Helping spread the word about this crap! US AIRWAYS BLOWS!!!! Below is copied from Jerri Manthey's Facebook Notes along with photos of the bag in question. Below is the letter she sent to US AIRWAYS. In my opinion, it appears that this airline has forgotten a little thing called customer service. I don't fly but if I did, I would not fly this airline!
MY NIGHTMARE ON US AIRWAYS: my letter to the airline
MY NIGHTMARE ON US AIRWAYS: my letter to the airline
To Whom It May Concern:
CHAPTER ONE: CONFUSED, ANGRY, VIOLATED
The time is 2:35 AM, Eastern Standard Time on March 4th, 2010. I have
been checked into a hotel near Charlotte airport in North Carolina and
am still processing the overwhelming feelings of anger and confusion. I
have gone over and over the horrifying scene in my head trying to
figure out why the flight attendant on my flight decided to single me
out, embarrass me in front of everyone and have me removed from the
My parents, who I just got off the phone with, are happy I am okay, but
are still trying to process the fact that I won't be coming home
tonight. They had been waiting at the airport at my final destination
in Huntsville, AL when I called.
I feel violated and harassed. Plain and simple.
CHAPTER TWO: MS. STASIO MAKES IT PERSONAL
It started the moment I set foot on the plane. As soon as I turned onto
the aisle to make my way to my seat, Ms. Patricia Stasio (badge
#JS237548, EMP#015973) stopped me and told me I couldn’t take my
carry-on with me and that I would have to leave it to be put underneath
the plane. Her reason had something to do with it having wheels (?). I
would like to point out that my carry-on is far below regulation size
and has NEVER been a problem on the many flights I have taken since I
bought it over a year ago – even planes that were much smaller than
this one. I explained to her that I’ve never had a problem and
reassured her it would fit perfectly underneath the seat in front of me
and I was more than willing to show her that it did. I also reiterated
what the voice over the intercom had said to all waiting to board, “All
carry on luggage must be no larger than the size of a briefcase.” She
immediately became argumentative and disagreeable.
I then explained that the contents were extremely valuable and that I
could not comfortably part with them. The contents were as follows: my
15” laptop computer, my digital Canon still camera, my Sony digital
video recorder, DV tapes from past events and vacations, my brand new
iPod and iPod speakers, jewelry I have purchased from all over the
world and my personal and business checkbooks and bills. Everything was
irreplaceable and priceless. I carry them with me at all times and
would never dream of checking them in let alone leaving them behind on
an airplane walkway.
I have checked with US Airways' online information regarding what is
allowed to be carried on with a passenger and found that regulation
states each passenger can carry on a small carry-on (up to 14” X 9” X
22”) plus one personal item. My carry on measures: 13” X 7.5” X 17”.
(Pictures are attached.)
Ms. Stasio then had me stand to the side in the “kitchen” while she
helped a woman with a very large piece of artwork onto the plane,
directing her to see the flight attendant at the back – Terrie Rohrer
(EMP#15719) – for assistance in finding a place to put this very large
piece of art (approx. 3 ft X 4ft) which she requested “lie flat
I stood and watched in dismay.
Then, I witnessed a man with a very large briefcase (with wheels),
carry his item past her with no issue. I tried to point out that my
piece of luggage was much smaller than his and she exclaimed in an
irritated and confrontational voice, “I’m helping another person right
now, you need to wait.”
The stream of people continued as I stood patiently off to the side in
the “kitchen” area. Ms. Stasio continued to ignore me as I watched many
more larger pieces of carry on baggage go by: a couple of very large
backpacks – compartments unzipped, expanded, filled to capacity and
more than three times the size of my carry on, and more briefcases -
much larger than my piece (MOST with wheels)! It should be noted that
all people who boarded took a moment to look over at me as if trying to
figure out why I would be standing by, wondering if maybe I had done
something wrong and was being punished in some way.
This was merely the BEGINNING of the embarrassment I was subjected to.
She finally decided to acknowledge me and made me talk to the pilot
(Capt. Charles Baker, BADGE#JS226556, PSA CLT). I explained to him the
situation and pointed out that even his briefcase was much bigger than
my piece. I then explained what was in it and why I couldn’t leave it
to be put under the plane. He then muttered something to me about
weight (which makes no sense whatsoever as my piece was well under 15
pounds – regulation states it can be up to 40!) and decided to call the
manager. I pleaded with him to let me take my bag on, and “the last
thing I wanted to do was cause any sort of problem.”
Ms. Stasio had taken my carry-on and placed it outside the plane while
my back was turned, so when I turned to get it, it was gone. I had a
moment of panic – someone took my bag when I wasn’t looking! Like I
said, the items in it are IRREPLACEABLE. I couldn’t believe Ms. Stasio
would just pick it up and move it without my consent – especially with
the information I had shared regarding it’s contents. I was in a state
of disbelief and sheer horror as I frantically asked where my bag was.
She informed me it was outside the plane on the walkway – tagged and
ready to go under the plane. At this point I was shaking and fighting
off tears. I felt bullied.
I found the piece around the corner of the walkway, dwarfed by the
group of larger roll on baggage outside the plane that had been checked
with yellow tags and left unattended to be placed under the plane. I
picked mine up and moved it back to where I could stand next to it
outside the plane door as I waited for the manager. Two more passengers
boarded - one with yet another large backpack that dwarfed my piece and
another briefcase that was bulging and unzipped with paperwork and a
laptop. Both men asked what was wrong. I told them that I wasn’t being
let on with my carry-on. They both looked at it and shook their heads
in disbelief as they compared it to theirs. “It’s so small” said the
man with the bulging and over stuffed briefcase.
It didn’t make any sense.
The manager arrived. I gave him the full story, he assessed the bag,
and went inside the plane to talk to Ms. Stasio. She was clearly angry
and making quite a fuss – an unwarranted reaction to the situation. It
was me who should be losing my cool. Not her!
Despite the fact that my blood was boiling, my heart was racing, I was
fighting off tears and trying to make sense of all the confusion, I was
still being one hundred percent cooperative. I even offered to show the
flight attendant and the manager that my bag would fit perfectly under
my seat. She refused to let me.
The manager seemed to get nowhere with Ms. Stasio and returned with a
couple of plastic bags and asked if I would remove the contents of my
bag into them. In a completely frustrated state, wanting nothing but to
get on the plane and get home to my family, I chose to fill my purse
with what I could fit in it and carry the rest by hand. At this point,
my purse was even larger and more difficult to handle than my original
bag and I was left with expensive electronics being carried by hand. My
carry on had been left behind completely empty except for a few power
cords and a magazine.
I muttered “this is ridiculous” on the way to my seat.
Everyone was staring at me. I was uncomfortable, embarrassed, and so
angry I had to fight back tears. I was confused, I felt harassed and
The plane was nowhere near full, many seats were empty and I approached
Ms. Rohrer to ask if I could sit in the first row of seats which were
unoccupied. She told me that “no one is allowed to sit in the front
seats”. I let out a breath of disgust, waited for the man in the aisle
seat to let me in and sat in my window seat, arms bulging with all my
personal belongings. The man next to me – Victor - asked if was okay. I
told him “I wasn’t allowed to bring on my small carry on… I’m sorry for
the mess and I’ll never fly US Airways again”.
I look up and see the manager coming back to my seat. “Now what?” I say
under my breath. He asked Victor to let him sit by me and in a very
quiet voice told me, “I am very sorry for any inconvenience you are
experiencing” and that I “should avoid any and all conversation with
Ms. Stasio. She clearly has something personal against you and I don’t
understand it myself”. I began to wonder who this woman was and how she
could single handedly control and instill an almost palpable state of
fear (?) in so many authority figures. I agreed to keep my true
feelings to myself. “I just want to get home to my family who I haven’t
seen in almost a year!” I stated. He apologized again and exited the
We pulled away from the gate and I sat staring out the window, trying
to fight off the tears that were forming in my eyes. I was already
embarrassed and humiliated enough as it was.
After I had taken a series of deep breaths and talked myself back into
a calm state of mind and my heart had returned to a normal pace, Ms.
Rohrer approached me and asked me if I was holding my laptop in my lap.
Being now unprotected, I had decided to hold onto it so that it
wouldn’t be jarred or damaged in any way. With all my belongings in
disarray and shoved under the seat in front of me there was then the
danger of everything sliding around during take off and I was trying to
keep everything together and safe. She insisted I place it under the
seat or stow it in the above head compartment. I somehow found room to
squeeze it under the seat even though I was far from comfortable doing
it. I was trying my best to comply to every ridiculous request being
thrown at me.
Then she looked at my jacket and insisted I stow that as well. I had a
short, waist length, bomber style cotton jacket which I was using as a
blanket because it was cold and blankets were not provided. She again
insisted that absolutely everything must be stowed under the seat or in
the above bins. “Why is this happening to me,” was all I could think in
my head. I have been flying my whole life (I’m 39 years old) and have
NEVER had anyone try to take my jacket from me.
At this point, everyone around me was aware of the situation at hand.
She continued to berate me about my jacket over and over until I
frustratingly handed it to her and exclaimed, “Fine! Take it!” I then
said under my breath, “Jesus Christ!”. She gasped in horror and threw
my coat back at me. “You just took the Lord’s name in vain. Hold onto
your jacket because you’re going need it when I have you removed from
this plane”, she stated as she stormed through the aisle of the moving
plane. I saw her approach Ms. Stasio with what I will describe as
“shear delight” to tell her what I had just said.
Next thing I knew, we were stopped on the tarmac, and the remaining
passengers on the plane were growing restless and upset. We sat for
almost 15 minutes. Suddenly, the door was opened and security, police
and the manager I had talked to earlier were approaching me. The entire
plane was now involved. People were shifting in their seats and staring
at me confusingly, trying to figure out what had happened that could
warrant the onslaught of security and law enforcement. There was a
sudden sense of danger and confusion onboard. Even I was wondering what
had happened. It all seemed way to intense to have been caused by the
combination of my carry on, my laptop, my jacket and saying Jesus’ name
The manager was apologizing profusely as he once again sat in the seat
next to me. “We’re going to escort you off the plane. I’m sorry this
has happened,” he said. Suddenly, Victor, who was in the seat next to
me and now standing in the aisle, was explaining to the manager that I
had done nothing wrong and that he was a witness. Then a man two rows
in front of me – Craig Stephens – came to my defense as well. “Can I
please speak to the pilot? The flight attendant is over-reacting and I
want to tell him she is way out of line. This woman has done nothing
and doesn’t deserve to by removed from the plane. This is ridiculous!”,
Another woman – I believe her name was Melissa was absolutely livid as
she explained that her grandmother was “literally on her deathbed
waiting for her to get to the hospital in Huntsville” and that if she
“got there to find her already dead, the airline would never hear the
end of it”. There was pandemonium, confusion and a slew of apologies
directed towards me from other passengers. They all wrote down their
names and numbers (included in this letter) and agreed to be my
witnesses to what had happened.
According to the manager, policy states that the pilot and flight
attendants have the last word and had spoken. I’d been voted off the
One small detail I haven’t shared is that I am a rather well-known
television personality from “Survivor.” People know who I am. Because
of this and the fact that everyone recognized me, I was even MORE
devastated and embarrassed than your average non-recognized person. I
was HUMILIATED. And for no reason whatsoever!
I got off the plane to find a group of people waiting for me as if I
were some sort of criminal or terrorist. Most of them had heard over
the radio that I was from “Survivor” and I felt as though they were
waiting to get a glimpse of me. Daniel Hewat – a very helpful young man
- retrieved my empty carry on and my checked bag from under the plane
and I was escorted back to the gate. The security and police as well as
the manager apologized again and stated that they were all going to
“file a complaint against the flight attendant for being way out of
line”. I was given a hotel voucher, rebooked on a flight for the next
morning and sent on my way.
I then had to call and explain to my extremely concerned mother why I
would not be coming home that night. She said that she also had
negative experiences on US Airways and swore sometime in the last year
she would never travel on the airline again. I was now in one hundred
percent agreeance with her.
I checked myself into the hotel and quickly found that there was no
food available. I hadn’t eaten all day because I was waiting to get
home to eat my mom’s home cooking. All that was available was a vending
machine and I had no cash.
I called my close friend, Heidi Blessing, who works for Continental
Airlines at the Las Vegas airport to get her take on my story.
Ironically, her job is to remove problem people off planes. After
telling her the exact story I am sharing with you now, she was
dumbfounded as to why I would be removed from the plane. She told me
that it is very common for people to take carry-ons that don’t fit but
that she at least gives them the opportunity to show her whether they
do or not. Sometimes she’s right and sometimes she’s wrong. To add
insult to injury she states that she has NEVER heard of anyone
insisting a jacket by stowed – especially in winter when coats provide
warmth in situations where blankets are not provided.
CHAPTER THREE: EXHAUSTED, BUT FINALLY HOME
It is now Thursday, March 4, 2010. I am safely home with my family just outside Huntsville, AL.
As suspected, my flight today went without a hitch. With the SAME EXACT
carry-on, I boarded my flight (FLT 3557) and arrived at Huntsville, AL
airport. No one questioned my carry-on, no one stopped me or gave me
any grief whatsoever. As previously stated, my carry-on fit perfectly
under the seat.
At this point, I am SICK TO MY STOMACH knowing that I have to fly US
Airways home back to Los Angeles on the 17th of March, but I am NEVER
going to fly US Airways again.
I am currently on television in the latest “Survivor” and therefore
scheduled to make a large number of appearances in numerous media
outlets. I have decided to make it my personal mission to share with
the world this horrifying and very personal story. My plan is to post
this story on the internet so that the literal thousands of people who
visit my website and my Facebook Fan Page can read it and know how US
Airways treats their customers. I also plan on telling this story to
all of the radio stations, newspapers, magazines and television talk
shows that I am scheduled to appear on in the upcoming months.
NO ONE should be treated the way I was treated. I did absolutely
NOTHING wrong! I was treated like a criminal, embarrassed, harassed and
In a time when flying has become a major inconvenience in general,
airlines should be going out of their way to make people who pay hard
earned money for their tickets feel comfortable, safe, and appreciated.
This has been the norm for many years of travel, but as of late,
customer service has clearly been compromised.
My personal recommendation would be to begin by FIRING flight
attendants who become power hungry, bitter, and apparently no longer
like their job. It was very clear to me that Ms. Patricia Stasio and
Ms. Terrie Rohrer were NOT happy with their job anymore. I believe they
are far too elderly and/or weary to perform their tasks at hand in a
professional, courteous, thoughtful manner. And they clearly did NOT
have my safety, comfort or convenience in mind.
It is apparent that flight attendants have been given far too much
power and are now abusing said power to manipulate and control those
around them. I understand with the recent terrorist threats that
certain choices must be made for the safety of all on board, but it is
very clear that Ms. Stasio and Ms. Rohrer have now begun overstepping
their boundaries and punishing passengers for their own personal as
well as religious issues.
I have included a list of the passengers who were seated around me who
willingly and eagerly gave me their names and numbers. They are all
free for comment and offered to discuss further what they witnessed.
I will also reiterate that the security, the police, as well as the
manager on duty that night said they were going to file a complaint
against Ms. Stasio for overstepping the boundaries of her job.
Hopefully, they followed through and you can now add their information
to my case as well.