Growing pains continue for US Airways

When America West merged with US Airways, one theory suggested the move would improve US Airways' customer service and overall performance because America West, a successful airline, would help "fix" US Airways.

So far that's not really working out.

US Airways is still struggling to improve its customer service more than a year after we last checked in on the airline. The Arizona Republic notes that the one-two punch of March's ice storm and a changeover from two reservation systems (US Airways and America West) to one led to multiple delays, kiosk shut-downs, long lines at the check-in counter, and even cancellations. In the face of mounting criticism, the carrier vows it will take steps to improve its customer service.

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These delays and cancellations have already cut into the carrier's first-quarter profits, and the airline is taking immediate action to rectify the situation and avoid consecutive losses. US Airways has made promises to lure back customers with improvements such as hiring 30 temporary customer service reps to address long-standing complaints, working to reduce baggage issues and delays at its Philadelphia hub, and fixing some neglected computer bugs.

The glass-half-full set can certainly choose to be optimistic about these steps, although I suspect the pessimists out there may have the more compelling case.

So, will any of this work? We probably won't know until the next Nor'easter comes along.

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