Non-political spleen vent ahead...continue reading at your own risk... :)
...Ride to the airport via Supershuttle: $20 (Good price because I live close to Sky Harbor)
...Flight to New York for father's funeral service: $450 (Decent price. Doesn't make up for the reason for the trip, but you find the silver linings where you can...)
...Departing Phoenix one hour late because a flight attendant missed the van ride from the hotel (bad), arriving in Philly just after my connection to Albany had taken off (really bad), getting booked on the next flight to Albany without any hassles (actually getting better), and then arriving in Albany only to find out that my luggage had never left Philly:
I'm never flying on U.S. Airways again. Let me be clear - all of the rank-and-file airline personnel that I dealt with today were uniformly polite and friendly (though that tardy flight attendant is *not* on my Christmas card list :) ), but US Air has a bad reputation for things like lateness and lost luggage and it lived right down to that reputation. I ignored it this time because the flight worked for me (not a red-eye, but the original itinerary had me getting into Albany at a decent hour), but I won't repeat that mistake.
They have systemic issues that are rooted in a management culture that sacrifices customers and employees on the altar of higher profits and executive bonuses.
So to sum up -
Ahhhh...I feel better now. Time to go over to US Air's lost luggage website to give them the address to deliver the bag to later today...otherwise, I am going to be woefully underdressed at the service.
Edit on 1/6: A number of typos have been corrected without notation to maintain readability. I should know better than to write while I'm both utterly ticked off and exhausted. :(