Originally created 06/29/01

Panel asks for gripes on flying



Had a bad flight? The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce wants to hear from you.

On Thursday, the chamber announced it would begin documenting complaints from residents flying to and from Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field.

Chamber officials, in an attempt to improve service and air fares, said they plan to share the complaints with executives of Augusta's three carriers, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, US Airways Express and Comair.

"There's a lot of anecdotal information about poor service, but nobody is documenting it," chamber President Jim West said.

Mr. West said he wants the chamber to act as a data-compiling clearinghouse for the city's Air Service Task Force, which would share the data with the airlines and Augusta Regional Airport administrators on a regular basis.

He said customer service complaints appear to focus on flight delays and cancellations, particularly with Atlanta-to-Augusta flights.

"We're talking about people who are there for the last flight and nobody at the ticket gate knows where the plane is," he said.

Mr. West said he wants the organization to focus on current complaints, but he said gripes from the past few months will also be documented.

Local travelers should provide the chamber with complete descriptions of problems and should include their name, their flight and the day and time the incident occurred. They should also include a daytime phone number.

Complaints may be sent to the chamber by mail at Air Service, Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 1837, Augusta, GA 30901-1837. Complaints may be e-mailed to info@augustagausa.com or sent by fax to (706) 821-1330.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or bized@augustachronicle.com.