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wanderful Feb 1st, 2008 05:57 PM

Is USAir a reliable airline if youíre flying overseas and back? Iíve heard bad things but others are saying itís changed for the better?
Iím shopping for a decent airline and fare to Rome this spring. At the moment, USAir is one of the more attractive options in terms of price and availability. But I recall reading negative things about the airline, and Iím afraid Iíll be making a mistake by booking flights with them. Am I wrong? Right? What has been your experience with USAir of late?

Iregeo Feb 1st, 2008 06:05 PM

Recently flew US Air business class from Madrid to Philly, on United Miles as a Star Alliance Partner. The flight was on time and fine. Not as nice as Swiss was on the flight over, but nice nonetheless. What are the negatives you are concerned with?

tuscanlifeedit Feb 1st, 2008 06:09 PM

Fly them all the time to Europe. No better or worse than any other airline, although biz class is generally pretty nice on USAirways. PHL is an awful airport, so leave plenty of time if you have connecting flights.

StCirq Feb 1st, 2008 06:20 PM

Getting to Europe from the USA these days is a chore, basically, no matter which airline you choose.I can't think of one that is so much better than another that people are clamoring to fly it.

Go with the best airfare and best connections and just do the best you can with it.

dutyfree Feb 1st, 2008 06:22 PM

Where are you leaving from? Is nonstop from the US to Rome the main way you want to go?

wanderful Feb 1st, 2008 06:33 PM

I have to fly first from Albany, New York to a major U.S. airport before I can get a flight to Rome. The USAir flight I am considering flies out of the Philadelphia airport. Lately, Iíve flown out of Newark, which is terrible, but Iíve put up with it.

tuscanlifeedit, youíve said that PHL is an awful airport. Worse than most? What was the problem making connections? Boneheaded security? For that, you canít get much worse than Newark airport.

Any additional insight into USAIR or the Philly airport would be most welcome.

Iregeo Feb 1st, 2008 06:38 PM

Our luggage never made it on to our United connection out of Philly to LAX. I can't blame US Air, as they did offload the luggage to me so I could clear customs. When I went through security for our connecting flight, we relinquished our luggage to PHL personnel, but didnt see it till 24 hours after we arrived in LA. Don't know whether to blame the Philly airport or United.

2Italy Feb 1st, 2008 06:41 PM

We've flown USAir to Italy twice, to Rome in 2003 and to Milan in 2007, and didn't have a problem. It was pretty much like Delta or NW in my book. Left on time and arrived early both directions.

bob_brown Feb 1st, 2008 06:50 PM

We flew US Airways open jawed last year from Charlotte to Munich and from Glasgow to Charlotte. We got to Scotland via EasyJet from Geneva to Edinburgh.

There were no problems to speak of.

Getting through passport control in Philadelphia was better than it had been, but that is really not within US Airways control.

DinPa Feb 1st, 2008 07:07 PM

we fly out of Philadelphia as it is our home airport. Never had a problem going to Europe on US Air. The last 3 times we have upgraded to Business Class and everything was perfect. Of course we end in Philly without having to transfer, which I hear is where the problem can sometimes be. But, we have never had any problems.

rkkwan Feb 1st, 2008 07:10 PM

USAirways had a dismal record during summer of 2007. While PHL was a problem with air traffic control, it was no worse than EWR and JFK. Much of the problem was self-inflicted, including a too aggressive schedule with no/few spare aircrafts, and not enough spare parts for its widebody Trans-Atlantic fleet at PHL.

And many of its longhaul aircrafts have dated interior. Lots of reports about duct tapes all over the place, including its business class seats.

As a result, many flights during last summer was horribly late or cancelled. Its CEO at Tempe, AZ, actually had to come out and apologize for its track record.

Now, you're not going in the summer, and you're going in 2008 not 2007. So, you can take those into consideration and make your choices.

Sher Feb 1st, 2008 07:24 PM

We fly US Airways often and often out of PHL.

The problem with that airport and connecting flights is that their on time records are terrible. A great many of the flights flying into PHL arrive late. So connections can be a problem.

As tuscanlifeedit says, alow plenty of time for the connection.

Loisde Feb 1st, 2008 07:46 PM

My husband and I have flown USAirways from CLT to London 3 times in the past 4 years and have no complaints beyond what one would normally experience in coach class. We have always found flight attendants to be satisfactory and service to be entirely adequate. (How is that for faint praise!)

We usually wait to get to our destination for our exceptional travel experiences, though, and have no preconceived expectations of royal treatment on the flight, especially when we fly coach.

We, frankly, would rather endure an 8 hour flight in less than perfect conditions and spend our money at our destination, so we have never flown first class or even business class.

We choose USAirways for the gateway access (always direct flights from CLT to LGW) and cost. We are flying from CLT to LGW in September and then catching an Easyjet flight to Rome from there.

We have flown AA to London several years ago, and it was not bad in flight. The problem was flying in/out of Dallas/Fort Worth as the gateway. Dallas/Fort Worth airport, IMO, is crummy, but if you fly AA, it is impossible to avoid.

Perhaps I am not the person to respond to this question: I have very low expectations of airlines. I don't expect a gourmet meal, nor do I book my travel thinking that I will be pampered during the 8 hour flight from the east coast of the US to Europe.

I sit in my coach seat quietly, keeping my possessions and my elbows to myself, open my book and visualize my time abroad at my destination.

NEDSIRELAND Feb 2nd, 2008 05:33 AM

Part of US Airways' problem might be the staffing of PHL's new International Terminals - not just US Airways: TSA with a bunch of New hires marginally qualified/trained to screen baggage outbound and the Immigration/Agriculture/Customs you have to clear when you fly in.

I have flown US Airways PHL-MAD several times over the past 2-years and the 'ground' stuff seems to be getting better.

I live in Phila and prefer Newark and Continental airlines.

bfrac Feb 2nd, 2008 05:51 AM

PHL is my first choice of airport over BWI for flying to Europe (or anywhere else for that matter). I always fly US Air or a partner because of my miles and have never had any problems. We're lucky, I know. We flew home from Rome last year and all went smooothly, but we don't have to make a connection so I can't comment on that. I just use the general rule of allowing 2 hours between flights wherever I do have to make a connection. We used to have to wait a long time to pick up our bags but that seems to be improving.

The one time we flew Business class we used the lounge and it was very nice, much nicer than the one in Rome.

Thomarob Feb 2nd, 2008 06:52 AM

I had a good experience flying on USAir from Indianapolis to Milan and back from Rome to Indpls in October - both times with a connection in Philadelphia. Traveled with carry-on only so can't comment on baggage handling procedures there. Had several hours between flights both ways, and I thought the rocking chairs scattered throughout the airport were a nice, comfortable touch. Getting through customs no worse than anywhere else these days. My flight from Rome to Philly was late - but the problem was getting out of Rome rather than at Philly. Handy shuttle bus runs from the international terminal to connecting terminals. Wouldn't hestitate to fly through Phiily based on this experience, just leave plenty of time for connections.

calelderlaw Feb 2nd, 2008 07:01 AM

Only had one international flight, out of PHL into Frankfurt, no issues...domestically, this has got to a poster child for what ails American airlines...employees hate the management and each other after a merger that was and is a mess...CEO is the ultimate "What me worry?" manager...using them in and out of Phoenix and connecting is just awful...go out of your way to use another carrier domestically and avoid the rush at the bankruptcy court.

DinPa Feb 2nd, 2008 07:26 AM

We flew Soutwest in November to Florida because my wife won a free trip. It was the first time and the last! Can't stand not having an assigned seat and having to wait in their lines to board. Saw alot of people getting on board with "airline" wheelchairs, who then proceeded to walk to their seats. Oh, by the way, they didn't use the wheelchair to get off the plane! I have a daughter with MS who actually NEEDS a wheelchair at all times and I find this little trick VERY disturbing!

Carolina Feb 2nd, 2008 09:03 AM

The problems I have experienced have been due to excessive air traffic on the east coast. I fly frequently with both USAir and Continental and have had problems with delays and connections on both. I now allow more time than I used to for connections, never schedule something where I have to be there for the first day and "hope for the best". US Air does have good video entertainment, offer plenty of sort drinks and the staff on all my flights has been pleasant.

wanderful Feb 2nd, 2008 10:25 AM

Fellow Fodorites:

Thank you for your input. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

Iíve decide to opt for Continental over USAir and Newark over the Philadelphia airport when I fly to Rome this spring. Iíve done the Continental/Newark tango twice before and survived it. Iím wary of USAir/Philly.

Maybe Iíve made a wise decision. Maybe not.

But you just have to go ahead and hope for the best.

And, my God, Iíll be in Italy!

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