US Scareways: Worse than you thought.
For me, one of the major drawback to living in Philadelphia is the airport, a major hub for the worst airline in the country, US Airways. Or, as my very well travelled friend calls them: US Scareways. Everyone I know who has flown with them has had a miserable experience. My fiancé and I were once forced to fly them back from Florida, and gained some lovely firsthand knowledge. The plane was old, shabby and improperly pressurized. I don’t recall any in-flight service, although I’m sure we must have at least gotten soda or water. A pilot and a flight attendant along for the ride sat behind us blasting a dvd for the entire cabin to hear. Thank goodness it was a short flight.
We refuse to fly them again. Last year we returned to my home airport to fly out of Newark on Continental. There were some takeoff delays but the prices were excellent, service good and they gave us full meals included. For trans-atlantic, once again, we wouldn’t even consider US Airways and ended up flying out of JFK for a much cheaper fare on British Airways than available from PHL.
As it turns out, this was a very wise decision. Joe Brancatelli, Business Traveller columnist for USA Today did a little research and found “near-collapse of the day-to-day operations of US Airways’ Philadelphia-based trans-Atlantic service. Even by this summer’s reduced standards, the operation that US Airways runs between Philadelphia and Europe is shocking.”
Here is an excerpt from the article illustrating just how unacceptable their so-called service is:
based on information from FlightStats.com, US Airways’ performance from Europe to Philadelphia is nearly as despicable. Just three of 19 routes to Philadelphia operated at or above 70% on-time between June 15 and August 15. The other 16 ran between 32 and 62% on-time. The daily flight from Munich to Philadelphia, for example, operated at just 35%. Lisbon to Philadelphia? Just 37% on-time. The flight from Zurich? Try 41% on-time.
It would be bad enough if it were just US Airways’ on-time performance that was in tatters. But the physical condition of the transatlantic cabins is disastrous.
Fly British Airways, it’s well worth the extra money. If you find a great fare at Newark, take it. There are plenty of economy off-site parking lots with shuttle services, and the drive is only about an hour. If you don’t drive and the fare is low enough, get yourself a nice comfy seat on Amtrak.