US Airways Woke Me Up This Morning

I’m scheduled to be on a flight late tonight. At 5am this morning my phone rang, waking me. It was a US Airways robocall letting me know my flight — a full 15 hours later — was cancelled.

They give a phone number for re-accomodation, it would be much easier (especially if they’re going to wake you at 5am) if they would say something like “press 1 to be connected to US Airways specialists” instead of reading off a phone number. It’s a little early to make sense of the number.

Now, it wasn’t a weather cancellation but they quickly offered me another flight that worked for my schedule and had me in not too far off the original plan. Of course I went to check in and the reservation was ‘out of sync’ so I couldn’t get the website to work. Another call. At 5:10am, holding, waiting for them to correctly sync my reservation after having changed my flight. Alright, taken care of.

I wasn’t going back to sleep, and I was up too late last night, today is going to be a long day. And I’m left wondering why the flight was cancelled (there’s no indication of a reason on the US Airways website or using the other tools online I’m aware of), and what time it actually makes sense to call.

In general I want to know as quickly as possible, but in this case with the large number of flights I could choose from and the long period of time in advance that the cancellation was done, I certainly would have preferred 6am or 7am to 5.

How proactive do you want airlines to be with flight cancellations?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I like the method an email link to the website and you log in and they have an alternative booking for you – if you like this booking click and you will be confirmed- if not, please call the advantage desk – would be a good way to do it.

  2. US Airways has a thing on their website where you can specify the times they can call you. I left it wide open, but the only number they have is my cell, which I don’t hear from the bedroom anyway,

  3. I tend to prefer email/SMS updates unless I’m close to departure time, say within 2 hours or so, for exactly these reasons. I can deal with them on my terms, and if they’re well-constructed (i.e. smart options already presented, back-end systems integration done correctly) it’s pretty painless.

  4. Having default call / no call times is not much good when you are dealing with people who are travelling and may be in a completely different time zone. In fact, cell phones generally cause problems with that. I think it may be asking too much to expect the airline to know where you are – after all, in this case, you might have been flying in earlier that day. I think it’s up to the user to manage this.

    When I had my Blackberry, I used Sleep Mode, which did just that and switched itself off automatically when the alarm rang. There’s no such thing on my Apple, but a work around is to use Airplane Mode – but you have to remember to go into settings again in the morning. That way, I’m not disturbed by texts, emails or calls until I want to be.

  5. this is why i use crankyconcierge. brett and his folks know where i am (time zone) and can make call now/later judgments, or just fix it for me.

    worth every penny.

  6. This is a tough issue because, ordinarily, you’d want to be notified of a same day cancellation ASAP. In this case, obviously, it would have been better to be notified at a more “reasonable” hour. With times zones and such, it’s not so easy to determine what’s reasonable. And what if the only other option had been a morning departure which you would have needed to get out of bed for?

    Last year, I had a “routine” ticketing problem with a Turkish airline that, for some reason, wasn’t been resolved by email exchanged. One of their agents “thoughtfully” called me to straighten it out at 2 am my time! While I didn’t appreciate being woken up, I was happy to get the matter resolved.

  7. A couple months back Delta notified me at a perfectly reasonable midday hour about a cancellation of a flight the next morning, via email, text and robocall. Problem was I was spending the day at the kind of facility where they take away your computer and cellphone — not make you turn them off, but actually take them away. When I got to take care of it in the evening I wanted to change the flight they had booked for me, and I was almost able to take care of it on-line — almost, because my desired flight was operated by Alaska, and even though it was showing up on the website, the Delta booking engine kept timing out before the minute or two it would take to get a confirmation from Alaska’s reservation system. So I had to make a phone call, which was quite painless.

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