I hate to disappoint Richard Rothaus, but it was an uneventful trip to Cyprus this year, compared to other flights I have had. I have had some……unusual luck in flying ? Let's see – I was rerouted due to a strike, forced to land due to a bomb threat, pilot could not see the runway because of fog and was rerouted, etc. – the usual things. Anyway, the flight was fairly uneventful. I do have a few thoughts. First, I am always amazed at how small the world is. As I was sitting in my seat for my Philadelphia to Athens leg, my friend and fellow archaeologist Michael Toumazou comes walking down the aisle and sits down in my row two seats over. Mike directs the Athienou Archaeological Project which is about 20 kilometers down the road from us at PKAP and he and the rest of the Athienou staff have always been very friendly and helpful to us.
Two, I was less than impressed with my first Trans-Atlantic US Air flight for several reasons. While the staff, attendants, and pilot were all very nice and appeared to be highly qualified, I was disappointed in the low budget approach to everything (food, baggage, seats) especially since their cost for the flight was not appreciably lower than other airlines. For example, there was one medium-sized video screen and two iPad-sized screens in my cabin area and I was 8 rows away from the medium-sized screen, and it was blocked by a person's head anyway. I was expecting the video screen in the headrest of the seat in front of me, like I have had on British Air, Air Canada, Lufthansa flights – and was very surprised not to have this on a 10 hour flight, it felt like a flight from the late 80s. Fortunately, I had loaded several movies on my iPad and could watch those instead of about 1/3 of a screen from about 25 feet away.
The main reason I was unhappy was that I had a lot of luggage this year and was concerned about the excess baggage charges. One reader helpfully suggested that I contact US Air's customer service department and explain the situation since they make exceptions for certain items, like many types of sporting goods equipment. I emailed US Air last Wednesday explaining my situation and received an automated reply saying that usually get to these emails in 2-3 business days. I finally received a reply that was sent the night after I started traveling that morning saying:
- “Dear Dr. Moore, Thank you for contacting US Airways. We apologize that your email was not processed in a timely manner so that we could answer your request prior to your departure. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us …..”
I suppose that is an effective way to handle inquiries to customer service about upcoming flights.