BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- AirTran WILL leave you behind, and WILL kick you off a flight due to the incompetence of the people they hire. Let me explain: I took a flight out from Boston, ended up in the TSA security line for 45 minutes before I got completely through, and that included having to cut 3/4ths of the line when I realized I was cutting it pretty close to departure time. Showed up at the gate 3 minutes late; they left without me. They NEVER paged me, they NEVER sent someone to see if I was stuck in security. They also departed BEFORE their departure time (I screenshot the flight information at the end of the night from my phone as proof). Their staff had no interest in helping me upon realizing my flight left without me, and were genuinely uninterested in my situation. They offered no help, and basically told me, "too bad". They wouldn't even look at me when they talked to me - they were typing fast away at their computers. I left a BBB complaint about the incident and they are one of only two companies I've had to leave a complaint about that had no interest in making things right. They dismissed all my grievances to the matter and blamed me, under a guise of "we shut the doors 10 minutes before departure, as its important that we get our passengers in the air as soon as we can and prevent delays." Let me now explain to you how this is a complete farce. On the day of my rescheduled flights, on my connecting flight a flight attendant managed to get her seat wet from rain (I've flown plenty where it's rained and never heard of this happening). After we pulled out from the gate, we sit for a couple minutes and we hear the captain announce the aforementioned issue, and that they'd have to pull back in so they got "replace the seat". I think to myself, "Replace the seat? Why don't they just put plastic trash bags over it, or towels or something?" What they ended up meaning by that is that they were going to get an AirTran representative to board the plane and tell, not ask - but tell, a coach passenger they had to deboard the plane and be put on stand by. Then they told, not ask - told, a first class passenger they had to move back to the now empty coach seat. And the now vacant first class seat is where the flight attendant ended up sitting for the flight. If you make a complaint against them, they WILL lie about the details, and do what they can to not own up to their own mistakes. They claimed in their response to my BBB complaint that they confirmed that they did page me - lies - I listened intently out of worry that I was starting to cut it close and it never happened. Heard plenty of other airlines paging other passengers to other flights. I rejected their response, made a rebuttal, they then reiterated what they said the first time for the most part, and closed the case out with no consequence. Don't make the same mistake I did by flying with these guys. They gave me a bad experience the first time I flew with them 4 years ago, gave them another chance because the flight was that much cheaper, and I regret it. I lost more money in the day of work I lost in comparison to what I saved choosing them to fly with. Also keep in mind Southwest Airlines owns AirTran, so you may want to consider skipping them as well. You're a number to them. Well, this number is taking his business elsewhere. In fact I just booked a flight for next week and skipped over them despite seeing they had a cheaper flight in to where I was going. Not worth the risk.
I had never flown with AirTran before this flight, and will never fly with them again. The airline has a policy that prohibits more than
one child being held on the laps of adults occupying the same row. This policy exists because there are only 4 oxygen masks on each row, and in the event of an emergency, there would not be enough for each passenger. I completely understand and appreciate this policy. However....
My mother and I booked a non-stop flight from Atlanta to San Francisco a month in advance. We were traveling with my two children (22 months and 8 months), who, because they were under two years old, could sit in our laps, saving us the cost of extra seats. AirTran has a policy that there must be at least one adult per child under two, which we understood, and in order to help each other with the babies during the flight, we paid an extra fee to reserve our seats ahead of time (since AirTran typically assigns seats at check in).
I called the airline several days before our flight to let them know that we were going to be traveling with two children under two. She said there was no need for me to call, that they would take care of things at check in. No mention of their policy.
At check in, we informed the lady helping us that we each had a baby who would be sitting on our laps. We showed her their birth certificates, she entered them into the system, and wrote the age of one baby on each of our boarding passes, which also showed our adjacent seat assignments. She asked if we had any car seats with us, and we told her no. She said we were good to go. No mention of their policy.
At the boarding gate, an employee stopped my mother and me (each of us holding a child), inquired about the age of the children (we offered
to show him the birth certificates), at which time we pointed out that each child’s age was written on the tickets (by your check-in employee). Our boarding passes, which he scrutinized, specified our adjacent seat numbers. No mention of their policy.
At the beginning of the flight, a male attendant stopped next to our row and asked if I had a baby in my lap, as she was nursing the baby and he could see only the baby’s feet. I told him I did. My mother was sitting next to me with my 22-month old on my lap. No mistaking that there were two children on the same row. No mention of their policy.
The children were on our laps, in plain view, the whole time. We had already been served drinks at least once. Another flight attendant looked directly at us to get our drink orders. Again, no mention of their policy.
About an hour into the flight, my mother asked an attendant to take her used cup. The attendant turned to let her know that she wasn't collecting trash at that time, and when she saw us holding the babies, she asked, "Have you had both babies with you the whole time?" We couldn't figure out why she was asking us that. My mother said, "Yes, we have." The attendant pointed at my son and asked, "Where was he before?" "On her lap," I said, pointing to my mother. "And where was she?" the attendant asked, pointing to my daughter. "In my lap," I replied. "You can't have two lap babies on the same row," the attendant responded. This time we really were speechless. We just stared at her, completely at a loss. She repeated herself again, more loudly. I said, "No one told us that." She asked us whether no one had said anything at check in, and we said no. The attendant repeated a third time that we weren't allowed to have both babies on our laps in the same row. At this point, the attendant still had not told us WHY the children couldn’t be on the same row, just that AirTran policy prohibited it.
The passenger next to me mistakenly thought the policy was because two children together might be
noisy or disruptive, and tried to defend us by saying that he had been a teacher for 40 years and was used to being around children. At this, the attendant raised her voice and said "Sir, I don't care what you did for a living, all I'm saying is that these babies cannot sit in these seats." Still at a loss as to what we were supposed to do about the situation 35,000 feet in the air, the attendant FINALLY told us the reason for the policy. My mother told her she would be glad to move if she could find someone to change seats with her.
The man next to my mother stated that he was comfortable where he was and didn't feel like moving, and the flight attendant told him not to be rude to her, she was just doing her job. She also informed him that babies can't sit in aisle seats, so she turned to the woman sitting in the middle seat of the adjacent row and asked her to switch with my mother, saying that she was trying to keep my mother and me as close as possible.
Someone across the aisle kindly agreed to do this.
The remaining 4 hours of the flight were miserable for us because of this unnecessary treatment by the flight attendant.
Here’s what the flight attendant should have POLITELY said to us, and what I hope she’ll say if this happens to other passengers in the future: “I’m really sorry, but it seems the airline failed to mention that we have a
safety regulation that doesn’t allow more than one child to sit on an adult’s lap in the same row. This is because there are only 4 oxygen masks
available in the event of an emergency, and right now there are 5 people in your row. I don’t like to inconvenience you, but I’m going to have to ask
around to see if someone can change seats with you. Do you have any questions for me?” Instead,
the flight attendant made my mother and me feel like criminals, never once expressed regret or concern that we had not been informed of the
policy, or that we were being inconvenienced in any way. As a matter of fact, she offered the man next to my mother a refund for his ticket because he expressed exasperation with the whole incident! Outrageous!
OTTAWA, KANSAS -- Last year my SO and I took a wonderful vacation to Cancun and to try and save some money we flew on Air Tran. Getting there wasn't terrible but getting back....worst experience with any airline I have ever had. On the day we were scheduled to go home we get to the airport to find our flight delayed. I was a bit frustrated but I figure it's a minor setback. Since Hurricane Karen was nearby I figure it's probably due to that and we just have to wait. We do go to the ticket counter for our gate to see if there is any info on our flight and we hear this, "I don't know." 2 hours go by and no plane. We ask again and we hear "I don't know." This process drags on for eight hours. Eight hours with no explanation for why our plane is delayed for that long. All we hear from the ticket agent when we ask is "I don't know." We are told of what happened when the plane finally arrives and as we are boarding the plane. Apparently they were shorthanded and there were a few maintenance issues and that's why it took eight hours. I do understand that delays like this can happen, it's frustrating but it is understandable. However, failing to inform passengers of a delay that can take up to several hours to fix and leave them essentially stranded at the airport is extremely poor customer service and there is no excuse for it. None. I was furious that they chose not to inform us of this and made us wait in the airport for hours on end. Why would you not inform passengers of problems like this??? If they were upfront about it and told us about the delay and kept us updated then this wouldn't have been an issue. Keeping passengers out of the loop is an issue! Long story short we managed to get back in the US but we didn't make it home until the next day. I am never flying with Air Tran again and have told my friends and family to avoid that airline like the plague.
AirTran airways is one of the worst airlines I have ever booked with. On my flight to San Francisco from La Guardia, via Oregon, on August 19, 2011, our plane taxied for 3 hrs (max allowed by law) before returning to the gate due to weather conditions in Oregon, which after deplaning for 30 min, was ultimately cancelled. In those 3 hours, they couldnât figure out how to reroute the plane that the storm eventually approached the NY metropolitan area. I proceeded to rebook my flight for the following Tuesday, according to the AirTran agent, the only flight available was from LGA to SFO via Atlanta with a 7-HOUR LAYOVER. In the days between my cancelled Friday flight and my new reservation on Tuesday, I called the airlines daily to find out if I can get an earlier flight Tuesday morning with a shorter connection. The agent I spoke to on Sunday, who was very helpful, said I can attempt to fly standby early Tuesday morning and advised me to be at the airport an hour before the departing flight (LGA to SFO via Oregon). I called AirTran again Monday to see if any flights had opened up, and if I could fly standby. This time the agent said NO, all the flights were sold out. He sounded irritated with me, and didnât even advise me to try to fly standby, nor did he even disclose to me any of the departing flights to SFOâjust a flat out NO. He didnât care and wasnât interested in helping me in any way. Well, I followed the advice of the first agent I spoke to on the phone and showed up early at the airport in hopes I could score a standby flight. When I inquired at the front ticketing desk at LGA, the AirTran agent said, âNO, I cannot put you on the standby flight to Milwaukeeâ (in contrast to what the first agent told me on the phone) because the reservation or connecting flight MUST BE identical; so instead, she puts me on later connecting standby flight to Atlanta. Well, I decided to see another agent, but this time at the gate. He was super helpful and put me on standby for the next flight to SFO, which happened to be the connecting flight to Oregon. By this time, I realize how inconsistent AirTran is with customer service and rules regarding flight reservations. And itâs absolutely frustrating. I get on the Oregon flight and personally thank the agent that helped me, and when I finally get to Oregon, and I think that after this whole ordeal I can finally make it home to San Francisco, our plane again is taxing on the runaway, this time a failure of the weather radar. Of course, the captain says âit takes a few minutes to replace then weâll be on our wayâ. 5 minutes later he states, the antenna failed and will take 2 hours to fix. ARENâT AIRLINES SUPPOSED TO DO MAINTENANCE CHECKS BEFORE DEPARTURE??? I finally make it so SFO with no problems afterward. With all said and done, the most pleasant aspect of AirTran is the stewardesses who were consistently friendly on each flight; however, it is not enough to choose AirTran again for my future travels.
I was booked on Dallas-Atlanta, Atlanta-Washington DC on Thursday Mar 11
Dallas-Atlanta Flt 100 @ 6.20am left on time but could not land in Atlanta on schedule due to weather. Even when we landed, it took Airtan about 20 minutes to provide us with a gate. Our connecting flight 186 to Washington DCA was to leave at 10am. We got to the gate at 9.58am and the flight had left! There was no staff at the gate.
We approached the Customer Center at Gate C16 and I tried to speak to them about my peculiar situation. I was going to take a Virgin Atlantic flight to London at Dulles airport for 6.55pm. That was why I chose this connection. The Atlanta-DC flight to Reagan DCA was to arrive at 11.54 am. and my flight to London was at Dulles for 6.55pm so I had enough turnaround time if they had kept their end of the bargain.
what I experienced yesterday was a failure of customer service period. The AirTran people just could not get themselves together due to the crisis caused by weather. The test of great customer service is in a crisis and AirTran failed woefully. Only one guy at gate C8 was composed enough to think (Bolton White is his name) He should get promoted to Manager because he recognised peculiar situations and tried to fix each on its merit.
If I had gotten him earlier, we would have avoided the situation. Everyone in customer care Thursday Mar 11 were unhelpful, robotised and sometimes downright rude! One caucasian buffoon shouted me down and insisted I joined a queue of about 50 people with less urgent issues than mine. They wouldn't even listen. After waiting for about an hour, I finally got to talk to another who was more preoccupied in blaming me for choosing to fly out of 2 airports!
The trouble started when the connecting flight from Atlanta-DC left earlier than scheduled. We could not land in Atlanta on time because it rained. by the time we got to the gate of our connecting flight to DC at 10am, there was no plane!
It was scheduled to leave at 10am but when over 40 of us got to the gate at 9.58am, the plane had left and there was no staff at the gate! AirTran could have held that flight when they knew the connecting flight was delayed. In fact, it took 20mins for AirTran to provide us with a parking gate! So the delay was all their fault. I guess they didn't want to incur late fees so they passed the inconvenience to their customers!
Every attempt I made to get them to think outside the box just didn't yield. They were like progamed morons! "you missed the flight, we put you on the next one period"! The next flight was at 1.45pm so I waited for 4hrs. About 1pm, AirTrash! announced that this flight was delayed from New Orleans due to mechanical fault and would now leave at 3pm! my flight to London was at Dulles for 6.55pm and I still needed to go through security. Not to mention DC rush hour traffic from Reagan Memorial to Dulles
About Security; my Nigerian passport earned me instant 'suspected terrorist' status because I was taken aside, frisked and every item in my possession was checked for radioactive radiation - from my makeup, purse, phone, ipod, pc, shoes, bags, EVERYTHING! even my hands! that takes about 25 minutes and a lot of embarrassment. No thanks to Mutallab for this humiliation but what can one do?
Anyway, back to AirTrash! Bolton White was the ONLY one who recognised my urgency and took it up with the manager before they got me a business class seat on the earlier Atlanta-Baltimore BWI for 1.45pm. We arrived at 4pm and luggage took 30mins Its 1hr no traffice from BWI to Dulles so I would have arrived at 5.30pm and Virgin gate closes at 6pm.
All the way from Atlanta, I had been on the phone with the Virgin Atlantic customer service and they were excellent. I called Virgin 4 times and each representative was empathetic, helped me through possible options, even put a note on my reservation to alert check in staff of my predicament. When it was obvious I could not make the flight, they called the airport to offload me because I already checked in online and advised me on the cheapest options I had.
Since I had no plans to stay in DC, I had no one to pick me. All my contacts in the area were not available. 1 was in BWI for 4 hrs before locating my dear cousin (thank God for family) A shuttle to her house, (saved hotel) back to Dulles to try for a seat today, etc
Planned my itinerary to get to Lagos Saturday morning to make my live show Bimbo-Sola Connect on Lagos Television and the burial of my aunty. AirTrash trashed all that. I can only hope for a connecting flight to Lagos in time to speak at World Consumer Rights Day Summit in Abuja on Monday. All because AirTran Customer Service Staff didn't get the memo on thinking outside the box in resolving customer issues!
Last Sunday I was to return to Flint from Fort Myers, Florida. I tried to use the on-line check in service the night before, but could not check in for my flight. I tried for several hours with no luck. I tried again the next morning with still no luck.
With my flight scheduled to depart at 6:30pm, I arrived at the airport at 4pm. The agent at the counter looked at me and said "I have bad news. There is no way that you are going to get home tonight". When I asked why, he explained that the plane coming from D. C. had mechanical problems and would not arrive until 9pm. That would mean I would miss my connecting flight in Atlanta, and it is the last flight for the day going from Atlanta to Flint. When I asked him what my alternatives were, he said that the only thing I could do was come back the next day to take the same flight. That meant a 24 hour delay. I told him that was unacceptable and that he needed to work out something else. The only other option was to take my delayed flight to Atlanta, spend the night there and fly home the next day.
They did offer to put me up for the night in Atlanta, but here is where they added insult to injury. When we boarded the plane to go to Atlanta, the pilot came on the intercom and announced that due to the missed flight situation everyone would receive a round trip ticket anywhere that Airtran flies. That announcement brought cheers from the passengers.
However, when I called the Customer Relations Dept to arrange for the ticket I was told that it would only be a one-way ticket. The person informed me that the pilot was not authorized to make awards as compensation. It seems to me that he is an employee of the airlines, so when he speaks he is speaking for the company.
What really is annoying is that they knew the plane was delayed and yet they couldn't send me an email at 2pm to tell me that. They let me check out of my room, turn in my rental car, get to the airport, and then tell me. In fact, when I finally got to the boarding gate at 4-45pm, they still had that flight posted as being on time and leaving at the scheduled time of 6:30pm. They did not update the delay on any of the airport signage until after 5:30pm.
This is a very poorly run airline that does not communicate to it's customers, or for that matter, it's employees. I will avoid flying them at all costs in the future.
AIRtran Please see further information below, Have you been able to follow up?
Thank you for contacting AirTran Airways. As I previously advised, the complaint has been filed on your behalf. However, it will be handled internally, and any corrective action that is taken is not shared with the public. Therefore, you will not hear back with any updates on your complaint. I am sorry for any disappointment my response may cause.
Thank you for contacting AirTran Airways. Have a nice day.
Customer Relations Department
C****, After you have checked and verified that what I have stated is the case please email me with a resolution. And I do agree that this item did not pertain to the safety of the aircraft although it did pertain to the safety of your passengers, As I read your response I feel that Airtran or its employees did not or do not care above a minimum amount about my condition or the Dangerous condition I was placed in on this flight. I am truly disheartened by the Quote F A A regulations. If your flight attendant would have just taken the time to investigate the situation we would not be having this discussion. Thank you for your quick response I look forward to hearing further from Airtran or yourself. Have a Great day.
In a message dated info@mail. airtran.com writes:
I am sorry to learn of your disappointment with AirTran Airways, however, we thank you for allowing us the opportunity to address your concerns.
AirTran Airways considers the safety of our valued customers and crew members as our top priority. There are many checks and balances performed by our maintenance crews, our cockpit crews as well as the airlines' operations control to prevent flight irregularities. However normal use can affect the function of any mechanical device.
In compliance with F. A.A. regulation, some maintenance issues are considered Air Worthy, meaning safe to fly with as the item does not pertain to the safety of flight or the aircraft operation. In this case, our maintenance department would make the needed adjustment as soon as possible and within a specified amount of time. Nevertheless, your comments have been forwarded for review.
All AirTran Airways aircraft are equipped with first aid kits. There certainly should have been a bandage available for you upon your request. This information has also been forwarded to make sure the aircraft is fully stocked with the appropriate safety equipment.
Your continued support is important to us. We hope to have an opportunity in the future to better serve you and regain your confidence in our airline.
Customer Relations Department
--- Original Message ---
COMMENTS First, I would like to say that my Family and I almost always fly Airtran. And my wife insists that we try to fly your airline first, also I have been a A+ member for several years. (*********) I recently flew with Airtran on J*** @*** Flight ** from LAX to BWI seat ** D. When we where seated on the plane I noticed that something had stuck me in the leg and when I checked my leg I noticed it was scratched/cut, I felt down under my seat and found a piece of metal sticking out from the bottom of the seat. since we where in flight I notified the flight attendant and asked if I could have 2 bandages one for my leg and another to put over this piece of metal sticking out under the seat. He said he would check, he came back and said that they had no bandages on the plane and that I should try to be careful and he would have the seat AT&T! ended to when we landed in Maryland. During the 4.5 hours I cut my leg several more times. It was impossible not to. Since I did not know what action to follow I contacted my Doctor and he said that I had a tetanus (sp) booster when I was in John Hopkins for my Chemo therapy 2 years earlier and to watch the cuts and see if they begin to become infected. He also told me to use a good antibiotic cream with the bandage. Currently I seam to be fine. It is very disheartening that this did not seam to mater and it was quite unsettling to me as I waited and checked my leg for an infection. I am concerned that someone could be seriously injured by this broken piece of metal and that the plane had no bandages. Please contact me Thank you,
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- On April 25, 2009 my family and I had flights booked through Expedia for flights from Minneapolis, MN to Orlando, Florida. Our flights booked on March 30th 2009 showed our entire round trip at about $200 per person. Upon check in at Minneapolis gates we were told by Air Tran employee, that there was still $485 outstanding bill on our flights. We argued that the flights were paid for and we were told that we would not be able to board until we paid the outstanding balance.
We did not have time to argue for we had cruise we were going on and could not take the chance of missing our flight and therefore missing the cruise. I called Expedia right away and the representative told me "They have been doing this a lot lately. Just fax us your paperwork when you get back to Minneapolis and we will contact Air Tran." Of course the Air Tran Rep we spoke to blames Expedia for booking the flights incorrectly which I disagree with for I have an itemized receipt which shows our flights were paid in full.
Also, when we were checking in at Minneapolis, we were told "Your bag is nice. Just make sure you don't over pack it or you'll be charged over-weight fees."
Upon checking in at the Orlando Airport for our return flight to Minnapolis May 4th, the ticketing person, did not even greet us or make eye contact. She took out her tape measure and went to work at measuring our bags. She told us that "yes" the same "nice bag" is now not overweight but "oversized." She was the most unpleasant person to deal with and charged us extra $39 "oversize" bag fee. She left us standing at the check-in counter for 30 minutes, because of the argument I had with her and we almost missed our flight.
I still have not heard from Expedia regarding our refund. I will continue to pursue this matter with the BBB if Expedia does not respond by the end of the day May 15 2009. I just wanted to let the public know that the customer service with Air Tran is the worst I have ever experience and they are making it their business to rip off other hard working people. They don't accept responsibility for their actions and it's always the customer's fault or problem. I will NEVER fly Air Tran again. I have been sharing my experiences with their company representatives/employees with my co-workers, family and friends and anyone else who will listen. Please take the time to read all the similar complaints against Air Tran before booking your next flight.
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- Just wanted to share a letter I wrote to Airtran after basically being held hostage at National Airport where my choice was miss my flight, get a refund on my ticket and buy from another airline last minute (an unacceptable solution financially and in time), or pay over $200.00 in luggage fees for one ski bag and one rolling duffel bag. I would highly recommend not flying them. I ended up buying a $99.00 one way ticket back on Southwest who were a dream to deal with and did not charge a cent for my two bags.
Dear Mr. Hutcheson,
I recently flew from National Airport in Washington, DC to Denver, Colorado. Upon arriving at the terminal in DC I went to check in my two bags, a ski bag and one piece of rolling luggage. I was first told you did not accept ski bags, but I had read on your website before purchasing my ticket that you did in fact accept ski bags. So after waiting for a long period of time to see a supervisor I was told he could refund my ticket price and I would have to buy a ticket on another airline, which was a completely unacceptable solution as I was scheduled to be in Denver that day and a ticket purchased on such short notice would be exorbitantly priced.
After finally agreeing to check my bag with only five minutes left to board the flight, the supervising agent charged me over $200.00 to check my bags which I had no choice but to pay or miss my flight. As a result of this I ended up purchasing a return ticket on Southwest airlines one way for only $99.00 and they charged nothing for me to check my two bags. In addition to the baggage charges the agent was nothing short of rude and really seemed to have no concern for me getting on the flight.
I am writing to you to let you know this type of treatment is what has caused many of us to travel less frequently or only on airlines such as Southwest who do not rape their customers. I find it amazing that certain airlines have seen fit to penalize their customers to make up for their own poor planning and business practices. As this was my first time flying AirTran I was hoping for a better experience, but having been charged nearly the price of the ticket in luggage charges I do not anticipate flying with your airline again. With the economy in its current state I would think it would be unwise to lose the customers who still desire to travel. I have several friends who resist flying at all, as it has become such a hassle and less than pleasurable experience.
Anything you can do to reimburse my excessive luggage charges would go a long way in motivating me to try your airline again. I am also attaching my itinerary should have any questions about the flights I was on.
My opinion based upon experiences with AirTran: AirTran provides fairly low-priced air travel and was even on-time during most of my flights. Checking even 1 bag will cost you $15 more than what you're told the cost of the trip will be. If you want to talk with an AirTran representative when making your reservation, it will cost you another $15, and if you change your reservatiion after you make it, even if it is for a more expensive flight, it will cost you another $75 in addition to the extra ticket cost. One experience with AirTran on 3/28/09 makes me suspect that AirTran representatives were, and continued to be less than truthful with their passengers, and I've learned that any time someone is less than truthful, the buyer must beware.
You be the judge: Flight 934 on 3/28/09 was scheduled for departure from Atlanta at 6:24 PM. All passengers were allowed to board the aircraft at approximately 7:35PM. After about ten minutes, the captain announced over the speakers that he had just been informed that the aircraft was down for maintenance, and that we must leave the aircraft. He told us that there was another plane already "here" and that should walk to another gate to board it. When we arrived at the other gate, we discovered that the replacement plane was not there, and had not even landed. We were told by a gate agent that it was about to land. After waiting for about an additional hour, we were told by a gate agent that the replacement plane had run low on fuel while waiting to land, and was re-directed to another city for refueling, but that we should continue to wait for it to arrive in Atlanta.
Approximately one-half hour later, all passengers were told by a gate agent that the flight had been cancelled due to weather, and that the passengers were automatically booked on the next AirTran flight in the morning. We were referred to Atlanta hotels for overnight accommodations, at our cost, with no meal allowance or other compensation. I called AirTran "Customer Relations" on 4/07/09 and asked that they at least reimburse me for the cost of the hotel. I was then informed that although maintenance personnel did board the plane that the passengers had originally boarded at 7:35 PM, it was "never down for maintenance", but instead was always cleared for flight. The "Customer Relations" representative insisted that the flight was cancelled due to weather, and that is why there was no compensation to the passengers. I asked the "Customer Relations" representative what time the passengers boarded the plane that had the maintenance issue, and she indicated that it was at about 7:35 PM. She also admitted that all of the passengers were required to leave the plane within a few minutes of boarding.
I then asked her what time the flight had been cancelled "due to weather", and she indicated that it was at about 9:10 PM. I asked her to explain why the passengers were made to wait for about one and one-half hours for another plane if the original plane was "never down for maintenance" but rather cleared for flight, and she continually brought up the weather conditions as the reason. I discovered that Delta Airlines did fly from Atlanta to my destination very shortly thereafter. I did note that some other airlines were cancelling flights due to weather. When I got to my Atlanta hotel, I noticed guests using Delta vouchers to pay for rooms and meals. However, there was no compensation from AirTran.
If you choose to fly AirTran, beware of the inconveniences and additional expenses that you may incur, and of AirTran's hardline approach to blaming mother nature for what may actually be their fault.