time inconvenience every few months. But for people like me who travels for work, I sometimes take 4 flights per week (including transit flights), and any delays could mean trouble with a tight schedule.
Philadelphia airport is one of those regional hubs that I have trouble avoiding. I fly to smaller airports like Akron-South Canton in Ohio for work, and inevitably I get booked with a transit flight through Philly. Unfortunately, Philly airport was designed with a larger main terminal for the big planes, and a smaller terminal F in another building for smaller regional aircraft. To go from main terminal to terminal F, you must board a slow bus that takes you between the terminals. If your flight arrived late, you're SOL.
Such was the situation that I was stuck in. On the way in to Philly the plane was delayed. We asked the agent by the exit gate if we could make it to terminal F in time. She assured us that we can make it if we ran, and we asked her to call the gate agent at the other end to let them know that there were 4 of us running over now. So we ran at top speed, board the slow bus to terminal F, then ran like hell to the boarding gate, only to find the door closed. The gate agent said she did not receive any calls, and by company rules, they close the gate 10 mins prior to departure. We asked for a supervisor, who came and told us that the people at the other gate probably sent us here because they didn't want to deal with us. I asked for a customer service phone # to call to file a complaint and was told that they no longer accept phone calls, nor do they have a phone # to give us. Instead, we had to go on the internet and get the address and send a complaint in writing. We were booked for another flight 6 hours later and he gave us some meal vouchers, as we sat and watched the plane sit there for 30 mins juicing up before taking off. Seems the aircraft's generator had a problem.
As I wander around Philly airport looking for lunch, trying to make best of the situation with an angry client in Ohio, I found some nice rocking chairs that were the same kind in South Carolina. Somehow I just didn't believe that US Airways didn't have a customer complain #. So I started calling and spoke to a few staff in customer service. They all said that they cannot accept complaints over the phone and must be submitted in writing. Ah well, maybe I'd just take my business elsewhere.
Days later, on the way out of Akron Ohio, I found my flight to Chicago were upgraded to first class. @_@? No explanation was given, the gate agent said "someone somewhere upgraded it for you" and that was it. Hmf. Well, not gonna look at a gift horse in the mouth. Mind as well just go and enjoy the unlimited snacks and booze. ;p Lo and behold, the attendant handed me a basket of goodies, including this:
OK, this is good stuff. Highly recommended!