My family and I were travelling to Orlando via Philadelphia originating from Shannon on June 28th with US Airways. Flight from Shannon had a connection time of over 3 hours for the Orlando flight so no issues there. We were at the gate 3 hours before the sheduled flight which was around 6pm. There was an electrical storm around 4pm which lasted a few hours so after being told for a few hours that our flight would be delayed as our aircraft was in Atlanta then then told us at 8pm that our flight was cancelled due to a medical emergency on the scheduled aircraft. They gave out a customer services telephone number and told us to ring it. I wasn't too happy about spending £1.40 per minute on my UK registered mobile to speak to someone in the States and we could not get near the US airways customer services desk for the hordes of people.
We did find an information desk that let us use the telephone and the US Airways agent booked us on a flight to Washington DC which was scheduled to take off at 10 that night. She told us to find a hotel there which they claimed they would pay for and get a flight to Orlando the next morning which they had booked us on. So despite having no luggage for clothes toiletaries etc and not knowing any hotels in the DC area and having a 7 year old who had been up over 20 hours we had no real choice. They did say that we could wait 24 hours for the next Orlando flight from Philadelphia if we wanted but this would have been risky. The aircraft to DC didn't actually take off until after 12am as the air-con was faulty and we were roasted for around an hour on board before it was resolved. We managed with the help of a friendly local to find a hotel (Holiday Inn express in Alexandria Washington) only then to find after the taxi had dropped us off they had no record of a reservation - they were worse than useless. We ended up in a really grotty Days Inn for 4 hours then checked out and got a taxi back to the airport.
At the airport we were unable to find a boarding pass for our 7 year old and it turned out after chatting to a customer services agent that the person who had rescheduled our flights had booked him into first class on his own with the three remaining in economy!! As a result of all of this I lost one day on my holiday including theme park tickets, lodging and a days car rental my question is this what is the liability of US Airways considering that the flight originated in Europe and was booked as a single trip not as seperates?