Can this trip be saved? “I fail to understand the behavior of your shuttle bus driver”

Christine Glovier didn’t have an ideal travel experience when she flew from Philadelphia to Manchester, NH, on US Airways. But is an apology enough for what happened?

Glovier is a loyal US Airways customer and has never missed a flight. But when she arrived at the airport, a ticket agent sent her to a shuttle bus. She had to go through the security line twice, which ran down the clock.

There was still plenty of time to make her flight. But then the fun started.

She recalls,

We stood on the shuttle and waited over 10 minutes before leaving Terminal C to be transported to F 29 terminal. The shuttle bus was completely full when we left the C terminal.

While we were waiting, one of the passengers approached the driver and said she had a 1:50 flight. His response was “I’ll get you there on time”.

Or maybe not.

Related: In today’s edition of What’s your problem?, find out why one customer’s diamond ring wasn’t forever.

The reason why we waited so long to depart for Gate L29 was due to the driver waiting for his co-worker shuttle driver to get him lunch from Au Bon Bain in Terminal C and deliver it back down to him. This action caused us, along with many others, to miss our flight.

We ran to our gate and arrived at 1:45 and were told there were no more seats. The plane was still on the tarmac.

We were directed to a special ticket counter to get another flight. While we were in line, we saw many others that were on the same shuttle bus in the same predicament.

We were rescheduled on the next flight.

We were terribly inconvenienced and in the Philadelphia Airport for more than 4 hours. Why? Because of irresponsible and selfish behavior on part of the shuttle bus driver, awaiting delivery of his lunch.

Glovier sent an email to US Airways, in which she recounted the delay and asked for denied boarding compensation.

“I fail to understand the behavior of your shuttle bus driver,” she added.

Alright, so US Airways got her to her final destination, but four hours late. Other than the apology (I’ll get to that in a minute) does it owe her anything?

I don’t know. The shuttle bus driver is almost certainly an airport employee, for starters. But a look at US Airways contract of carriage suggests the airlines’ only responsibility was to transport Glovier to Manchester — not on any particular schedule.

Here’s the cookie-cutter mea culpa.

I regret you were unable to travel on your scheduled flight. We realize this was an inconvenient and frustrating situation; however, time restrictions must be implemented due to increased security measures.

We regret you were not able to catch an earlier bus to your gate and the shuttle bus driver was not more conscious of the time constraints you were under.

If you are not checked in and present in the boarding area at least 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time, your reservation may be canceled. Your seat is released to another passenger, and you will not be eligible for denied boarding compensation.

If a flight has been delayed, passengers are still expected to be at the gate at the previously scheduled time. Delays caused by maintenance or weather conditions may change at any time.

Please note that our pilots do have the discretion to depart 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time due to factors such as a full flight or operational reasons.

Your concerns have been documented. We use this information as a tool for reviewing where and how we can make future improvements that will benefit everyone.

We know you have many choices when it comes to traveling these days and we would welcome the opportunity to continue our business relationship.

Wow, this is a pretty impressive cut-and-paste job from the airline’s customer service department. But if you listen carefully, you can hear US Airways playing a tiny violin for Glovier.

I sympathize with her. Had US Airways given her better instructions before boarding — in other words, asked her to arrive at the airport a little early because her gate was far away and reachable only by shuttle bus — then maybe it wouldn’t have wasted four hours of her life.

I think she’s entitled to more than a sloppy form letter. But technically, US Airways doesn’t have to do anything. Or does it?

(Photo: Oran Viriyincy/Flickr)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • Eric

    Nothing is more infuriating than a form letter.  It’s like, “Sorry we screwed-up, but we don’t have time to actually answer you”.  I’m not one to defend the airlines, but it seems to me that, in this case, compensation should come from the airport or whatever private company operates the shuttle bus service.  Good luck on that one, but unless the driver is an airline employee, they don’t seem to have much responsibility here.

  • Aaron W

    I don’t see how this is US Airways’ fault, except perhaps tangentially. Two trips through security? Blame the TSA. A shuttle bus that doesn’t depart regularly? Blame the airport. Regardless, if a 10 minute delay ANYWHERE at the airport means you missed your flight, you got to the airport too late to begin with.

    The tiny violin form letter is tactless, but not unwarranted in this case.

  • Anna

    So many questions here: First of all, who/what was responsible for the change of terminals? Did Clovier show up at the wrong terminal? Did USAirways reschedule her flight at the last minute, or was it something Philly airport did? Did Clovier buy her ticket last minute…!?  

    As for the shuttle driver, before I throw him under the bus… maybe he had a 10 minute break, maybe the shuttle wasn’t schedule to leave before it actually did? If those 10 minutes meant Clovier missed her flight, she was already late to begin with.

  • Raven_Altosk

    The shuttle driver may be a USairways employee. The ones that drive the CO shuttles in EWK are CO employees and part of the reason I completely avoid that airport at all costs. I have been in a similar situation, but fortunately made my flight by less than 2 minutes.

    That time, the driver was waiting on a friend to bring her a coffee. When people started to protest that they were going to miss their flight she shouted, “I don’t give a sh*t and I’ll throw you off this f*ing bus!” Classy.

    I hate EWK anyway but after that, I vowed to never fly through there if humanly possible. The only good that’s come from the UA/CO merger is that helps me keep that promise.

    Anyway, find out if the shuttle driver was an airport or airline employee. If airline, she is due more than just a form letter. Airport, they really don’t have much control over.

  • Kevin Mathews

    I fail to see where the Airline screwed up here.  Even if the shuttle bus driver was an airline employee, a passenger should never cut it THAT close.  Nothing in the story shows when she arrived at the airport.  All we see is that she had to go through security twice and that the shuttle driver took 10 minutes to grab some lunch from the terminal.
    Sounds to me like she has more to chat with TSA about the UA…?

  • Susan N

    What does she want? Denied boarding compensation is for when the flight is oversold, not when you miss boarding (regardless of whose fault it is). Maybe she will get a few hundred miles for being “terribly inconvenienced” but that’s about it.

    Also, I don’t understand how you can say “There was still plenty of time to make her flight.” This means that if the shuttle bus ran on time, she would have arrived 5 minutes before the gate closed, which is perhaps “barely enough”, not “plenty”.

  • John Frenaye

    And is US Airways responsible of there are slow people walking in front of her in another terminal?  It is a bummer for sure. But most missed flights are due to a cause other than the traveler willfully missing the flight.  Stuff happens. Suck it up and deal with it!

  • Harry Seiders

    I voted no, you should always check to see what gate you are departing from before you leave. She could have just parked at Terminal E/F. I have found their security lines are the quickest to get through because it has a lower volume of flights and it is used for the smaller planes.

  • Karen Brown

    Something’s not right with this story.

    My feeling is that they arrived late, entered the airport through the
    wrong terminal and then blamed a delayed bus departure on a bus driver
    who may have made them wait a few minutes – but had they gotten to the
    airport 90 minutes early, this would not have been a situation for them.

    We fly through Philadelphia regularly and am on the C-concourse – F-concourse shuttles at least three times a month. They run in a loop, if one doesn’t leave immediately, it can get backed up with one right behind the next. Gate agents load the buses and send them on their way when they are filled (and at 1:50 in the afternoon, they are ALWAYS filled!) – and make sure the buses get out of the way, because the waiting area is at the base of an escalator and gets filled with people quickly.

    Even in slow times, the longest we’ve ever had to wait for a bus was the amount of time it takes for one bus to make a half-loop. I’ve never known them to not have at least two buses running – one leaving from F as the other departs from C.

    The ‘cut and paste’ letters are infuriating, I agree. But the airlines are not ALWAYS wrong. We have to take responsibility for getting to where we need to be, when we need to be there. Had Ms. Glovier done some research about where she needed to go before getting there, and arrived with enough time to get through security, even with double screening, or even a long, long line, she would not have missed her flight. Waiting for a lunch delivery – even if it took a good 10 minutes (hard to believe, with other buses piling up behind him) would not have caused her to miss her flight.

  • Leslie

    I fly out of Philadelphia fairly often, and have learned the hard way not to depend on the airport employees to get you there on time.  I now park off-site because I’ve almost missed a flight several times because the shuttle is SO slow, and security is also incredibly slow, so I give myself PLENTY of time at this airport  (3-4 hours for a domestic flight).  Traffic delays around the area can also cause a missed flight (when one highway shuts down, it backs up all the other highways).

    With that said, I had to vote “no” because her lateness was technically not US Airways’ fault.  While I think it’s incredibly unfair that she was redirected, had to go through security again AND had to deal with the shuttle’s driver, US Airways can’t be faulted for her missing her flight.   They should, however, work on their customer service a bit more (I always think they have room for improvement).

  • Carl

    At many airports the shuttle operations behind security are provided by the airlines, generally if they operate from more than one terminal or have a commuter terminal or perhaps for code sharing purposes. Often it is contracted out to a vendor, but it is operated under the control of and standards of the carrier. For example at EWR CO provides shuttles between A & C, actually operated by Airserve. I am not familiar with PHL, but the shuttle may well be under US’s control

  • Pizo

    What if she had parked at an off airport lot (like I always do) and she was let off at the standard US Airways terminal like the parking lot shuttles buses normally do? 

  • Bill

    Is this really such a big deal? Complain to the airport authority, not the airline.

  • Pizo

    I fly out of Philly regularly and vowed years ago to never EVER fly US Airways out of Philly again.  The airport is fine, all the other airlines out of there are fine but US Airways is a mess?  I’ve been on flights where I was delayed in PHL for a few hours and still when I got to my destination my luggage wasn’t there.  Matter of fact on one particular flight NO ONE got their luggage, they neglected to load the ENTIRE plane.  Never again will US Airways get a dime from me, perhaps Ms. Glovier should consider the same.

  • MikeZ

    I don’t think the passenger cut it that close. Sounded to me like she got there with plenty of time to spare, but because every thing that could go wrong, did, she then missed her flight. Two trips through security, the shuttle driver, ticket counter… People should need to plan for a trip through security, not two or three, and they certainly shouldn’t have to plan for shuttle drivers that aren’t going to correctly do their jobs.

  • Crissy

    I wonder if the flight was oversold.  If so many people missed the flight and they said it was too late (while the plane was still at the gate), I suspect that the flight was oversold and it was easier to bump the “late” arriving passengers instead of paying money to anyone.  

    But in the end this was a problem with the shuttle which is likely operated by the airport and not the airline, as you said.  I’m not sure if US Airways has a mechanism to notify passengers that you have to go to a far off gate.  It’s not uncommon for gates to change or be assigned a few hours before departure, which for many people is too late to adjust their arrival time at the airport.

  • Mbods2002

    I don’t know…honestly, she should have been at the airport sooner, everyone KNOWS that these days.  There are maps of all the airports online to check to see where your gate is.  Of course, if they change the gate at the last minute, I go back to getting to the airport in plenty of time to be harrassed and inconvenienced….

  • Chris in NC

    I used to fly out of Philly frequently, and this story doesn’t surprise me. However, there are important details missing. How “close” did Glovier cut it to the flight time?

    I also fail to see why US Airways is liable here. It was an airport shuttle bus that ultimately caused her delay. As others have said, if 10 minutes makes the difference between making a flight and missing it, maybe Glovier did cut it too close?

    Be thankful it was only a 4 hour delay. It could have been worse. US Airways could have charged her $75 + fare difference!

  • cjr001

    It just goes to show that US Airways cares as little about customer services as all the rest these days.

    Was it their fault? No. Could they have *gasp* done the right thing by taking care of their passengers and then dealt with the airport? Of course!

  • Fishplate

    US Airways doesn’t have to do anything except be the subject of this complaint.  If they are OK with that, then that’s what they get.

    Having said that, I find it interesting that the airline feels the need to point out that you must be at the gate 15 minutes before flight time, but that they can leave 10 minutes early.  That cuts it to 5 minutes to make sure everyone is there.  Seems tight to me…

  • Jonathan

    One point of clarification and one question that needs to be answered:
    – If I understand the narration correctly, the shuttle the OP is referring to is NOT a shuttle bus from the parking area to the drop-off.  It is INSIDE the secured area and runs across the tarmac/airfield to get to Terminal F, which is where US runs their commuter/Regional jets.  The buses are completely covered in US livery and my impression has always been that they are run by US employees (although I could easily be wrong on this).
    – Chris, you need to find out WHY the OP had to go through security twice.  The only ways I can imagine that happening is (a) she went into the secured area and then had to go back out or (b) if she were to go into Terminal C, then WALK down to Terminal F which necessitates going out and back into the secured area (although going through Terminal F security is usually fairly short).  Both scenarios don’t know.

    It’s too bad that the OP didn’t get e-mail addresses of other people who were screwed in this scenario.  If everything DID transpire as was put forward in the narration, the actions of a US employee seriously inconvenienced their clients.  Imagine what this would have been like if this action had caused clients to miss a trans-Atlantic flight that only happens once a day instead of flying to a destination with extensive options.  As I said, if the narration is accurate, US should be ponying up a LOT more than what they did and in a fashion that wasn’t generated by a computer.

  • Sylviaguarino

    I’m not sure whose responsibility this is but I voted yes simply because it does not look like the airline is going to provide any greater service than a form letter.  It appears the shuttle bus driver was remiss, but if you don’t push on this, who will?

  • S363

    Just out of curiosity, when did it change from EWR to EWK?  I found both on Google as being Newark.

  • Clare

    Look, it may very well be that this is a problem that should be addressed by the airport, rather than by the airline (although we are not sure).  BUT the fact is, US Air operates at that airport, and if there’s a problem caused by airport employees that affects US Air’s customers, US Air SHOULD CARE.

    Imagine that I run a mail-order business.  I sell quality products, but the packages are constantly being lost/misrouted.  Obviously, my customers are going to complain!  Technically, it’s not my fault.  So should I just blow my customers off with a form letter, saying “hey, that’s a post-office problem, complain to them and not to me.  Not my fault”?  It’s true, I don’t have full control over the mail service–but if I care about my customers, I will apologize to them anyway and then LOOK INTO THIS, ya know?

    I don’t know exactly how it works, but presumably US Air is paying bookoo for the use of its gates at that airport.  If the airport is screwing up and US Air’s customers are screaming-mad, it’s time for US Air reps to sit down with airport reps and Have A Little Talk.

    Which leads to the second issue: since US Air is a pathetic excuse for an airline, betcha anything they will never do this, even if the OP’s outrageous experience happens to hundreds of their customers, every single day this year… 

  • Carver

    I dunno

    The only delay that she suffered that was different than any of the other thousands of passengers who passed through was a potential delay caused by the bus driver.  But I am skeptical, only because I would assume that drivers are on a schedule and cannot vary that schedule.

    Beyond that, millions of flyers check in at the counter, go through hideously long TSA lines, get bussed to remote terminals and still make their  flights without incident.  I don’t see why 10 min delay should cause someone to miss an initial flight unless they cut it too close to begin with.

  • Douglas Muth

    I fly out of Philly regularly, and it is unclear to me why the person did not walk?  (Maybe they have a disability, and if so, that is perfectly understandable.  That said, I’ve walked from one terminal to another at PHL on many many occasions before.)

  • Pizo

    The article says she had to go through Security twice.  That could have eaten up 20-40 minutes right there. 

  • Anna

    That still doesn’t explain how (or why) she got all the way through check-in and security at the wrong terminal? 

  • Linda Bator

    What did you expect them to do – throw money at her and HOPE the airport would pay them back?  Because SHE cut it too close?  RIDICULOUS!  People need to start taking responsibility for their poor choices – not leaving plenty of time at the airport these days is a BAD choice – and she paid the penalties.  Suck it up!

  • Anna

    True, but the article doesn’t say WHY she had to go through security
    twice. Was it her own fault for simply going to the wrong terminal? Or was her flight moved from one terminal to another on a very short notice? 

  • Mark K

    I have only been through PHL a couple times, but I can see where even arriving two hours early you can end up late if you had to go through security two times.  It has taken me at least 30 minutes to get through security even on realtively light travel days.  So we can’t assume the OP arrived later than what is expected.
    The number one thing that doesn’t make sense is the statement that she had to go through security twice.
    If she went into terminal C there is a shuttle that runs across the tarmac within security to terminal F.  The only way she would have needed to clear security twice is if she either went into the wrong terminal to start or she took the inter terminal shuttle that is outside.

    US Air should have responded better with at least a bit more sympathy in the form letter.

  • bc

    Sounds like she should have gotten to the airport earlier. I’m not sure why you had to go security twice, did Christine make a mistake?? But if it comes down to waiting 10 extra minutes that causes you to miss a flight it sounds Christine’s actions must have also contributed to her being late.

    I voted NO based on the information provided. 

  • LeeAnneClark

    There seems to be a lot of misunderstandings in here about this incident. First, clearly it’s not a shuttle from the parking area. It was INSIDE the secure area – it was not something she could avoid, it sounds like everyone had to take it. I don’t know that airport, but I’ve been shuttled to a gate by an airline before – it wasn’t optional. It sounds like it was that type of situation.

    Here’s the thing about this story: no one should have to arrive at an airport for a domestic flight earlier than the airline itself says you need to arrive. Your flight documents will usually give you a time frame – if your flight docs say you should arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight, then you should be able to arrive at the ticket counter 2 hours before your flight and MAKE YOUR FLIGHT (provided you don’t pull yourself out of the line or do something yourself that cuts into that time).

    If she presented herself at the ticket counter with the right amount of time ahead of her, it’s then incumbent on the airline to get you to your flight. That means ensuring that they have enough people at the ticket counters, running shuttles, manning gates, etc. Clearly they have no control over TSA, but they should have an idea as to the typical amount of time TSA checkpoints are taking, and factor that into the time they tell passengers to arrive.

    Hard to know what else went wrong here – why DID she have to go through security twice? – but if she arrived at the airport with the appropriate amount of time, followed all processes and did what she was told, she should have made her flight. Clearly something went wrong in the process that was outside of her control. And any shuttle driver who doesn’t understand the time constraints on flyers these days, and would hold people up like that, should be fired.

  • Sabatca

    You said she is a loyal US Airways customer then sh MUST have known how early to arrive for her flight as she has traveled many times.  The bus driver was probably wrong for the delay, but as you say, an employee of the airport.  She should ask for compensation from the airport.

  • RChristmas

    My thoughts exactly.

    I fly from PHL pretty regularly, and the only time I’ve had to clear security twice was when I opted to walk from the B/C terminals to F because the line for the shuttles was long. If the OP opted to walk instead of taking the shuttle, the extra time to clear security was a risk she should have considered. If this was a connecting flight, then any number of delays would have contributed to missing the next flight to NH. That’s likely why US Airways rebooked her on the next flight without charging any fee.

    If originating in Philly, you have to check in at the F terminal for the express flights. Also, I don’t get the reference to Gate L29…I don’t know of any L gates at PHL.

    Something about this story just doesn’t add up.

  • $16635417

    No to mediate or compensation.
    OP arrived 5 minutes before scheduled departure. She was delayed 10 mins which means she would have arrived at the gate 15 minutes before scheduled departure and possibly missed her flight anyway.
    I am most curious as to why she went through security twice as well.
    That being said, whoever runs the bus should look into their break policy. Holding up cutomers while you are on the clock and waiting for your lunch should be grounds for disciplinary action. Your allotted time for lunch includes getting your lunch.


  • Bodega

    I wouldn’t be happy to be made to wait based on the information provided, but it is the information not provided that is bothering me. One is; How much time did she give for checkin?  90 minutes is the recommended time for domestic but two hours at larger airports is better.  Two is: Why did she go outside of security.  This is from the PHL airport website;
    If you are in the post-security checkpoint area, you can connect to any terminal without having to go in and out of security a second time. If you are walking to Terminal F from another terminal, or walking from Terminal F to another terminal, you must go through security to access post-security facilities. If you are post-security and wish to travel to and from Terminal F, there are free shuttle stops at Gate F-10, Gate C-16 (access to Terminals C,D,B) and Gate A-1 (access to Terminals A-East, A-West).

    Anytime you go outside of security, you risk losing time getting back in.  If walking was an issue, requesting wheelchair assistance would have provided her with transportation between terminals.

    Someone mentioned in their post that if a recommended checkin time is given, that is what passengers should be expected to need.  However, if you travel, you know recommended times can have variables that can’t be accounted for.  The airlines use the words ‘recommended’ and also the term ‘legal’ for connection times, but neither can be considered reasonable at certain airports.

  • Lenny

    I think Raven made a mistake. When I google both, I get Newark International Liberty. When I go to one of “those” travel sites, it doesn’t recognize EWK.

  • Nancy Marine Dickinson

    Here beef is with the airport, not the airline.  They are the ones who owe her more than what she’s gotten.

  • Chris in NC

    Well said. 

    Also, if she was originating from PHL and she was on an US Express flight, they all depart from terminal F. Sounds like she lost quite a bit of time by going to the US Airways terminal, and not the US Airways Express terminal. 

    The claim that she had to clear security twice still bothers me. If she entered at the A/B/C terminals, the shuttle bus from C terminal to F terminal is from secure area to secure area, thus, no further security check. 

    The only scenario that makes sense is the follows: 
    She checked in at the US Airways terminal, cleared security, realized she needed to be in terminal F, left the security area, took the shuttle bus outside the airport, then had to clear security at F again. She may not have realized that there was transport from terminal C to F. 

  • Jetpuffed

    Ahhhh… sounds like my flight in August in Philly.  Plane arrives late at Terminal A, I haul ass to Terminal F, arrive 15 minutes before scheduled takeoff, only to find door locked with plane still on tarmack. Employee had closed the door because he ‘never new anyone who could make it from A to F Terminal in less than half an hour.’ He wanted to go to lunch early.  Next flight out was 5 hours later.  My letter was ignored.

  • Elizabeth Smith

    I don’t have enough information here. I haven’t flown in, out, or through PHL lately, but as a home-based travel agent, US Airways international departures and arrivals are usually in A-West, so the passenger should have checked in at that ticket counter and passed through that security checkpoint if PHL was her starting point. So I am confused as to why she took a shuttle anywhere. F is for US Airways Express (connection) flights. Why was she taking a shuttle from C to F? If she’s a loyal US Airways customer, she should know the airport layout.

  • flutiefan

    it’s officially EWR.

  • flutiefan

    their standard terminal and the E/F terminals are very close. not even a 5-7 minute walk.

  • flutiefan

    they start boarding at least 30 min prior to departure. if you can’t be bothered to be at your gate until 15 minutes before your flight is to leave, that’s your problem. most people are there and ready to go, and are already on the plane by that time. it’s those last few stragglers that make it “tight”. USAirways can’t be worried about those who don’t respect their time advisories.

  • theplaz

    Welcome to Philadelphia!

  • Bill

     Putting your own spin on it, Chris with “plenty” of time?

  • Tony A.

    I believe Harry is 100% correct. Here’s why. take a look at the PHL to MHT USAir flights:

    1*A#US3122   PHLMHT- 930A1045A   7 E75  TERM C

    2*A#US3660   PHLMHT-1129A1243P   7 CRJ  TERM F

    3*A#US3988   PHLMHT- 205P 322P   4 CRJ  TERM F

    4*A#US3268   PHLMHT- 405P 530P   7 E75  TERM C

    5*A#US3874   PHLMHT- 610P 737P   4 CRJ  TERM F

    6*A#US1826   PHLMHT- 910P1035P   7 EMJ  TERM B

    Note that USAir flights can be also be USAir Express (Air Wisconsin). If so, those CRJs will be using Terminal F and *not* Terminal B/C.

    I suspect the OP did not read her itinerary closely and just went to USAir’s B/C Terminal to check in. That’s why she was told to take the shuttle bus from Gate C16 to F10.

    Had she simply gone directly to Terminal F and checked in there, she would not have a problem. The PHL website clearly directs USAir Express passengers to go to Terminal F for check in. See –

    Furthermore since these USAir Express flights are no better than 40% ontime, I can’t blame them from enforcing the USAir COCs that stipulate (Chap 6 Check In):

    To help ensure on-time performance, for flights departing U.S. airports, US Airways requires that customers be present at the boarding gate or on the aircraft at least 15 minutes (5 minutes for US Airways Shuttle flights) before the scheduled departure time of the flight even if the customers have already checked in for the flight at a location designated for such purpose…
    It is US Airways’ policy to close the boarding doors ten minutes prior and the aircraft doors five minutes prior to scheduled departure. This policy may not apply to US Airways Shuttle flights.

    This is 100% OP error. Sorry.

  • Carrie Charney

    Never having been bitten, I’m not shy about using EWR. I always choose the air train to take me between terminals, as it has been reliable for me. It may need some repairs every so often, but it doesn’t need coffee and a sandwich.

  • Tony A.

    Where did it say she was connecting in PHL at all?

  • Joe Farrell

    Oh, c’mon, I’ve been to PHL – and no one starts boarding Terminal F flights 30 min before departure – you are lucky if the aircraft is there by the departure time – anything from a 50 seat CRJ to a 34 seat Dash-8 can board in less than 15 min – USAir knows that.

    Now – I have NEVER had to go through Security at Terminal F if I have gone through at Terminal B/C – the shuttle operates inside the SIDA area – sorry – I’m calling BS on that part of the story.  

    Next- the OP here simply went to the wrong place.  If she had paid attention to the gate on her boarding pass she would have seen she was leaving from Terminal F – she should have simply gone to Terminal F.  What happened here is a passenger who knew she was traveling USAir and simply went to the main USAir terminal and made ZERO effort to ascertain where her flight was actually departing from.  An iphone/android/blackberry would have told her in less a minute that she was leaving from Terminal F. 

    Then – How can there be no more seats?  They just checked in for the flight and received a boarding pass, right?  Thus, – they are on the list for the flight as having checked in.  Were there stand-bys who got their seats after they checked in at the airport?  Seriously?  That is a denied boarding situation.

    There is NO reason to ‘go through security twice’ at PHL.  You enter the secured area and then you take a shuttle from C terminal to F terminal.  There is now a walkway as well. 

    Chris, really, this ‘bottom of the barrel’ bs sob stories have to end.  The shuttle employees are rude and low paid and could care less about the self-loading cargo they shuffle from point a to b over and over and over again.  But this story has drama queen written all over it – along with unbelieveable facts – you’ve been to PHL – what do you think?

  • Chris in NC

    Even if she went to terminal C, she could have taken the “shuttle” between C and F. I suspect that she left the secure area, then took a shuttle between B/C and F, thus, having to re-clear security. Had she taken the C to F shuttle, it is inside the secure area, thus, no need to re-clear security. I’m leaning more and more towards operator error too.

  • Anna

    EWK is a small airport in Newton, KS. I think Google gives you EWR-Newark as a you-probably-made-a-typo result.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Yeah, I made a typo. Serves me right for answering the blog at 5:30AM.

    My bad.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Yeah, I messed up. I was answering the blog at 5:30AM, so…my bad.

  • Tony A.

    Makes we wonder WHY she would possibly leave the secure area. The shuttle bus leaves from Gate C16 which inside the secure area and it goes to F10 which is also inside the secure area. (*If* this was a connection it would qualify as an airside connection.) Maybe she went OUTSIDE the Terminal and realized the shuttle was INSIDE so she had to clear security again.

  • Jeremiah Yap

    I’m planning to travel with my family to Chicago for Thanksgiving,i think they’re in here: ( but does anyone know the best way to get cheap tickets at such a busy time of year for a family of four? I’m really on a budget this year

  • Bodega

    You are really very, very late in getting tickets for holiday travel.  Go to your local travel agency and pay their fee and have them find you something.  You might actually save money even with a service fee over what you see online because of what you can’t see that the GDS can provide the agent.

  • Joe Farrell

    It is a very bad year to be on a budget traveling at the holidays . . .

  • Gopbi

    As noted by others, I think the genesis to the problem is with the driver– therefore whatever body has control or jurisdiction over the driver and the operation.. Since this is not made clear by the OP or Chris’ writing, I’d reserve voting until such is made clear..

    But if, after investigation it turns out the driver and the service is controlled by someone *other than* US Airways, then I’d answer no.. As I can’t see holding US Airways liable for something they have no control over and cannot effectively manage. In that the OP’s complaint should be directed a the operator.

    The other part that I do think bears investigation and mention is that while the OP views the action of “… waiting for his co-worker shuttle driver to get him lunch from Au Bon Bain in Terminal C…” as an egregious act.. I think it bears investigation.. Is that in fact an *approved* process? It just might have been that the driver was in fact on an approved break.. While I personally doubt it– only from what the OP writes– I do think it merits investigation before the finger of blame is pointed.

  • cjr001

    Please provide proof that she didn’t arrive early enough, or forever hold your keystrokes.

    The OP had to go through security twice. Have you actually been to an airport lately and dealt with security? I could easily see where you’d lose days off your life in dealing with that, much less twice in trying to get to your gate.

    (sarcasm) But, of course, silly me. One should just arrive another 3 hours earlier than the 3 many people already arrive for their flight. Problem solved, right? (/sarcasm)

  • cjr001

    “So we can’t assume the OP arrived later than what is expected.”

    Unfortunately, a lot of people on this thread already have.

  • Anonymous

    I’m torn. This could go either way! On the one hand, the bus driver should have done his job over lunch leisures, but Clovier could have arrived earlier at the air port in the first place to give more leverage time to catch her flight. There are too many unknowns, I think, to determine the right and the wrong in this situation. However, the cookie-cutter “apology” letter does rub me wrong. I fail to recognize enough hard evidence on either side; all we have is one woman’s story and bits and pieces of the actual event. Based upon further proof, I could be swayed either way…

  • TAPman

    Let me guess…

    Morbidly-obese, chemically-imbalanced (sorry, “moody”) service personnel who are angry at their lot in life (dead-end, near minimum-wage job with no benefits, medical or pension) taking their frustrations out on the better-dressed lady who “already got hers”.  All done with the “leadership” of cowardly middle-management effups.

    Viva unfettered Capitalism! Keep it up America!

  • Ajaynejr

    The airline should have merely honored her ticket as-is on the next flight that was not sold out as of the moment she got to customer service after she missed her ticketed flight. If all that flight had was standby then she should have been put on the standby list upon her request, first come first served as of that moment.

  • Faboo Frank

    But what is really frustrating is that all these “areas” are “staffed” be people in USAirways uniforms at PHL.  Including the baggage areas, which the USAirways employee said was the responsibility of the city of Philadelphia.  Not only was she totally unresponsive to my question, she was rude, and only interested in talking on her personal cell phone.  She had absolutely no interest in helping me, or even trying to answer a question.  This is typical of USAirways employees at PHL.

    In the defense of USAirways, I have had recent wonderful experiences with their personnel at other airports.  I had a long weather-related delay (weather back at PHL) at RIC, the employees couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful.

    I particularly recommend the people of Air Wisconsin, one of USAirways “partners” on the short-hop flights.  If you can get one operated by them, do so!

  • Faboo Frank

    It’s pretty hard to fly out of Philly “regularly” and avoid USAirways.  Since they have more than 80% of the gates at PHL.  Either you’re stretching the truth or you only fly to “hubs” that the other few airlines who service PHL go to.

  • Faboo Frank

    It was very easy for her to avoid the shuttle.  All she had to do was go and check in at Terminal F.  She chose to go to B/C, either through ignorance or a parking shuttle driver mistake.  I always call the 800 line to check where the plane is supposed to be well before I go to the airport (PHL).  Security slowness at PHL is legendary, and I always try to get the the airport with close to 2 hours before schedule, and sometimes that’s even been too close.  It’s simple, and I think she screwed up.  I VOTED NO.

  • Jerry

    If I make an honest mistake in booking a flight, the airline holds me responsible. Fair enough. When the airline (it provided the shuttle bus service directly or indirectly) or those it hires (the company or the worker) makes a mistake that causes denied boarding, it should be similarly responsible.

  • MichelleLV

    so what… some people will assume she arrived late and some will assume she arrived the proper amount of time and Murphy’s law took effect.   It doesn’t matter because either way the ten extra minutes the driver took, while obnoxious and inconsiderate,  shouldn’t have mattered as she still would have been at the gate with only 15 minutes to spare and the airline can give away seats at the 15 minutes mark.  Either blame TSA for the double security check or blame the OP for arriving late.  I don’t like USscare but they didn’t do anything wrong and in this case a form letter was just fine.  Until Chris posts the extra details this story doesn’t add up and it is unrealistic to assume that people will should not fill in the blanks with their own thoughts especially on a forum that expects comments.

  • Elizabeth Smith

    I never said she was connecting. Re-read my post.