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My name is Scott and I like to travel. There I said it, wow that does feel better. There is probably a program for my affliction somewhere. I am what I would consider a Normal Guy. I am a native Arizonan, sometimes we are called “Zonies”. I am in my mid 40′s and enjoy a great life. I am self employed and have a wonderful daughter and Partner. Although I would say my life is a fairly normal one, I am also quite lucky in that I have the ability to travel and enjoy the world, I enjoy learning about other cultures and experiencing the world around us. I want to be right upfront about the type of travel I enjoy and the type I don’t. You will probably not ever read a story of about me backpacking my way through the serengeti during the height of summer, nor will you probably read any stories of me sleeping in the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton in Paris. I am not a budget traveler, nor am I an uber luxury traveler, I fall somewhere in the middle, where most people fall I believe. I started this blog for the sole purpose of sharing my stories, my views and my excitement for traveling around this world with my friends, family. However it doesn’t stop there for me, I also wanted to make friends with others around the world, those who travel and those who dream of travel. Blogs and Websites evolve over time, mine will no doubt expand over time as well please come back and see what has taken place. However if you have come to my blog to schedule a flight or a hotel, this is not the place.

Persistence does pay off

I am not always the most patient traveler when it comes to incompetence, with that being said, I am speaking directly about the whole maze that I have had to run through with U.S. Airways trying to get an upgrade on our outbound flight to Madrid, Spain.  I am a very loyal U.S. Airways Customer, so much so I have achieved their highest level in their frequent flyer’s program, Chairman.  On an annual basis, providing I maintain that level through travel, I am awarded VIP Certificates for an upgrade when traveling internationally, essentially they have already approved my upgrade through this award.  When I originally booked these flights, I was immediately upgraded to Business/Envoy on the returning leg due to these VIP Certificates.  However they were unable to upgrade me on the outgoing leg, which seriously did not make sense to me what so ever.  If you can upgrade the return trip, why can’t you upgrade the outbound?

Well to make money of course.  It seems this is a new route from Charlotte to Madrid for U.S. Airways, so I was ok with that, I was told to call back from time to time to see if they have released any seats.  With my VIP upgrades in my file with the airline, I just wanted to use one of those, they have in essence already granted me the upgrades, they just had to apply them to this flight.

I called back, no deal, I called back, no deal, I called back, no deal, you get the picture.  31 days before the flight, I was told that they had 8 seats available, but hadn’t released them yet, however I had reached a very helpful Customer Service Rep., we spent 35 minutes on the phone and yet, still no deal.  She told me “because it is more than 30 days before the flight they can’t do anything, please call back”.  About 2 weeks before departure, I called and was told they had 8 seats, but they still wouldn’t clear me for two of them, please call back again.  1 week to go, call back, now NO seats available, sold out.  I decided to go online and try to buys seats and see if they really were sold out, and sure enough; yes there were.  So I thought.  3 days to go, I called back, now there is 1 seat available, they can give it me if I like, but I declined as there are two of us flying, that wouldn’t be very nice of me to take the seat while my partner is stuck in coach, I did think about it though.  Ok, I guess I should just forget about an upgrade.  Our flight consists of a leg from Phoenix to Charlotte, then the second leg which is Charlotte to Madrid.  Our first leg takes off and all is fine.

We arrive at the Charlotte airport, ask the ticket agent if any upgrades are available, I am told that seats are available, however “we can’t upgrade you unless you pay for them, they are $600 each”, I explain that I have VIP certificates, sorry still have to pay for them.  My Partner encouraged me to call my U.S. Airways concierge, with 10 minutes to go before boarding.  Finally someone was helpful.  As it turns out there were 7 seats available and they could have upgraded me a month ago.  It took a whole 10 minutes on the phone while they were boarding and the upgrades were done.  It only took 4 months to get this done, in what was essentially a 10 minute phone call.  It did not cost U.S. Airways anything as they had already granted me the upgrades, they simply wouldn’t apply them to this flight.  What concerns me even more is that at one point they clearly didn’t even know how many seats they had available, first it was 8, then 3, then none, then 7.

So many times in life we feel like mice being run through a maze, this was no different.  Why make it so difficult US Airways?  If any of you out there work for U.S. Airways, please feel free to let me know why this has to happen this way.  Knowing they had additional seats, I tried to get my two other friends upgraded, but the airline wouldn’t have anything to do with it.  So 5 seats went unused.  It is a crazy process and one that simply doesn’t make sense, oh I get that they want to sell them, but at some point, no one is going to buy those seats, at $7900, especially a week or less before the flight.

The point of this story, is to keep running through the maze and you may just find the cheese at the exit, keeping your calm and being persistent can surely pay off in the end.

Happy Travels

http://www.travelwithscott.com

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