US Airways Says Passengers Can Expect Further Delays

Sunday, March 4th 2007, 3:15 pm
By: News On 6

PHOENIX (AP) _ At least 20 US Airways employees flew from Phoenix to Charlotte, N.C. to help passengers check in for their flights Monday because of malfunctioning check-in kiosks, a company spokeswoman said.

The Tempe-based airline expects passengers in Charlotte, Philadelphia, Boston and Las Vegas to continue to experience problems if they plan to check in at automated kiosks on Monday, airline spokeswoman Elise Eberwein said.

Problems with the kiosks began Sunday after the airline put a computerized reservation system in place, delaying some passengers for at least an hour and a half in Las Vegas and Charlotte, the airline's largest hub.

The system is a consolidation of the reservation systems of US Airways and America West Airlines, which combined in 2005.

``In a conversion of this type, there are so many different platforms, and systems that talk to others systems that talk to other systems,'' Eberwein said.

She said the airline and a technology company were working to figure out why the airport kiosks weren't working in select cities, and said the problem hadn't been fixed by Sunday night.

So far, she said Charlotte, Philadelphia, Boston and Las Vegas were the only cities experiencing problems.

The airline sent extra staff to the cities on Sunday so they could help customers who experience problems checking in on Monday.

Eberwein said passengers should check in for their flights online so they can avoid possible lines on Monday. The online check-in option was shut down for most of the weekend because of the system consolidation.

The Charlotte Observer reported that thousands of US Airways passengers suffered through long delays Sunday at Charlotte-Douglas airport and others. Some passengers said they had not been able to speak to a ticket agent after waiting more than two hours, the newspaper reported.

The lines, which still lasted through Sunday morning, happened because passengers were forced to wait for ticket counter agents to issue their boarding passes, the airline said.

``The team has been working 18 months to prepare for this,'' Eberwein said. ``We will work 24 hours a day until they get this thing done.''