Separated at Birth: US Airways and Dominican Republic Tourism

Jenn and I left last Saturday for the Dominican Republic to celebrate her 40th birthday with close friends. Friday marked the end of our vacation and, unfortunately, the beginning of a 36-hour ordeal at the hands of two organizations which, despite their chosen industries, have yet to grasp even the most rudimentary aspects of customer relations.

I was going to blog more on the incomprehensible public relations incompetence of both US Airways and those responsible for managing the Dominican Republic’s tourism image, but think the story (and comment thread) running on Consumerist and the accompanying video from CBS’s Philadelphia affiliate KYW-TV (which lead Friday’s 11 o’clock newscast and re-ran on Saturday) speak volumes:

U.S. Airways Boots 274 Stranded Passengers From Caribbean Airport, Refuses To Pay For Hotels

US Airways continues to set a shining example of why the airline industry is in complete shambles. Its quickening demise isn’t the result of economics, it’s the result of complete disregard for its customers. If US Airways was a yellow labrador retriever, Pa would’ve had us put it out of its misery behind the shed a long time ago.

And despite the best efforts by travel agents, incidents like this — along with a very public and apparently very real theft problem — will make the Dominican Republic a less-than-desirable vacation destination for many travelers.

Both US Airways and the Dominican Republic lost customers this weekend. Customers they will not get back.

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