Customer Service in PHL

When I lived in upstate NY I had no issue calling US Airways “Useless Airways” because the odds of misconnecting in PHL are so high for me.  Since I’ve moved to CLT and connected in PHX I really haven’t had too many issues.  It had been a couple years since connecting in PHL and I was actually starting to like US Airways.

My flight from SWF to PHL was delayed an hour causing me to misconnect.  Upon arrival into PHL I noticed the queue at the gate was quite long since 5 flights were all being serviced by 1 desk.  I set off around the F concourse to find a staffed customer service desk instead since I didn’t recognized anyone in the queue from my flight and didn’t want to burden agents working outbound flights.

There were no customer service desks I could find in F so I took the shuttle over to B/C.  I walked around B and couldn’t find anything resembling a customer service desk.  It was only 9 pm and there were flights departing after 10 pm so I took my chances and left the secured area at B to talk to someone at check-in instead.  The marquee stated that check-in area was open until 10:30 pm, but only 1 person was working the whole B concourse check-in area.  I had to wait a minute in line behind someone else and there was 1 other person in the whole concourse check-in area, but he was on the phone and motioned me ahead of him.  I approached an agent we’ll call YL and stated I had misconnected and needed assistance.  She looked up my information and I stated that I was due a hotel voucher.  In a snippy voice she asked why I thought I was due a hotel voucher and I clearly stated my flight was mechanical.  She repeated back with a rude tone “Your flight was from Canada?” so I restated that my flight had a mechanical delay.  She said it wasn’t in the computer that way and I’m not due anything.  The agent back at SWF specifically told me he had put that in my record so I asked her to look at my record.  At that point she actually took my BP stub and looked me up, then stated “which gate did you arrive in”.  I said F.  She stated that I was in the B concourse and asked how I got to B.  I wanted to say “what difference does it make, just do your job” but figured that wasn’t the way to get a voucher.  Instead I said I was trying to find a customer service desk and couldn’t find one in F or B.  She said someone should have met my flight.   I didn’t respond because no good response could come from me at that point.  I have a common last name, but not a common first name so it’s not like I can sell my hotel voucher to someone else named Grace and it’s not like she personally has to pay for the voucher so I don’t know what her issue was.

I will probably draft a letter to US Airways and then just let it sit on my hard drive.  I’m really more annoyed that there wasn’t a single special service desk open in F at 9 pm when several flights were scheduled to go out.  If the gate I arrived in only had 1 flight leaving I would have probably stayed there, but when 5 flights were being assisted it changes the game.  Last time I misconnected in PHL (which I think was the last time I connected in PHL) I met an agent in F who was working the gate and didn’t even know how to issue a hotel voucher.  She had to call her supervisor and he did it for her.  I hoped to avoid that situation at a customer service desk because that’s their job.

Waiting for the shuttle bus I met up with others who were on my flight (and managed to find customer service in B) who got an amenity kit and breakfast voucher.  I’m on an expense account and I didn’t check my bag so those amenities don’t matter to me (meal vouchers are just a pain), but the fact remains that YL didn’t do her job and offer/issue them to me.

This is the long end to a very long week.  I just want to get home, but I’m on an imaginary flight tomorrow so we shall see.

One Comment

  1. Terminal F in PHL is horrendous. I’m not surprised you couldn’t find a CS rep because you can never find one unless it’s about 5 minutes before you are supposed to board. If your flight’s delayed, the agents disappear. If you need help and you’re lucky enough to find one, they do the bare minimum to help you, often encouraging you to wait out the delay even when it’s obvious they should be trying to re-book/route you.

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