My experience with AirTran on March 12, 2010 closely resembles others posted here. My husband and I were flying from Columbus Ohio to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to get on a cruise ship that was leaving the next day (evening of Saturday March 13). We had scheduled our flight out for late afternoon (5 PM) and booked a room in Ft. Lauderdale so we would not miss our cruise. When we checked in for our flight at 3:30 PM, the ticket agent was unpleasant and complained about working. She also did not tell us the flight was already delayed 4+ hours. We learned that upon arriving at the gate.
There was one gate agent who assured me we would make our connection in Atlanta, and then told me he was off duty for the day and grateful he would not have to put up with the hassle delays created. When the next agent arrived, I stood in a very long line to again inquire about connections and advise him we were heading to a cruise so if we were NOT going to get to Florida tonight, please let me know so we could find other options. This type of dialogue continued throughout the evening until approximately 9:30 PM when they cancelled the flight.
By that time, all of the other flights from Columbus to Florida had either departed or were sold out. What was particularly frustrating was that they kept telling us the delays were due to weather and we kept pointing out that other airlines traveling the same routes were operating with modest delays. In retrospect, we should have recognized that they were lying to us and found an alternative. We missed our ship and had to cancel the cruise. None of the AirTran staff was even sympathetic to our plight, and at times, they were downright rude. When they cancelled the flight, they gave us an alternative itinerary that did not get us to Ft. Lauderdale until Monday.
This airline may be OK if you are just looking for a weekend jaunt and getting there late or not at all is not important, but I would NEVER depend on them for a critical arrival date. They are insensitive to their customers' needs and ill equipped to handle even the slightest weather delays. It was an expensive lesson for us, and one I hope you do not have to experience.
During the worst snow storm the Northeast ever experienced (December 20 2009) and after 2 cancellations, I ended up at New York's LaGuardia Airport. After a 3-hour delay, AirTran finally called the flight for boarding. I have a bag that has been on the previous 4 flights as overhead baggage with no problems. While approaching the gate, I had the misfortune of meeting up with an overworked and inexperienced gate agent known as "**". Ms. ** verbally abused the passenger in front of me and when I approached the gate, she told me that my bag is not going in overhead and had to be checked. She told me to leave it.
I then proceeded down the jet way. Halfway down the jetway, Ms. ** came after me stating that I had to have a ticket for the bag. While she was filling out the ticket, I merely asked why the bag can't go in the overhead. In a fit of rage, Ms. ** stated, "I won't be talked to that way," and said, "You are off this flight and you are not going home for Christmas tonight." I then ignored her and continued with my bag to the aircraft. Ms. ** then attempted to pull the bag from me and then claimed that I hit her. Other passengers stated that I never touched her.
Ms. ** then proceeded to the gate and said she was calling the police. I also asked for a supervisor. When the police arrived and we were trying to determine what the problem was, Ms.**'s fellow gate agent asked to see my ticket. This agent then ripped it up and gave away my seat. The police told me to calm down and wait for the supervisor. 30 minutes later and after the flight left, the supervisor arrived. He said with glee, "The next flight we have is December 27th." I then proceeded to search for an airline that would get me home to Atlanta for Christmas.
Thanks to DELTA, I had to purchase a one-way first class ticket for $500.00 and made it home. AirTran's customer service only offered a round trip airfare. AirTran only has 2 gates at LGA so you have a good chance of meeting the meltdown girl from hell. Ms ** first said I hit her then recanted to say that she pulled her arm and shoulder. I think she just needed a time out and some severe discipline from a superior. Maybe a month of lavatory cleaning might help her to make a decision on whether to look for a new job.
I was on a flight last month from JAX to ATL. Everything was going smoothly and just seemed to be clicking. After about 30 minutes of sitting on the plane, we were informed that the plane had some mechanical issues that required us to get off while it was tended to. I thought to myself, "Okay, no problem. This kind of things happen all the time." About 4 hrs later, the "high-speed" personnel working for AirTran finally got the plane operational again. Because it took so long, it backed up a lot of other flights and I somehow ended up getting knocked off the manifest. After another 40 minutes of fighting for the seat that I paid for, I was well on my way to ATL (so I thought).
As soon as I got to the door of the aircraft, I realized I was being followed by a plump fellow that looked like he was wearing a shirt that I would've worn for my 5th grade class pictures. He insisted in broken English that I check my bag, a bag that was worth well over $1,500. I was told that it was to be checked because in the 40 minutes I spent battling with him over MY ticket, the plane filled up with other disgruntled passengers along with their baggage. All I could do was laugh at the situation that I found myself in to keep from drop kicking the incompetent employee down the terminal.
I handed my bag over and knew that nothing else could go wrong. My day had already gotten as bad as it could get. WRONG!!! The boneheads inevitably "lost" my bag. Because I wasn't planning on checking my bag, I had my keys to my vehicle in one of the pockets. WHOOPS!!! Guess that one was on me, right? I figured that this airline was no different than all the others and I would receive my "lost" bag within a couple of days, at most. Wrong again. Here I am, over a month later just getting my bag back.
To put the icing on the cake, everything seemed to be intact and safely in my possession again. After a couple minutes of digging around in every pocket and corner of my bag, I discovered that my $150 external hard drive was "missing." Funny how that happens, isn't it? Oh yeah. Remember the key to the vehicle I told you about? I had to get another made after staying the night in JAX on my way back home, because locksmiths don't usually cut keys at 11:45 pm. It ended up costing me a solid $300 to get the key made due to all these fancy-smancy chips they're putting in keys these days.
Thank you AirTran. You cost me a unacceptable amount of money for my less than ridiculous trip. Oh well. You live and you learn, and I've learned to never travel with AirTran,Airways again and that typing up these nice, informative customer reviews is very therapeutic. I hope it has informed you. Don't make the same mistake I did. GO AIRTRAN!!!
VIRGINIA -- I read the posting about the AirTran passengers that had two golf bags, and I commiserate. This is our own encounter:
I was guiding my 75-year-old mom and 70-year-old aunt (walking with a collapsible cane) through their airport check-in for a domestic flight. They are going on their second city on their 2-month vacation that started with a flight from abroad three weeks ago. Think of a 75-year-old mother wanting to visit all her children one by one before she settled down on a more slow-paced life abroad.
Well, for this domestic trip, my mom still packed her 61-inch standard sized luggage (good for both domestic and international flights). We weighed it and measured it at home. It all checked fine. If you are letting two 70-something ladies to fly on their own, you try to get things in order for them as best as you could. Looks like I failed.
At the AirTran check-in counter, my aunt's small checked-in luggage weighed around 34 lbs. Fine. When my mom's luggage was weighed, it came out at 58 lbs, 8 lbs overweight. Of course, I was surprised the weighing I did at home was inaccurate. But, knowing there is an easy solution, I did not think twice kneeling down the airport floor as I did the transferring of about 8 lbs from my mom's luggage to my aunt's much lighter luggage. I did not think to just pay the $39 excess baggage. As I labored on the airport floor digging through luggage, of course, the two 70-something ladies tried to help me.
So there were all three of us looking pathetic stooped on the airport floor. At that point, I felt guilty and thought I should just have paid the $39 and not subject them to that. But I was already doing it, so we just went ahead and proceeded with the luggage transfer of about 8 lbs When we were done, we thought that was the end of it, so we approached the baggage check-in again to re-check in them again. The weights checked out fine. BUT THEN, the ticket agent said, "NOW I will measure the size." It did not even register to me as something to worry about.
We just removed 10 lbs from the large luggage, so it should be really squeezed to its within-limit measurements more than it was before we took stuff out of it. The check-in agent, per his measurement, now says it was 64 inches. If you see a long line of people behind you, wouldn't you be forced to relent, out of courtesy and common sense, to just pay the darn thing? At that point, I felt that I had my hands held up and I was being robbed, asked to turn over the money.
I was starting to get really assertive at this point. A baggage boy approached my bag sitting on the weigh scale and put his hands or arms around it and looked at me motioning something like, "I don't think it is over-sized." So I told the check-in agent something like, "He said it's not over-sized. It looks like the baggage boy has more sense or good judgment than you." The check-in agent responded, "He's just a baggage boy."
Before I go on further, I don't even know how to describe the whole "nonsensical, money-grubbing vs customer service, check-in robbery" episode. If I knew, I should have just paid the $25 for a second checked-in luggage and have my 75-year-old mom check in whatever she had to hand carry or slug across the airport. Does AirTran really think so poorly of its passengers as rascals who think they can slip through two extra inches, real or imagined? Do we just cower and hand in our payments and be done with it? Then fine, but at least allow me to claim that that morning, I was the victim of a holdup.
My daughter and I flew on AirTran Flight 105 from Dallas to Atlanta, then Flight 78 from Atlanta to Washington DC on July 12, 2009 at 5:30 AM. When I arrived in DC, my baggage did not. Here is a list of my complaints in order.
I had to pay for my bags, which I was unaware I had to do until I got to the airport. I haven't flown in 3 years. According to your website and what was posted at the airport, I should have paid $15 for my daughter's bag and $39 for mine (my bag was oversize). I was charged $69. Your website does not state that I would have to pay two charges. The $15 was added to $39. It states oversize bag charge is $39 not $54.
At the DC airport baggage office, the lady took my information along with about 10 other people whose bags did not make it on the plane change in Atlanta. She stated the bags should arrive on the 5:30 PM flight. I stated we had to drive 2 hours to my sister's house where we were staying. She asked for the address and phone number contacts and said several times the bags would be delivered even after I reminded her we were in Georgetown, Delaware (2 hours away). She told me to call back after 5:30 to check on my bags.
I called at 5:45 PM and spoke to a new agent who said my bags were there but when he read the address back to me to verify, he said “Delaware! We can't deliver there! That's too far!” Now why didn't the first agent say they would not deliver. We could have stayed in DC and returned at 5:30 PM. It would have been an inconvenience but that would have been better than not having my bags until Tuesday at 4:00 PM. I had medication that I needed and my daughter needed her retainer. We had to go buy clothes for 2 days.
Over the next 3 hours, I spoke to several baggage agents and I even offered to drive an HOUR toward the airport to the outskirts of DC and meet someone to get my bags but no one would help except to say, our bags would be sent FedEx and would arrive on Tuesday. I can't possibly tell you how mad and disappointed I was with AirTran's service and customer service. First vacation and first time to visit my sick mom in 3 years. All of the inconvenience and loss of medication and money spent and time spent talking to inconsiderate and sometimes rude agents has turned me against AirTran.
One more thing, since I am an honest person. I arrived late at DFW because of my job (I work at night). Because the plane was already boarding, the check-in person stated if I wanted my bag at all (her words), I would have to sign a waiver saying I would not hold AirTran responsible. "WE CAN'T GUARANTEE YOUR BAGS WILL MAKE IT ON THE PLANE IN DALLAS" (again her words). Our bags made it on the plane in Dallas, it just didn't make it from the Dallas flight to the DC flight in Atlanta, not because of me but because AirTran arrived late in Atlanta so YOUR PEOPLE didn't get my bags (plus the other people's) transferred.
Even though the fault was yours, your agent threw the waiver in my face several times. Now you can say what you want but the waiver should only have applied to our bags getting on the plane in DALLAS. That's what I was told I was signing it for (because I was late at Dallas), not if you lost or mishandled my luggage somewhere along the way. This is just a corporation loophole for your mistake but then shifting the blame to the customer. This was all handled wrong and in most cases, by inconsiderate and often rude people that only wanted me to just go away. Just another reason why I now DESPISE AIRTRAN.
Based on my experience with uncaring and uninterested and mostly rude service people at AirTran, I don't believe I will find any satisfaction in sending this letter, but I felt I had to write it anyway. I will send this to everyone I can at AirTran.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- So by now, everyone knows that many airlines are charging baggage fees for checked baggage. My daughter recently flew on AirTran with 2 suitcases. We paid $15 for the first and $25 for the 2nd online at time of check-in. Upon check-in at the airport, we were told that although they were both under the allowed weight, one of the suitcases would be considered "OVER-SIZED" because it was over 62 linear inches; it supposedly measured 63" (H+ W +L)..... Although I measured it at less than 62". It is a standard full size suitcase which I have flown with at least 30 times on various airlines....without any problems...including 2 days later on another major carrier.
The problem is that they stand the suitcase up against the edge of the scale and then measure from the wall of the scale all the way around to the other wall. This measurement process adds AT LEAST 3-4 inches to any suitcase meaning it is ALWAYS measures too big. I pointed all this out to the supervisor and customer service managers etc.....to no avail. In fact they were rude and condescending. I was told that this is the process that they are taught for measuring.... No doubt the most beneficial to Air Tran and the most disadvantageous to consumers.
We finally paid a $39 penalty for being "oversize." NOT A GOOD WAY FOR AIRTRAN TO BUILD A CUSTOMER BASE. SO A WARNING TO ALL: They are essentially MISLEADING customers in order to collect extra baggage fees. In addition, there is NO explanation of exactly how the measurement will be done in advance. Most normal people would assume that you would measure the three dimensions of a suitcase and simply add them together! IF YOU PLAN TO FLY AIRTRAN AGAIN, BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT EXACTLY HOW YOU MEASURE YOUR SUITCASE.... It really isn't as simple as you think!
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I recently flew from Columbus to Orlando and back on AirTran. Overall, the flight was wonderful with minimal delays. We were greeted by very pleasant and accommodating AirTran employees at the Columbus airport. However, our return from Orlando was quite a different story. We were told that three out of four of our bags were oversized and/or overweight. We found this at first quite amusing since they were both expandable Duffel bags that were not filled. However, when the measurements were taken the clerk expanded the Duffels beyond their contents to take the measurements.
The bags are supposed to be 60" bags and somehow, someway the clerk decided that the bags measured 61" although the bags were barely two-thirds full!! These bags have traveled the world over without incident or claims of being oversized!! I argued that I would not pay the $39.00 and the nasty clerk called over a polite manager who measured the bags as well. Of course no explanation was given as to why they take the expanded size of the bag with no consideration to the actual contents - they rang up the $39.00 charge (x2) and then told me I could not board my plane if I did not pay the fees.
I then turned over each bag one at a time and asked the clerk to take new measurements. She at first refused, but quickly stretched her tape across each bag and came up with a 60" measurement. She was quite annoyed, but reversed the charges. There was a senior citizen couple right next to me getting the same treatment (by the same clerk) but they reluctantly paid the fees. Also, on the other side was a business traveler who was getting the same oversized treatment. Somehow my nine-year-old son's bag weighted 51 pounds (this was discovered AFTER the fiasco with the first two bags!). We removed a schoolbook from the side pocket and we were fine.
I personally witness no fewer than SIX angry AirTran customers that day- two I was able to speak to on the plane - and we all agreed that we are done with AirTran. It's a shame since the booking and flights were wonderful. However, as a frequent flier I will not be flying AirTran in the future. I just don't need the extra hassle. Oh, I asked at the gate about their policy of stretching bags to their max size. The boarding clerks were very polite, but I was told that it is because people could stuff their bags with more contents between ticketing and the security drop-off.
Now wouldn't inexpensive tie-wraps (placed by the ticketing clerk) on the checked bags be a simple, cost effective way to keep people from opening their checked bags?? (Of course the tie wraps could later be removed by security if required.) While I am sure the excess baggage fees are a financial bonanza for AirTran they do create a good deal of customer complaints, dissatisfaction and lost future business. Seems to me that an investment of a few pennies has probably lost AirTran thousands in revenue from at least six angry customers, including myself. AirTran fliers in Orlando beware!!!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- 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 AirTran 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 AirTran Airlines.
On March 22, 2008, we flew from Atlanta GA to Denver, Colorado with 22 other people. Our confirmation number was **. We were the only two flying AirTran Airlines. All the others in our party were glad that they had flown other airlines when they heard of our experience with AirTran in Atlanta, GA. AirTran 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 online 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 200 lbs. 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 may be 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 cannot 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 AirTran 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 AirTran again and others in our party determined the same. The agent in Denver made us want to travel AirTran 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 AirTran? 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 AirTran Airlines lose our business by allowing the agents in Atlanta to be the standard?
WASHINGTON DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- I was in business class full fare returning from my mother's funeral. I cut my finger pulling out their tray table. It was a small but deep cut. I asked for a Band-Aid and the attendant said she did not have one. I found that incredulous and asked again and she said she could not open the first aid kit because she would have to write a report. She gave me a wet paper towel and my finger bled for the next three hours until I landed and got a Band-Aid from a friend. I wrote Air Tran twice and they did not respond so I filed a complaint with the FAA which was forwarded to Southwest.
Months later, Southwest wrote me a very nice letter and offered me $100 towards my next flight. I found this a day late and a dollar short.
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.