Last week I had the misfortune of flying US Airways from Tel Aviv to Boston (via Philadelphia) in economy class. The service on these flights, especially the intercontinental ones (11-12 hours each way), was horrendous.
Put simply, the crew just couldn’t care less. A couple of them were chewing gum throughout the flight. They communicated with each other by shouting. They kept bumping carts into the shoulders of sitting passengers. They practically threw the drinks and food at you (if you managed not to blink and miss the food cart). If, God forbid, a passenger asked for something out of the ordinary (say, a cup of coffee not right after the meal) he was rewarded with a dirty look.
On the way to the US I bumped into my dentist. We didn’t sit together but after landing he told me his experience. He was seated at the rear of the aircraft and the lavatory flooded. When he got up his socks got wet. He asked a flight attendant if he could get a pair of socks from business class. He was told regulations do not permit him to remove his shoes, so tough luck. He then complained about the service and the overall experience. The answer he received was that he shouldn’t be raising his voice and basically had two choices: the plane would turn back and he would be reported to Israeli police, or the plane would continue and he would be reported to US police. Case dismissed.
What can I say. Sub-standard service has been a “feature” of US carriers for a long time now. But US Airways seems to have managed to scrape new lows at the bottom of the barrel. I cannot imagine anything close to such terrible service on any other airline I fly with, not even (hold your breath) on EL AL. Whatever the reasons for their unacceptable behaviour – an ageing workforce? union-induced apathy? low wages? – the crew on these US Airways flights rightfully deserve the title “Flight Crew From Hell”.