US Airways Flight 414 from Cancun to Phoenix……Stuck in Mexico

So my boyfriend and I,  decided to take a trip south of the border from Phoenix to Cancun for a relaxing trip on the Caribbean.   The trip was amazing, minus the flights!  We stayed at an all inclusive 5 star resort called The Beloved………no complaints my amigos!  It was 1st class all the way…..the beach was beautiful, the staff was amazing, the food yummy and the service outstanding.  I would highly recommend it!

But!  There is always a BUT or as I would like to say “It was a Bunch of Mullarkey”!  Well, our flights to and from the US on American Airlines/US Airways was nothing BUT a Bunch of Mullarkey!   It began with our flight to Mexico…….folks are fired up, ready for vacation and they ran out of Dos Equis……..we only drank 2 and pretty sure the rest of the flight was not partaking.   Despite being thirsty and ready for vacation, this flight was on time and we made it safe and sound.

Ahhhhhhhh, but the flight back!  We were due to fly out on Sunday August 23rd at 8:30 am on US Airways flight 414.  It was not fun getting up at 4 am but knowing that we were supposed to be home in Phoenix before noon was the motivator.   Both of us had to be at work at 6 am on Monday so a good night sleep at home was key!  Not to mention I run my own personal training business and I don’t get paid unless I am at work…….no vacation time when you are self employed.

We were half asleep, boarded our shuttle, arrived at the airport only to stand in a line for 1.5 hours.  Once we made it through security we were told that our flight was on time.  We boarded our plane as usual only to sit on the plane for almost 2 hours before we were told to exit the plane for about an hour while they dealt with maintenance issues.   Not to mention while on the plane we were told they were only going to shut the AC off for about 5 minutes so they can try and restart the electrical system. Now approaching 10 minutes of no AC and sweating in the Cancun humidity, the power was turned back on only for us to be told the plane has mechanical issues and we are going to be dropped back off into the airport for about an hour so they can fix it.  Thank you for making us sweat it out when we could have been waiting in the airport.

Once in the airport, we had to stand in a line for another 1.5 hours only to be told that our flight was cancelled and being the class act airline they are, are going to put us up in a hotel with transportation included.   You can only imagine the reaction customers had considering it was now 11:30 am.  As we kept our cool feeling very fortunate we were at least safe on the ground, knowing Mullarkey happens, we continued to stand in a line for another hour only to be told our flight was cancelled.  Uggh:(  Now what?

Well, we were told to stay in line so they could give us our immigration cards back, then they were going to walk all of us back through customs and get us transportation to the hotel.  Another hour of being shuffled through lines like cattle……mooooooo, we finally boarded vans to our hotel.  I have to say I was very excited to hear that we were staying at The Westin, only to be even more disappointed that it probably was a nice hotel back in 1970.  If anyone from the Westin is reading……probably time to do an upgrade or take your name off of it:)

Now it gets real fun, call the number provided from your hotel and you will be told what your flight will be the next day.  Hmmmmmm, that would be great but our phone wouldn’t let us dial out.  Time to go to the lobby so we could make a phone call and also so I could log on to the internet to tell my clients I won’t be at work tomorrow……..yes the WIFI did not work either.  I think I need to take a moment to breathe while typing cuz I’m kind of getting pissed off now.

OK, much better now:)  We are now told after being on hold for 30 minutes that the only option is to fly out Tuesday, through Philly then back to Phoenix.  Yes it is definitely a bunch of Mullarkey at this point!  Are you $#@%&* kidding me????????  Fine whatever, just get us home.  And by the way, we will find another hotel to stay in because this place sucks!!!!!!!

And the fun continues…….we then get a call at 11 pm in our room telling us to be in the lobby at 9:30 am because we are going to be on a 12:45 flight on Monday August 24th.  Awesome!!!!!  We couldn’t wait to check out of our 1970’s paradise and get this show on the road.  All the passengers from our original flight (I think I will call them Team 414) migrated back to the lobby in the am and we were shuffled off in vans to the airport with the hopes of going home.  By the way I am out a good chunk of change missing one of my busiest work days in the gym, not to mention inconveniencing Team “No Mullarkey”:(

It was like groundhog day……back in a line for another hour only to be told that we had to fly from Cancun-Philly-Phoenix.  Awesome……coast to coast……I think not!  I finally asked our adorable clerk (Yaira Chavez) if there was a way for us to fly directly to Phoenix and she made it happen.  Thank you my Mexican friend you made our day!

Happy that we had a boarding pass for flight 9011 direct to Phoenix we made our way to Margaritaville because yes, we needed one!  Thank you Jimmy Buffett for having a restaurant in Cancun airport!  I have been a fan since I was 12 and still am at 39…….once a Parrothead always a Parrothead!

Hanging at Margaritaville, excited to finally be getting on the road again, the flight is delayed!  Shocking at this point…..NOT!  OK no worries we got this!  Positive attitudes and little help from Margaritaville we are on way to our gate.  We board only to find this flight is not even full……..again a Bunch of Mullarkey!!!!!!  WOW, we were going to be redirected to Philly then Phoenix when they knew that we resided in Phoenix and that the flight was NOT full.  OK no worries just glad we are on it.

Well, we boarded at 12:30 pm and it is now 2:38 pm…………need I say anymore????????  Yes my fellow peeps on the plane have already passed around an email list so y’all are probably going to hear about this.  I am all about keeping the peace and knowing that being angry isn’t going to get us anywhere but we are all a bit done at this point.   The captain said we are waiting for the fax to go through before we can leave Cancun.  Why wasn’t this done before they sat us on a plane for 2 hours?

Now a storm has moved in so our fingers are crossed that we make it out of here.  Oh and by the way, they told us the supplies are limited and they are going to give us what they have.  I hope there is enough water to keep us hydrated…….not sure how much longer we will be on this plane????????  I feel really bad for the folks with small children, I’m sure it’s not fun for them:(

Next time I’m flying Southwest……..always on time and always a smile on their faces!  Wish I would have realized when booking our trip that they do fly to Cancun.

Oh but wait…..the fun continues!!!!!!!  Our captain just came on at 3:00 pm to tell us the bad news:(  The repairs they did to the plane…..yes this is the same plane that broke down yesterday……..did not work.  The reaction from the passengers including myself, laughter!  Yes nothing shocks us at this point.  Now the waiting game…….I refuse to stay at the Westin…….book me a cabana on the beach!  It is now 3:30 and we are still on the plane waiting for buses.  I am almost 100% positive I will have to cancel another day at work, again with no pay!

I had to take a break from writing because at 4 PM we were picked up in a bus and dropped off at customs.  Oooooops, nice work bus driver!  We were supposed to be dropped off at the gate so we could get our immigration cards because customs will not let us through without them.  Now half our flight is split up, the 1st bus went to the gate and our bus to customs.  At this point you can imagine everyones attitude.  I, at one point, thought there might be a riot at customs because they would not let us leave the building or we would be arrested.  By law we could not leave without our papers.  We were then told to wait in another line until they could get the documents down to us.  Finally, at 5:15 we were given our immigration cards and were allowed to exit customs.  I really thought I was going to lose it and go postal, but we all kept our cool.

Now for the next bit of fun, let’s all get back in a ticket line and get another flight.  Well, as you can imagine there are no flights to Phoenix for the rest of the day or anywhere in the states.  It was hilarious as they tried to give a card again with a number for us to call once we got back to our hotels.  Well, this wasn’t our 1st rodeo so we said that we would wait in line and get our flights booked now.

Once we got to the ticket counter the clerk advised us that the airline was going to bring down an emergency plane to take us all to our original destination of Phoenix, but we would have to spend another night.  Considering we had been trying to leave for 2 days we said great, got our ticket info for Wednesday August 25th on flight 9011.  It now being the end of our 2nd day stuck at the airport we finally left the airport at 6:30 pm and headed back to The Westin, our 1970’s paradise.  Reluctant to get back to the hotel, we were happy to be leaving the airport after an 8.5 hour day of being shuffled around.  The heck with our free horrible buffet food at The Westin, we are going out for a nice dinner!

Steve and I both had a funny feeling the next morning, so we decided to check out early and go ahead and go to the airport so we could get our boarding passes printed (you can’t print your boarding passes from your hotel).  Our flight wasn’t due to leave until 2 pm , but we arrived at the airport at 9:45 am to be on the safe side.   Guess what?  We found ourselves back in another line, hello groundhog day!!!!!!  Only to be told that our flight had been cancelled, they never brought another plane down here due to mechanical issues.  Does this airline have any safe planes?  Ok fine, let’s see what they have.  Our choices, fly to Philly then Phoenix or Charlotte then Phoenix.  At this point we did not care, we just wanted to get north of the border.  We decided to take the 11:50 pm flight on US Airways from Cancun to Philly.  They promised us Business class on that flight, but they couldn’t find us seats together on the next leg of the trip from Philly to Phoenix.  The upgrade to Business class was the best they could do for us spending 3 days in the airport while missing 2 days of work?  What was really funny though, was the fact they were giving out $800 vouchers to folks who were willing to leave the next day.  OK that makes sense!  We have been inconvenienced for 3 days and they get money to go play another day in Cancun……..ahhhh it’s the US Airways/American way!  Whatever, please give us our boarding passes so we don’t miss our flight.

We barely make it to our flight but are happy to be boarding and heading back to America.  Much to our surprise we were actually in First Class, it pays to keep your cool and to not get mad at the messenger.  Thank you to the gal who helped us, it is mucho appreciated.  Wheels up and off to Philly.

We arrive in Philly, make our way through customs and board the next leg of our trip on flight 1881 to Phoenix.  We were told this 4 hour 20 minute flight was full, but much to our surprise it was empty.  Hmmmmmm, that’s interesting because we were told there weren’t even 2 seats together for Steve and I to sit next to one another.  Happy to be in the air on our final stretch of our 11 hour day:)  We will be landing in Phoenix at 8:27 pm if the monsoon storm has passed.  Fingers crossed that we land safe and sound and can get our butts to work tomorrow bright and early at 6 am.

I just thought I would share our ordeal because we were really treated unfairly and there are another 160 passengers who agree.  I felt bad for the man who has cancer and missed his chemo treatment, the families with small children, the woman who had to fly back alone so she could make her surgery on Wednesday while her husband had to stay another night in Cancun.

The real kicker is when I emailed my complaint to US Airways/American Airlines, they responded with a formal letter explaining that they are sorry for the issues and that they would credit me an additional 10,000 customer service bonus miles on my American Airlines Rewards.  Customer service?  Hmmmmm, I know that’s not how I handle customer service with my clients.  Running a good business is not rocket science, treat others as you would like to be treated.  Hopefully after seeing this on social media and the 160 other complaints that they will reconsider and compensate us rightfully for our time spent being shuffled around like cattle…….MOOOOO!  It is the right thing to do considering we paid good money to be disrespected.

I will say, the employees of your company did go out of their way to try and help us.  From the folks at ticketing to the flight attendants, we are much appreciative of your hard work.  I know they are the only reason we kept from losing our cool during this 3 day ordeal.

Here’s to the end of the Mullarkey and hopefully a night spent at home.  We are praying to the monsoon Gods that the dust storm passes before we arrive tonight.

Steve-and-I-after-an-8-hour-plane-trip-home

Comments 2

  1. Holy cow, I will never fly US Airways or American after hearing this. United is off my list as well. I’ve always been a big fan of Southwest and fly them whenever I can.

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