After landing in Baltimore at 0115 this morning, I curled up in a quiet spot in the airport for a few hours before my 0600 departure to PHL on the obscenely expensive 90-mile BWI-PHL flight.
As I walked over to the deserted US Express gates, two rats scurrying around D36 greeted me. Lovely. I managed to fall asleep quickly, but was awakened an hour later by the cleaning crew, loudly discussing the Baltimore Ravens and how hot Beyonce was. For good measure, every other word was a vulgar one and they somehow deemed it fitting to take a break and have their conversation just a few paces from where I was trying to sleep.
But all was not lost: at 0530 a US Airways representative stated that he would be needing one volunteer to take a later flight to PHL and was offering a $450 voucher. Score! Or not…
I agreed to give up my seat and he thanked me, told me to have a seat, and that he would process the VDB after he got the flight out.
About ten minutes later he received a phone call informing him that the FA’s seat was broken on the CRJ and an additional volunteer would be needed. He made several announcements pleading for one more volunteer, then in exasperation stated that the last one to board would be his second volunteer.
It turned out two confirmed passengers ticketed on the flight did not have a seat assigned: one woman traveling to Kansas City and another woman traveling with her husband to Las Vegas (her husband did have a seat assignment). After everyone had boarded, I was left standing with the husband and wife as well as the gate agent and the woman ticketed to Kansas City.
The Kansas City passenger appeared interested in volunteering, but ultimately refused when the gate agent could not promise her when he would get her to her destination. She began to wail and belligerently declared that she had a confirmed seat. Taking pity, the agent assigned her a seat and she boarded.
This left me and the couple bound for Las Vegas with one seat left. Rather than following the explicit US Airways policy of “If a flight is oversold, no one may be denied boarding against his or her will until a US Airways representative first asks for volunteers who will give up their reservation willingly, in exchange for a payment of US Airways’ choosing,” I was asked to board as the gate agent instructed his co-worker that the couple would both be involuntarily denied boarding.
Why not IBD the Kansas City lady rather than IDBing two passengers?!
The gate agent did not appear to be an unreasonable guy and I did not have US Airways’ VDB guidelines in front of me so I decided not to escalate the situation. I have, however, already written a letter to US Airways and will mail it tomorrow. I am asking US Airways for the $450 voucher promised to me.
Am I being unreasonable?