What to do after your flight gets canceled

My weekend sucked. On Friday, I was suppose to fly out to Pittsburgh to visit my girlfriend, but my flight was inexplicably canceled. Well, Continental did offer a reason–Newark was too windy to take-off. But the funny thing was US Airways had a flight that departed 50 minutes later, with no problems.

Isn’t that wind fickle, I tell you. I should probably kick myself, considering my long-time policy to actively avoid flying on US Airways. As my girlfriends says, there honestly should be a rule that if US Airways flies, then everyone else should be forced to. I would call it the “bare-bottoms rule.”

I did invoke Rule 240 at the ticket counter, which I wrote about a couple weeks ago–this little-known rule requires the major carriers to put you on another airline’s flight, at no charge. But aside from this small victory, which got me nowhere because the US Airways flight was already booked full, I’m out over $100 for my troubles getting to and from the airport.

I did get a refund of the ticket, but I still feel miffed. What are my options? An executive e-mail bomb may be in order, but first, I’m going to try the “senior” customer service line. Last time I did that with US Airways, they gave me a $250 voucher on top of my flight refund.