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US Airways Customers Upset Over Recent Changes

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RALEIGH, N.C. — In an effort to save money,

US Airways

has upset many of its customers. The company is dumping some of the perks it used to offer frequent fliers and it is changing the way tickets are used.

On Wednesday, the company cited "economic pressures" as the reason for a number of changes that sent customers into a tailspin. Officials with US Airways claim they are "seeking to retain valuable benefits while trimming costs in a manner that allows to maintain low fares for cost-conscious travelers."

The changes are anything but good news to cost-conscious travelers. For example, in the past, if travelers missed a flight, the traveler could apply the old ticket toward a new one. Now, that old ticket is no longer valid.

Another change involves no more stand-by flights. Travelers who want to leave a destination early and have a nonrefundable ticket will have to book another flight and pay full price for making the reservation at the last minute.

Frequent fliers are feeling the burden, as well. Beginning Jan. 1, those in the frequent flier program can no longer use miles to upgrade their membership.

"I understand the situation with the way the airlines have been, but it's frustrating," customer Mark Ambrose said.

"As a consumer and flier, I really feel that it's unfair and it's really a violation of the contract that we started off with them collecting miles and being a loyal patron," customer Jackie Oliphant said.

US Airways officials said they have been getting a lot of complaints from customers who are very upset about the changes. Officials said they may be the first airline industry to implement the changes but they believe other airlines will follow suit.


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