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Stranded In Georgia - You Won't Believe It
Posted by Blchops on 05/16/2008
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- May 15, 2008 - We were to fly from Ft. Meyers to Atlanta to connect to Phila. We left Ft. Myers at 5:5PM and were told we would be at the gate before our scheduled 7:40PM arrival time. At 8:00PM we were still circling Atlanta. We had to divert to Columbus, GA as were were running out of fuel. We got to Columbus. No fuel available. We sat in the plane until 10:00PM (2 hours)waiting for a fuel truck. We were fueled by 10:30. We were then told the plane had a mechanical problem and we could not get back to Atlanta. They secured 3 buses from ALABAMA to take us to Atlanta. The buses arrived after midnight. Atlanta is 95 miles away. 40 miles into the bus trip, the bus broke down. We waited on the side of the road in Georgia at 2:00 AM for a replacement bus. The bus showed up at 3:00 AM. We were told an "official" from AIR TRAN would meet us upon our arrival. We got to the airport at 4:00 AM. NO ONE from AIR TRAN was there to meet us. We found the ticket counter. The ticket reps were amazingly rude and inconsiderate. We waited 4 more hours in the airport for a connecting flight to Philadelphia. We were told our luggage from the canceled flight would be sent to the new flight.

We touched down 45 minutes late in Philadelphia(14 hours after the original flight was to arrive). To no one surprise, the luggage did not arrive. AIR TRAN does not have a luggage tracking system, so they could not tell me where my bag was but promised it would arrive today. Today is just about over, still no bags.

AIR TRAN never offered us food, water, or any type of apology for their behavior and incredibly poor decision making. More to follow as this saga continues to unfold.

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Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2008-05-16:
I suspect we are going to hear more of these stories about all the airlines. I just read the other day where the airlines are fueling aircraft to the FAA minimum requirement in order to reduce weight and therefore improve fuel burn.

Where you used to be able to circle for an hour or so, now it's down to a portion of that - then you will have to divert to an alternate airport.

I wonder how many more gallons of Jet A in the tanks would have prevented this problem and the expenses they incurred (not to mention 100+ very unhappy customers)?
Posted by Ben There on 2008-05-16:
I am guessing since you had to divert that weather caused the initial problem?
Posted by wgaguy1984 on 2008-05-16:
Well, the diversion to Columbus, presumably for weather, and unavailability of fuel, since they don't normally operate there, is really beyond their control. Even if the plane hadn't malfunctioned, you probably still would have been stranded in Atlanta overnight, with no hotel room provided by the airline. Granted the mechanical delay, and everything from that point forward with the buses was their fault. You definitely deserve comp though. I can't believe they didn't offer you a meal voucher for ATL, at least you could have gotten breakfast.

I don't know what it is about ATL but I think the employees for every airline there are rude.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2008-05-16:
What type of airplane was this?
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2008-05-17:
Ejack - I believe they use the B717 for that route.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2008-05-17:
I'd still fight them about this one...paying for a flight, missing the connection, ending up taking a bus...and they still expected you to actually pay for an airline ticket? Not Basher...no way...no how...and how were they able to promise you that your luggage would arrive that day, when they couldn't even tell you where they were?????? There'd be heads rolling if I were on that flight/bus/flight.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-17:
What a nightmare. I think I would have rented a car and took off on my own after the fuel mishap.
Posted by Ben There on 2008-05-17:
This all sounds like a chain of unfortunate and uncontrollable events. Air Tran can't control the weather, and really had no choice but to divert.

As for the mechanical, it could have been something common and easy to fix (I have been on a delayed flight because an FAA required light bulb was burned out). However, not being in a city that they normally fly to, they did not have any mechanics or parts at their disposal.

As for the buses coming from Alabama, I am sure that was the closest buses they could find considering it was 8pm and they were probably not the only airline looking for buses. I am sure they had to pay for them and the drivers to travel empty from Alabama to Columbus, so if there would have been a closer bus company they would have booked that instead.

As for the bus breaking down... once again, out of their control.

The rude agents and lost luggage or unfortunate, but predictable. Obviously your luggage would not be on the flight to Philly, as it was sitting on a broken plane in another state.

I bet you will get a voucher for a free flight, or dollars of the next trip.
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OK Service 4 Me
Posted by FrigidaireHater on 06/12/2006
I've been reading the horrors people have experienced with Air-Tran. Since I have flown with this airline for several years out of Baltimore, and now out of Tampa, I just wanted to add my $.03 by saying I've never had a bad flight or rude/obnoxious encounter with them. CS dept experiences have always been pleasant, thankfully.

As for leg room, well... Air-Tran has always been known as an "economical" airline, and I find that issue to be standard among the others in it's class. Backing up a sec... not so economical now for sure. I flew RT last week from Tampa to Baltimore and purchased my ticket at least 2 months ago with Southwest, b/c AirTran was wayyyyy too much $$$.

Anyway, generally, I've enjoyed flying with AirTran, and as long as their fares are the best I can find, I'll continue to use them.
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Posted by Sparticus on 2006-06-12:
My parents fly AirTran all the time and don't have any complaints. I would use them more if they flew out of my area more. I think they are a smaller airline. Maybe this is why they can give better service.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-06-12:
I gave up Delta for AirTran several years ago and have never regreted it. Their service is excellent and with all new B717 and B737 planes with XM radio, their product is as good as any airline out there.
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Prepare for hidden charge for seat selection
Posted by Tampa Flyer on 10/24/2009
After completing and paying for my non-refundable reservation (at what I thought was a final price) I attempted to select a seat assignment. Seat selection was only permitted if I paid $6 per seat per flight segment ($20 for front economy or exit row seats - $69 for business class upgrade). On the outward bound flight, I let AirTran assign seats. My wife and I were seated in middle seats on opposite sides of the aircraft. On the return flight, I paid the extra $6 each to avoid being jammed between two large people, again. Advance selection showed all center seats reserved, so I couldn't get seats together without paying for both. Apparently, most people chose to forgeit the extra $6, because the flight had several center seats open after all. The amount doesn't bother me -- $6 is not that much money. I am, however, very bothered by the failure of AirTran to disclose the extra cost before the ticket purchase is completed.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-25:
You bought a cheap ticket on a cheap airline. Next time, fly a national carrier and pay the higher price, which has the seat cost built in.

Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-10-25:
Once you select your flights, on the very next screen under "fare rules" it plainly states: "Advance seat assignment is available for a small fee, or you may select your seats upon check-in at no cost."

If you didn't read all the fare rules before you clicked "confirm", that isn't the airline's fault.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-26:
Same review on a different site and same response as Hugh's.
Posted by CodyC815 on 2009-10-31:
I'm guessing youre one of those people that check in half an hour before departure. I assure you that most people do not by seat assignments and if you were to get to the ticket counter early you would be able to sit together
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Rude And Dismissive Treatment And Unfair Overcharge For Luggage
Posted by Psychduet on 04/01/2008
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Air Tran Airways
9955 Air Tran Blvd
Orlando, FL 32827

Attention Bob Fornaro
President and CEO

This is being sent to you in hopes you will review and have concerns for the airlines that you and others formed from a situation that most would have thought impossible. We were in Atlanta in the old days and have followed the growth of Air Tran Airlines since its beginning. It does not take many experiences like ours to reach a broad number of customers. Had it not been for the agents in Denver, Colorado, we would have a totally negative mindset regarding Air Tran Airlines.

On March 22, 2008, we flew from Atlanta Ga. to Denver, Colorado with 22 other people. Our confirmation number was J4PCYF. We were the only two flying Air Tran Airlines. All the others in our party were glad that they had flown other airlines when they heard of our experience with Air Tran in Atlanta, Ga. Air Tran got a lot of bad press within our group and with others who stood in line with us at baggage check in.

We had registered on line saying that we would check two bags each for a total of 100 lbs per person for two adults, my wife and me. We, instead, brought one bag each to check in. The total of our combined baggage was less than 100 lbs. and we were allowed to have at total of 200lbs.

The curb side agent quickly measured our suitcases at 62.5 inches each and stated in a very matter of fact way that would cost us each $50. He seemed to not be interested in anything but NEXT CUSTOMER IN LINE. We asked to see a supervisor as the cases were not full and the top could have easily been compressed to comply with baggage size allowance. A gentleman walked up but never spoke directly to us. He indicated to the person checking our bags in that we were to be charged that. He did not measure to confirm what was being said. We asked if there were someone else we could speak to and he said you can go inside. By this time, he had left the agent where we were and walked away so this was said from a distance and without looking at us.

We thought that maybe we just hit them at a busy time as we felt very dismissed when we asked them to re measure our bags. We then went inside and the outside agent must have notified them as the person inside seemed to not even look at the bags before she informed us that we were over sized and she began to measure. Again, eye contact was poor and we felt talked at instead of with.

Other bags larger were being loaded. She measures the bags at 62 inches and again, we made the same request that she press the air out of the top of the bag and measure. We had measured the bags at home and they complied with requirements. She stated she would not and that would be $100. and we could pay by credit card or cash. Now, we were talking 1 inch by her careless and quick measure. She loudly informed us that there could be an "increased fuel usage" caused by our oversized luggage. Her mathematics made no sense to any of us standing there as we were still 100 + pounds less than what we were allowed to check in.

We paid the penalty, as by now, we were running late. As we walked off the Air Tran agent stated loudly to the next customer that "some people can not be pleased no matter how nice you are to them". We had not raised our voices, not said anything rudely, just requested what we felt was reasonable. Our request, “please press the top of the case down to fill in the unused area of the luggage and then measure the cases.”

If we had been rude or demanding, the agent in Atlanta making an open comment to those following us in line was still out of order, but we were neither. Other customers observed the interaction and stated how ridiculous to charge us $100. for a hurried measure of 1 inch. Other gentlemen commented to us that Air Tran was not known for customer service and the agent’s increased fuel calculations were ridiculous.

Others in our party, who were traveling other airlines, had larger bags and were shocked at the penalty we had been forced to pay. The luggage was measured by two or three in our party and were well within the requirements when measure accurately. On our way home, we brought the same bags, but simply pressed the air out of the top. The agent in Denver was so different. She processed them, smiled and wished us a good trip.

The agents in Atlanta caused us to plan to NEVER travel Air Tran again and others in our party determined the same. The agent in Denver made us want to travel Air Tran again. The charge was ridiculous and unnecessary, but the rudeness left a very negative impression with us and others.

We are requesting the $50. penalty times 2 bags be returned. We are asking which agent and treatment best represents Air Tran? What is our recourse? Is the Atlanta airport staffed differently that the airport in Denver? We were well known to those 22 others traveling with us and they formed, along with us, a very negative mindset of your airline.

Will Air Tran Airlines lose our business by allowing the agents in Atlanta to be the standard?


Fred and Linda

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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
Fred and Linda: You merely ran into some bullies. Thanks for the post. I have faith that the boor who mistreated you will end up getting their just desserts.
Posted by CrystalSword on 2008-04-01:
How are the bags measured? I want to make sure ours are not over sized!
Posted by dan gordon on 2008-04-01:
there are many posts that the airlines have eliminated all flexibility and they want to charge and collect $$. United was going to charge me $50 when I 9/10 of a pound over 50. Its pretty widespread. While I'm not flaming you your letter pretty well indicated you've bad mouthed them to everyone you know, you will never fly with them again etc, so what their incentive to send you $100?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-01:
Ok, there really needs to be a common sense law!!! You went inside after the outside attendant told you your bag was oversize, to a second attendent without compressing your own bag? I'm thinking common sense is not a strong character trait
Posted by FoggyOne on 2008-04-02:
measure length + width + depth. It doesn't work if you 'push down' to make the measurement work even if there is air inside the bag and it is common sense. What you do is use a strap or two on the outside of the bag to compress the bag as much as possible to make it under their maximum size requirements.
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2008-04-02:
Why didn't you compress your bag before you went over to the second attendant? The airports are extremely crowded and are trying to move people through as quickly as possible. While I don't agree with AirTrans treatment of you, some of your inconvenience could have been avoided if you would have taken the iniative to compress your bags yourself.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-02:
Airlines measure bags by two guidelines: weight and size (length+width+height). Each airline sets their own guideline. It is the passengers responsibility to know the resctrictions before flying. It should be available on each airline's website, or by calling the airline directly. When you buy a ticket, you automatically agree to any restrictions and policies the airline has set into place.
Posted by clb34me on 2008-04-04:
The calibre of workers in each different city speaks volumes. Sorry for the treatment but perhaps, like the others suggested, a quick compression prior to the inside desk could've avoided the issue.
Posted by Kimber K on 2008-04-07:
My mother was also charged an oversized bag fee~~ but only on the flight out, the same bag went back without the fee!!! They are full of crap on this charge, I think it is an at will chage!!!
Posted by Izy on 2008-07-09:
I fully concur with your report. I have almost exactly the same experience. I travelled in May on AIRTRAN with my Samsonite upright. Eyeing its large size, the check-in clerk measured it to be exactly 61" and let it go. Two weeks ago I sent my daughter to camp on another AIRTRAN flight with this luggage, and this time they measured it to be over 62" and insisted on charging the oversize charge regardless of my protests. It is really a very bad experience. And I dread the same fiasco would happen again when she returns from camp this weekend! I vowed never to travel on AIRTRAN again and I intend to keep my promise.
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Air Trans Airways = Horrible airline
Posted by Crabbie74 on 03/09/2006
My experience with Air Tran was horrible too. The airplane was gross and there was absolutely NO legroom. I practically had to sit sideways so my knees weren't jammed against the seat in front of me (and I'm only 5'7"!) It was like sitting in the back of a mustang. If anyone has ever been in that predicament you know it is not fun, esp. for 5 hours!

On the trip back, we waited in line for almost 2 hours to check in our luggage (even though we used the self check-in kiosk. I swear there was only one ticket agent for all of us. Then we had the legroom problem again, then when we reached our final destination it took them an hour to load our baggage onto the conveyer belt. (And this was Burbank Airport, very small!)

UGH! Never again! I'd rather pay $100 more to fly American.
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Posted by Sparticus on 2006-03-09:
And what's with the airlines now charging for a snack? My last flight on American they offered us a piece of cheese, some crackers and like a cookie for $4! I just paid $300 to be treated like cattle for 6 hours and you want me to buy some crackers for $4...?
Posted by ejack053824 on 2006-03-10:
Ummmm....there's a solution to that. TAKE YOUR OWN FOOD!
Posted by MaxxBNA on 2006-03-10:
Interesting. First off, the legroom on airlines is pretty much standard throughout the industry. If you want more legroom, pay extra to sit in first/business class. However, what I find most interesting about this posting, is that it concerns Airtran Airlines at Burbank Airport. Ummm...Airtran does NOT serve Burbank. Pretty much blows your whole case out since you don't appear to be able to be truthful.
Posted by crabbie74 on 2006-03-10:
Uh, no, American definitely has more legroom. It's one of their selling points. And you obviously need to get a life.
Posted by socal1 on 2006-03-10:
American got rid of "More room throughout Coach" so now they have the standard 31" legroom that every other airline (including AirTran) offers.
Posted by RobDFW on 2006-04-29:
No wonder you had a bad time at Burbank with Air Tran as they do not and have never flown into that airport!
Posted by cwanders on 2006-07-03:
Interesting, because AirTran does not fly into the Burbank Airport. Perhaps you have confused that airline with another that has a similar name.
Posted by Djuno on 2007-02-01:
AirTran flys into Burbank?....I don't think so
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Posted by Airtran Former Employee on 01/02/2008
CANTON, OHIO -- I read a lot of reviews on poor customer service about Airtran as well as other airlines. As a former employee, the truth of ignorant passengers needs to be addressed. First and foremost, the most common complaint is that somebody was not allowed to check in for their flight. If you follow the directions when booking your ticket, which suggests arriving at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to departure and at the gate 10 minutes prior to departure, maybe you won't have to worry about getting denied check in. I also find it funny that most complaints say "i missed my flight and they didn't hold the plane and then the next plane was delayed, which is ridiculous".

If we didn't have check-in restrictions then delays would be on every flight because a fact of life is that passengers are ALWAYS going to try to cut it to the last possible minute to get to the airport. Security screening has NOTHING to do with the airlines, that is the TSA.

Furthermore, delays for weather or mechanical are caused because they are trying to PROTECT you from a potential disaster, but wait, I guess you only care about that from happening when it is plastered all over the news. I wish one day we could do EXACTLY what you passengers suggest we do in you reviews and hold planes for people who got to drunk the night before to wake up and make it on time or just "let people slide" through security cracks.

One day of this fiasco would make everyone beg for the ways that are in place now.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-02:
I gotta agree with ya Airtran Former Employee... When I fly I find the passengers far more annoying than the airline staff. Good lord I grow tired of the stand-by passenger's constant bickering and complaining. Another thing what's up with those who feel like I'm interested in their life stories. I need a do not disturb sign to go along with my handful of xanax.
Posted by bargod on 2008-01-02:
Well said.
Posted by MRM on 2008-01-02:
Thank you, "AirTran Employee," for representing your company and defending your company.
Posted by ghecko00 on 2008-04-17:
I really enjoyed reading this because it is the TRUTH! Most passengers don't realize that certain rules and restrictions are in place for SAFETY! Delays happen...things happen. That's life. I wish that a little more regard would be given to those of us that truly strive to deliver top-notch customer service day in and out.
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Business class seats
Posted by Catherine50 on 09/02/2007
LAGUARDIA AIRPORT, NEW YORK -- Well, I traveled to Denver in August and bought business class seats on AIR TRan. I purchased the tickets way ahead of time and bought them because they were the cheapest Business class seats.

Well, i have traveled business class in the past and have always been delighted with the seats and service. I was expecting business class like you would get on American Airlines. Well, my fault i guess. I thought the significantly cheap airfare was because i bought it on Priceline. I also haven't traveled in quite a while.

Well, the business class seats are miserable. I can imagine what the economy class seats are like. You are way in the front, of course, but people come back and forth to use the bathroom. Well it becomes like sitting in the back of the bus where you are too close to the bathroom. The problem with the business class option with Air tran is that they really don't have business class. THey should call it economy plus and it should be a lot cheaper.

If you buy business class because you need the size to be comfortable. You may want to try another airline. I fit in the seats, however, I was just disappointed because I expected luxury like you get on the other airlines. There was also no movie to watch, just xm radio.
Okay you say I should have known.

Customer service was actually very good. Everyone was polite and courteous. When I called to confirm my flight by phone it was suggested to me to board on line which made it easier to check in quickly. The flight attendants were courteous and helpful. My problem is with the plane ride itself, i felt like I was on the subway.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-02:
This was a great quote from another blog about bad airlines:

"AirTran Airways: Granted, I was foolish enough to buy a connecting flight through Atlanta. But there was simply no need to remind us that we were merely the cut-rate beef that keeps your sad operation barely afloat from year to year. The flight was delayed and delayed and delayed with impunity, and not a single AirTransylvanian (at the gate or on the phone) even bothered to make their various conflicting lies sound convincing. When your employees already behave as the living dead, how can we expect them to care if we're all killed as well? Do you really think I'm going to use that $20 consolation coupon toward future AirTran torment?"
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-09-02:
You are confusing business class with first class. All AirTran promises you is a bigger seat with more legroom and two free drinks. It's not a traditional first class service and it's not priced like one. I fly them pretty often and I have always had a good experience.
Posted by Catherine50 on 2007-09-03:
No, I am not confusing business class with first class. Business class on the other airlines is a lot better than AIRtran. Airtran is cheaper than the other airlines I agree. When you see the cheaper price for Air Tran Business class you should be aware that it is not the same as the other big airline companies. IF you like the service good for you! I just say buyer beware! Depends on what you are looking for.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-07:
You gave me a good laugh! AirTran like JetBlue and Southwest are "discount" airlines.... real business people don't fly them... its for families with screaming kids heading to Orlando. Try a real legacy carrier next time.
Posted by leopard on 2007-09-18:
I'm surprised you didn't pull a "britney spears" and get up and leave when you discovered that the seats weren't leather. you're a snob!!
Posted by Ben There on 2007-09-22:
"No, I am not confusing business class with first class"... Yeah, you are. Delta, American, Northwest, United, Continental and other major US carriers call their premium DOMESTIC product "First Class". Those seats are about the same size as Air Trans "Business Class" and they are normally leather, but you get food on the longer flights plus all the free booze you want till you get cut off. Those carriers reserve the name "Business Class" for thier international product, which sometimes is the same seat as domestic first class, but on long haul aircraft the seats are a lot better as they tend to recline more, have more leg room and foot rests, personal TVs, etc... Very few US Carriers have International First Class anymore (I think it is just AA and United). International First seats normally provide a "suite" environment with complete lay flat seats and much more privacy (all for the price of 10K). That said, Air Tran does not claim to have the same domestic premium product as the major carriers (first class), and thus calls it by a different name (business class).
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The Airtran Experience
Posted by RedJeepCwby on 08/22/2007
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- Below is a letter I wrote to the Airtran customer service department. As of yet I have not received any acknowledgment that I even exist, let alone an apology.

After reading this everything should be clear:


To: Aitran Airways
RE: Flight 579 on August 17th, 2007. Newark to Atlanta.

My experience with Airtran has been a nightmare and that's being generous. I don't think I have ever seen a company with such poor customer service with so many mean spirited people in their employ.

My ordeal started when my flight home to Atlanta (flight 579) was delayed several hours due to weather. Now I understand that certain factors such as weather are not in anyone's control. I'm not angry with anyone because it rained, although I am puzzled how a 20 minute rain storm can cancel several flights and cause an 8 hour backlog in air traffic. I am angry, however, on the way your staff handled themselves as a result. A complete and total lack of professionalism and a text book demonstration of poor company training.

RE: Ticket agent "Diane" at gate A-10 at Newark Airport. There was a situation with another passenger who was obviously irate from the long day, lack of information and professionalism of your staff. What started out as a customer complaint turned into a shouting match and almost a fist fight between the ticket agent and the customer.

By no means am I suggesting the behavior of this man was acceptable; there was no pleasing him and he needed to be removed by Port Authority Police, but it was Diane who made a bad situation worse. She lost her cool and could have at the very least contained the situation instead of causing it to escalate as far as it did.

*Warning: Profane language to follow*

I heard screaming and when I and the rest of the people from gate 10 and surrounding gates turned our heads Diane was shouting profanities and racial slurs to the customer; "....get your F***** black a** out of here....you God D**** A******...." were just a few of the things that came out of her trashy mouth. Of course this antagonized the man further and his cell phone was laying on the gate counter. Diane grabbed his cell phone and threw it at him. He managed to catch it, then she reached across the counter and she actually took a swing at him. He called her a few "choice" words and by that time Port Authority officers came and removed the man.

This entire episode went on in front of at least 100 people and about a dozen children. Nobody wanted to deal with Diane after that. She created an unsafe, unsettling and uneasy feeling with the rest of us as we all talked about the incident. I decided I was going to report this to customer service at the ticket counter at main check in and see if I could get another flight on a different airline.

When I explained what had happened to the two young people down there they simply laughed it off as something funny. "Oh, that's just Diane, she's pregnant you know. Those hormones must be making her crazy."

I was shocked. I told them I didn't want to fly with Airtran that night, that I felt uneasy about what had happened. After all, if the ticket agents are stressed out, what's the flight crew going to be like after arriving almost 8 hours late? I was told that there was nothing they could do except give me a refund. Also, they told me that when flying Airtran it's always best to fly before 2:00pm in case of cancellations because Airtran doesn't have any "agreements" with any other airlines so if one of the flight gets canceled, we are basically "SOL" and it could take up to 2 days to get back home.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I called customer service at your 800 number and I was placed on hold for so long that it ran my cell phone battery down. I decided that I was going to DRIVE to Atlanta and I took the airport train back to my rental car company only to find out that everyone else had the same idea I had and all the affordable cars were gone. It was then that I realized that I was being held hostage by Airtran and I had no choice and there was NOTHING in my control, "Corporate Terrorism" is the phrase I'm going to coin for this. Can you imagine how frustrating that can be to someone?

I decided to keep my mouth shut until I got home. I felt afraid that if I complained too much then I would be "singled out' and treated badly in retaliation.

This morning (Saturday, August 18th) I called the 800 number and spoke with a woman "Tracy or Stacy" to tell her about what had happened.

She was short and rude with me on the phone. When I told her I wanted to bring something to her attention about flight 579 out of Newark the previous night she all but refused to help me without my confirmation number. Then when I started to tell her about what happened she instantly took the side of the airline and defended it. "...What do you want me to do about it? I'm a reservation specialist, I wasn't there so I can't help you. If you have a complaint you'll have to visit our website..."

I am utterly disgusted with your airline. I honestly don't see how you can continue to operate by treating people like this. Is this the Airtran way of doing things? Is this the norm?

This was a business trip for me so all the travel arrangements were made by my company. I am sending a copy of this complaint to them and I am going to strongly suggest that we no longer do business with Airtran again. There is no excuse for what happened to us. My job depends on good customer service and if I behaved the way you did to one of my customers I would be terminated on the spot without any questions asked.

They say when a customer has a good experience with a business they might tell one, possibly two other people but when they are treated badly they will tell ten. I promise you I will tell my ten, maybe even 20.

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Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-08-22:
Sounds like you are the one that overreacted a bit. Not defending Diane's unprofessional outburst, but you have no idea what the passenger had said to her, do you? But based on this you decided the flight itself must be unsafe because the flight crew would be "stressed out". Then you decided to drive to Atlanta but when you couldn't get a cheap deal on a rental it was because of "corporate terrorism"? Sounds like you were looking for a reason not to fly with AirTran and you found one.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
You have every reason to be upset about this situation. A customer service agent should be trained to call in someone else (supervisor) when a bad situation escalates. There is never a reason to use profanity in front of children (or anyone in a public area). Thanks for the advice about Air Tran. I won't be flying them either. Good customer service is getting harder and harder to find in the airline industry.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
Hugh is right on. All the airlines suck this summer. They are overbooked, staff is overworked. Airports are busting at the seams. It's hot, thunder storms and hurricanes playing he11 with schedules. Air travel of days past is over, deal with it or stay home.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-08-22:
This bears repeating as it comes up in this review - most of today's low cost carriers (Southwest, AirTran, Spirit, Frontier, Alegiant) don't have interline agreements with other airlines. Back in the olden days if American bumped you from a flight you could walk the ticket over to United - they would honor it and get you on a United flight. No so anymore, so like the OP said, if you have the last flight of the day and it gets cancelled, be prepared to spend the night.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
Here is another reason that I drive to my vacation destinations instead of flying.

I would only fly for business trips and on company time/money.
Posted by RedJeepCwby on 2007-08-22:
You know "HUGH"

You sound like you might be a Republican.

I am a resonable man. I understand the weather can cause delays and cancellations at airports. That doesn't bother me. It's annoying, but it's nobody's fault. It's how they treat a plane load of tired, arrgivated, an anxious passingers is where the rubber meets the road. Airline employees should be TRAINED on how to deal with these situations.

I don't CARE WHAT this man said to Diane. He could have asked her out on a date for all I care, but when she THREW his cellular phone at him and all but jumped the counter in an all out assult is not my idea of sympathetic customer service. She should have just immediately called security and have this man removed. Simple.

She lost her cool.....period. She lost it and made myself and the other passingers feel uneasy. The Rental cars were all gone, unless I wanted to pay for a Cadallic, they were gone.

You were not there, you did not experience what I did. You were not treated rudely, you did not see the horseplay of the two young people behind the ticket counter at 4:00am. You did not sleep on the floor of the Newark Airport. Your flight was not cancelled. You did not hear everyone on the phone you spoke to attempt to pass the buck and the blame to someone else.

Best to keep your mouth shut. If someone says "a penny for your thoughts" be prepared to give them a refund.

Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-08-22:
Wow! You sure put me in my place! Especially with that "you might be a republican" crack.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
Yeah Hugh... ROFL.... If you have a basic understanding of the Airline Industry... you might be a Republican. If you know how to read... you might be a Republican. If you care more about getting to your destination than grandstanding for a voided cause... you might be a Republican.

Admit Hugh... You're a Republican?!
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
Stew - very funny. I am also a fan of Jeff Foxworthy.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
By the way, I have flown Southwest frequently this year and have found that they have great customer service at the counters and the flight attendant's are usually very helpful and cheerful. When they have had delays, they go out of their way in-flight to make it up with free drinks--of your choosing--and plenty of apologies. I'll keep flying them even without the frills (which most airlines no longer have anyway). Further, I have not missed any connections and, in fact, my flights usually arrive on-time or even sooner. And, so far, no lost luggage. So, keep them in mind.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
I really like Southwest. The long flights are a bit of a drag with all the stops but at least we get to where were supposed to be going.
Posted by leopard on 2007-08-25:
I have a really, really hard time believing the gate agent said those things to the passengers. I think the OP might just be embellishing a bit for dramatic purposes. oh, and by the way, Guiliani in '08!!!
Posted by AmandaRSX on 2007-10-27:
Hugh is clearly a complete idiot. No matter what the man said to her, if you're in a customer service role, an outburst like that is not acceptable. She's representing the corporation and they will be liable for any damages that she causes. Hugh, you're a complete moron. It has nothing to do with being a republican. It has to do with you being a piece of trash. You should probably work at AirTran with the rest of your kind.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-27:
Hugh is a long time respected member of M3C's. AmandaRSX looks like another one post wonder NIC by one of our more suspect members of M3C.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2007-10-27:
leopard, sorry to break the news to you, but when guiliani's business dealings and his former associations all come to light as they shall during his upcoming subpoena to testify regarding his former business partner/and ex- NY police chief, his "game" will be over. You probably should start to consider an alternate choice, your going to need it.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-27:
Guiliani is a piece of trash.
Posted by AmandaRSX on 2007-10-27:
Wow. Hahaha Wow... Longtime respected member of M3C's, I do apologize. I had no idea who I was dealing with. I thought he was just a moron, but a longtime respected member? How embarrassing.
Posted by AmandaRSX on 2007-10-27:
I will agree that the corporate terrorism was a bit much... But, defending the AirTran employee is laughable. Give them a call and try to reason with them yourself.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Excessive Change Fees - No Exclusions
Posted by Tbriggle on 08/20/2013
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I changed a flight on June 24 over the phone and was told I could change the flight within 24 hours for free and by August 24 for a $75 charge. After August 24 there would be a $150 charge per ticket. I called today, August 20, and was told it had expired at midnight, August 19, so was charged the entire $150 per ticket. You may note that I was told now I have until June 23 to book a new flight, which makes sense that we were back on the 24th schedule. I can only think that I will go through this same conversation if I call on June 20.

All I have is the original ticket sent via email after the conversation, I did not record either call. Something should be done, I understand the charges. I don't understand how they can operate without refunding the remaining balance. They can keep $300 in service fees and I will not have flown a single mile.
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Posted by Ben There on 2013-08-20:
It looks like Air Tran's change fees went from $75 to $150 across the board for all tickets on August 20: http://www.airtran.com/help_changing_reservations.aspx#changeProcess
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-08-20:
It's easy to explain. You purchased a nonrefundable fare and agreed to all the terms and conditions (even if you didn't bother to read them).
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
AirTran Communication W/ Parents Re: Unaccompanied Minors Needs Major Improvement
Posted by Lulufrench on 07/28/2013
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Here is the letter (minus names and flight numbers) that I sent to the airline...

Yesterday (Saturday, July 27th), I had quite a traumatic experience involving AirTran Airlines. I am still terribly upset by it.

My son was flying as an unaccompanied minor out of LaGuardia to Akron/Canton. Gate B4. My son is 8 years old, and as you can imagine this was already a bittersweet moment, to have to say good-bye to my only child as he departed to fly solo.

It is important to note here that I was told that I needed to stay until the plane left – which I did. It departed right on time, 2:25pm. No, the plane was not in the air. I did not stay at the gate until the plane was in the air because it was not made clear to me by any of the staff at any point that this is what I was expected to do. Nor did I at any point receive an e-mail or any written material that detailed the policies about exactly was expected of an escort to an unaccompanied minor. I was doing as I had been told – I stayed until the plane departed.

I went downstairs to the food court and was there for a full hour after the plane left the gate. It is my understanding that somewhere in that time the plane had to return to the gate. I had my cell phone with me, and yet no one called me. I am aware that my cell phone number is in the computer system because I gave it over the phone to the reservation agent when I purchased the ticket for my son.

I was called by my mother-in-law from the Akron/Canton airport around 3:55, just as my husband and I were entering the Midtown Tunnel into Manhattan. We were told that his plane had deboarded and that we should go back. We were preparing to do so, but knowing it would take us at least 30 minutes to get back at that point and another 15 to reach the gate, I decided to call AirTran for an update about my son’s flight. I explained to them that he was an unaccompanied minor and I was his mother. I was told his plane was scheduled to depart at 4:00. Since that was five minutes away, I was given the impression that the flight had already boarded and was about to leave, so my husband and I decided to not to go back based on that information.

At 4:45, my mother-in-law called me and told me that his flight had been delayed further but that his flight was now scheduled to leave at 5:00. Now I’m starting to get really upset. I should have been there with him. But with his plane leaving at 5:00 there was really no point for me to make the 30 minute journey from Manhattan to LaGuardia as I would not get there until after the plane had left.

Again, no had called my cell phone or had left a message on my home phone. And I’m beginning to wonder why no one would call the child’s parent in this type of situation. I’m only getting the information I am receiving because my child’s grandparents are at the Akron/Canton airport where they are able to get immediate information.

At 5:30 I was sent a text by my mother-in-law that his plane was now leaving at 5:55. I began to feel myself starting to emotionally unravel, worried sick about my child, and started trying to find a way back to the airport. I arrived at Port Authority at 6:00 and waited for an Express Bus that was supposed to arrive in 10 minutes but had still not arrived 30 minutes later.

While waiting for the Express bus to show, my mother-in-law gave my husband and I a number to call. It was a 718 number so I can only assume I was going to be speaking with someone at LaGuardia. I was so grateful to finally have a chance to speak to someone who could tell me definitively what was going on.

The person on the other line kept telling us that we were supposed to be there and that they weren’t allowed to give us any information – both extremely unhelpful things to say. I was very angry that the airline was not able to give the parents of an 8 year old information about their child. We were immediately put on the defensive and tried to explain that we were there until the plane left the gate, were in the airport for another hour after that, and that no one had told us that we were supposed to stay until the plane was in the air. Nor had anybody tried to call us. The conversation was ultimately unproductive, extremely frustrating, and of no help whatsoever.

Because the Express Bus never showed I hailed a cab around 6:40. I called AirTran while stuck in traffic in the cab. I was told that my son’s plane had been cancelled and he was being placed on another flight set to leave at 7:55. Upon arriving at the airport at around 7:20 I was told that I would have to wait in line for a gate pass, so I did. And by the time I got to the gate at 7:40 his plane had already left the gate and was about to depart.

Upon arriving at the gate the gate attendant started to berate and verbally abuse me for not coming back to the airport earlier. Already being quite emotional and angry about the events leading up to this moment his tirade really blindsided me.

He told me that I knew I wasn’t supposed to leave, so I told him that I did stay until the plane left the gate and was never told that I had to stay until the plane was in the air.

I tried to explain the chain of events, defend my actions, and ask why no one had called me directly at any point, but he continued to tell me that I had abandoned my child – that he couldn’t let my son go the bathroom – and even used foul language. And then he asked me why I hadn’t yet thanked him for babysitting my son.

He wouldn’t listen to how it went down on my end or answer my question as to why nobody ever called me. He refused to admit any responsibility whatsoever. I felt that he was attacking me as a mother after I had already spent 4 long hours being quite distraught about my son. Needless to say, the conversation was rather heated and I felt very much on the defensive.

I then stayed until the plane took off.

My greatest complaint is how horrible the communication was on AirTran’s end. It was never clear to us that we were supposed to stay until the plane “was in the air.” The plane “leaving” and the plane “being in the air” are different enough to warrant clarity when giving instruction. This is not something we do often, and clear communication about the protocol would have been appreciated.

Someone should have called my cell phone the moment it was discovered that I was not there. Perhaps I could have just come back upstairs from the food court.

And even if a child was not involved, there is the fact that a plane that was supposed to leave at 2:25pm did not get its passengers off the ground until 7:55pm. Not to mention the 45 minute long line to check-in with the airline – all less than ideal situations when one is trying to fly somewhere.

I also want to reiterate that after first hearing that my son’s plane was delayed, I was constantly being told that the plane was only minutes from departing by the AirTran employees with whom I was communicating.

And then there’s the gate agent at Gate B4 whose customer relation skills were abhorrent. I’m still very upset over the trauma I endured yesterday – especially at the hands of the gate attendant.

I could have been spared all the grief and anguish I experienced if someone had simply told me, “Please remain at the gate until the plane has lifted off. We will let you know when it is okay to leave the gate area.”

I would also suggest that you make it part of the protocol regarding an unaccompanied minor to contact the parents should a problem arise by calling the phone numbers that were given to the reservation agent.

Please look into this matter as I feel it deserves serious consideration.
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Posted by Old Timer on 2013-07-28:
A terrible chain of events gone terribly wrong. I would not trust AirTran to ship a box of rocks across the street, much less my child on a flight.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-07-28:
You said that you waited until "departure", which is not true. Departure is the act of the plane taking off.

I believe the CSR was correct - at 3:55 you should have returned to the airport. You twice assumed that "boarding" or leaving the gate was departure.

On more than one occasion, you chose to leave your 8 year old to his own devices, instead of going back as his guardian. You say the "I should have been there," which is correct. My advice would be to send him escorted next time.
Posted by yoke on 2013-07-28:
Departing means actual in the air, not leaving the gate. AirTrans did the correct thing in not giving information over the phone. They were protecting your child. They had no idea you were really the mother. Anyone could call and say that.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-07-28:
The AirTran Contract of Carriage states:
"Child drop off and pick up. The parent or guardian who brings an unaccompanied minor child to the departure airport will be required to remain at the departure gate until the flight is airborne."

It is clear that the guardian is to wait until the a/c is airborne, thus I do not agree that the policy requires major improvement.
Posted by Old Timer on 2013-07-28:
It's a shame how much time some people spend proving to the poor OP's how wrong they are, they can't read, they can't follow directions, the company is always right, the policies are in black and white, bla, bla, bla... Instead of just trying to show and ounce of compassion and support to someone that was scared half out of their mind over their child.

Who gives a rat's ass at this point? Bash the OP just to prove you can read some T and C? Sad, really sad. I would still never use AirTran, even if they do have well posted T and C's, they suck as an airline and could have done a much better job here. Instead of giving the consumer a bunch of crap like the OP's get around here, bend a little and help them out for Christ's sake!
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-07-29:
My 9 year old flew as an unaccompanied minor from Chicago to Atlanta and it was very clear that we were to stay at the gate until the plane was in the air. Even if you claim that no one "told" you about that rule its on their website for everyone to see. Airtran also has a service that sends text messages to your phone about the progress of the flight. I knew when my son left Chicago, my mother called me when he was in the air, and the text messages did the rest until he arrived in Atlanta where I was waiting for him. If you read all the rules and follow them, you wouldn't be getting losing your mind over the incident that happened.

Old timer, an "ounce of compassion" would only help to subsidize the lack of paying attention to detail that can make this episode happen all over again.
Posted by onlooker on 2013-07-29:
Why did your son not have a phone to contact you or grandparents in the event of any problems?
That may help in any future events.
Mom you tried your best, staying later in the airport, but some of your decisions were not really good - you should have gone back immediately. The days of smooth flying especially on time departures and arrivals are gone - some kind of flight tracker would have been helpful too.
You had a terrible time, and it was hard that the airline staff could not provide any comfort, next time you will have a chance to make different decisions. And hopefully your son and you will endure the flight process with less trauma.
Posted by olie on 2013-07-30:
YOU were distraught? YOU suffered grief and anguish? YOU were traumatized??

How did your son hold up?
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