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AirTran Airways - Page 2

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110 reviews & complaints.
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Major Disappointment
Posted by on
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- In the first place, on Friday, May 20, before 9 am we learned that our flight #112 at 12:21 pm from Dallas to Atlanta was cancelled, presumably due to weather in Dallas. However, the Dallas weather was perfectly fine until late afternoon, so I do not see why this decision was made. It was the only Atlanta flight of the five on their schedule that day that was cancelled, but they couldn't find us space on another flight until the next day. In addition to causing us to miss an entire day with our grandson, we were subjected to several other stressful situations involving our prepaid hotel and car rental arrangements.

The next day we got to Atlanta just fine, but then my husband and I were passengers on flight 278 from Atlanta to Boston. That plane was not able to land in Boston due to fog. We understand that kind of thing to be unavoidable. My complaint centers around the decision to divert to Providence, where AirTran has no facilities, in order to refuel. This does not qualify as a well-thought-out contingency plan, in my opinion. While we were on the tarmac in Providence, several passengers became insistent to be allowed to leave the plane; and the pilot agreed to accommodate them, which caused even more of a delay; because they had to negotiate for a gate and then verify exactly who was still on the plane. As a result, the rest of us wound up staying on the plane on the ground for five hours. Instead of arriving in Boston at 7:19 pm, it was closer to 1 am when we finally deplaned.

By that time, we had lost our car rental reservation, our hotel room, and half the time we were planning to spend with our grandson who had to go to school on Monday; and we started our vacation in a state of stress and exhaustion.

The AirTran personnel were pleasant and professional throughout. I feel that the errors were made at a level above them.
     
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trmn8r on 2011-05-30:
I understand that you lost valuable time with your grandson, but traveling by air comes with these issues.

Providence and Boston aren't that far apart, 51 miles by car! How could the passengers' demands to deplane have been anticipated, and how can all passengers by accommodated?
Anonymous on 2011-05-30:
Just because the weather in Dallas was nice doesn't mean it was nice in the city where the plane was coming from.
Sol Onboard on 2011-06-02:
littleshorty is right, airlines make runs to and from different states all day long, and you don't know where your flight originated from. On May 2o, severe weather was noted for Alabama and Arkansas, with hail and damaging winds. The entire month of May was brutal weather-wise, effecting air travel and lives on the ground.
I'm sorry your family plans were disrupted, but be thankful you are all safe.
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BEWARE of AIR TRAN in ATLANTA when checking in your luggage and switching seats. Lying about delays
Posted by on
I normally fly with Delta to Atlanta but this time my husband and I decided to try Air Tran because of the flight schedule. NEVER AGAIN WILL I FLY AIR TRAN. Checked in from San Francisco Int'l airport. As the 2 agents saw me rolling my big luggage they ask if I was checking in my luggage. I thought to myself are they blind because my luggage is big--is it not obvious. As I place my luggage on the scale I handed my boarding pass and ID to the male agent so he starts to process my luggage when the female agent says "It's close to the cut off time we cannot promise your luggage will be in the same flight with you. You might have to check it on the next flight which arrives the next day". As I rush to get the luggage check in I ask the female agent if she can just call downstairs to make sure my luggage gets in the same flight. She answered "no we can't do that but if she hurry up it might still make it" Then she places the tag for the luggage and proceeds to measure my luggage taking more time instead of putting my luggage on the conveyor to send it downstairs to the cargo area. She then tagged places a tag that reads 61 inches. Worried the entire flight that my luggage will not be there I was relieve to find it on the baggage claim area. On the way to Atlanta I had already picked my seat and I know it was seat 21. I handed my boarding pass to the agent at the door and he then tells me to remember seat 21D because he will take my boarding pass. As I enter the plane he then tells the flight attendant to tell me that I'm not on 21 D but 23D. So I proceed to 23D and someone was already seated. A flight attendant checks her list and finds out that my seat was 21D and took me back to row 21 and someone was also seated in my seat. She then tells that passenger to move to his original seat on 21B but another passenger was also assigned to that seat.

On the return flight from Atlanta. When they measured my luggage it measured at 64 inches. I ask them they must have a smaller measuring tape because that luggage came from San Francisco and they had tagged it at 61 inches. To make the long story short I had to pay $49.00 for oversized luggage. We boarded on time for our 8:45pm flight as we settled in our seats the pilot announces that there was a small radar problem and that it will take about 10mins or so. 30mins pass and the pilot announces that now we need to refuel and that will take another 10 minutes or so because we have to wait for the fuel tank. 1 hr later more passenger was walking in and looking for seats and was told to just find an open seat.
It turns out that Air Tran had held the flight to wait for the delayed Orlando flight which carried passengers on their way to San Francisco.
NEVER AGAIN WILL I FLY WITH AIR TRAN.... YOUR CEO or COO SHOULD TRY FLYING WITH YOUR AIRLINE SO THEY KNOW HOW YOUR COMPANY TREAT THEIR PASSENGERS.
     
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Don't Count on Service from Airtran
Posted by on
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.
     
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Anonymous on 2010-03-13:
During weather delays the FAA decides which flights can depart, which ones are delayed, and which one's need to be cancelled. It's not the airline.
dan gordon on 2010-03-14:
while its not the airlines fault if you had chosen a more traditional carrier they would have rebooked you on any carrier still flying. The off brand airlines don't have reciprocity so they are of little help in this kind of scenario.
raven2010 on 2010-03-14:
I wonder if the airline could have arranged to fly you to an airport near where the ship would make its first stop??
Anonymous on 2010-03-14:
Not to be rude, but since you already booked a hotel the night before, WHY would you cut it so close by booking an evening flight? If you travel by air you are always taking a chance on delays or cancellations. I am thinking having a morning flight would have been better as any delay would have given you more time to either get rebooked or to drive down and make the cruise on time.

Maybe it is just me. I am an over planner. Heck, for concerts in Nashville we rent a room and check in at check in time to make sure we have enough time to make the concert the next night.

Sorry, but I really don't think you can blame the airline. As for telling you you would have enough time, they use the info they have at the time. Weather can and does change things often.
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Grinch that almost stole Christmas
Posted by on
During the worst snow storm the Northeast ever experienced(December 20 2009)and after 2 cancellations I ended up at New Yorks Laguardia Airport. After a 3 hour delay Air Tran 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 "SADE". Ms. Sade 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 jetway. Halfway down the jetway Ms. Sade 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. Sade 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. Sade then attempted to pull the bag from me and then claimed that I hit her. Other passengers stated that I never touched her. Ms. Sade 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. Sade'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. Air Trans customer service only offered a round trip airfare. Air Tran only has 2 gates at LGA so you have a good chance of meeting the meltdown girl from hell. Ms Sade 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.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-12-24:
all I have to read is the first sentence. Snow storm. Blah Blah Blah.....snow storm....blah blah blah....airlines cannot help the weather.
Anonymous on 2009-12-24:
1) NOT the worst snow storm the northeast has ever had, not by a long shot. 2) waaaay too much drama/exaggeration here 3) Delta had a LAST SECOND holiday travel week first class ticket available for 500 bucks? I say 550 shenanigans!
spiderman2 on 2009-12-24:
I have lived in the Northeast for 42 years and can tell you that the recent snowstorm was far from the worst one ever experienced. Get a grip.
Anonymous on 2009-12-24:
If you would have just let her do her job and check your bag, you would have not been kicked off the plane. grant you, I have also run into some disgruntled workers on airlines.....but there's nothing you can do about it. I'm not sayinf her conduct was fair, but I'm sure her job can be very hectic with the constand flow of people and problems with flights be cancelled. Next time, just keep your mouth closed and let her to her job.
Anonymous on 2009-12-24:
Trust me I used to work as a gate agent for ATA. Do not piss off or even question a gate agent when they tell you that a bag needs to be checked. Obviously because of the chaos and full flights there was probably no room in the overhead compartments. The flight attendants advise the gate agents when they're full. If it didn't fit under the seat in front of you it has to be checked.
Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-12-24:
She told you to leave the bag. You said you were halfway down the jetway when the told you you needed a ticket. Then the confrontation. Then you said you "ignored her and continued with my bag to the aircraft".

So it sounds like you ignored her first instructions to leave the bag and decided you were taking it anyway since the bag was apparently "halfway down the jetway" with you when the confrontation took place.

Perhaps this is why she got a bit upset? Just a thought.
Anonymous on 2009-12-24:
"During the worst snow storm the Northeast ever experienced" Are you kidding? Not even close.... not even in the top 1,000. Frankly it sounds like you struck an attitude with someone who wasn't going to take it, and as a result you paid the price.
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AirTran employees are thieves.
Posted by on
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 4hrs 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 $1500. 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 dropkicking 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 11:45pm. 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!!!
     
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Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
Wow. If that was the same guy that you were arguing with at the ticket counter, I get you he was the one to "misplace" your bad...whoops! I'm sure he figured he got even with you for arguing with him.....Wow that really sucks....
Ben There on 2009-12-23:
AirTran employs plump people with poor taste in clothes? I will never fly them again. Thanks for the warning.
Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
Lol ben!
Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
That really sucks. Even with bags that we used to check at the gate, we're supposed to type the bag tag number manually into the passengers reservation so that there would be a record of it. 99% of the time it was never done. As soon as a flight left we had to go to another gate to assist the boarding process there.
Anonymous on 2009-12-24:
I'm sure that in appreciation of your charm and wit, the "plump fellow that looked like he was wearing a shirt that I would've worn for my 5Th grade class pictures" checked your bag through to Dubai. You ridicule hime here, but guess who is laughing at you.
madconsumer on 2009-12-24:
I would like to hear the other side of this story. even if it is in broken English spoken by a plump man in a bad clothes.
Ben There on 2009-12-24:
(BA) Ken
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%$!#^@$#^!$!@!!
Posted by on
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 measurementss 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 oversized." So I told the check-in agent something like, "He said it's not oversized. 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 handcarry 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? The, fine, but at least allow me to claim that that morning, I was the victim of a hold up.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-08-29:
I can tell you if you're paying with cash the agents can make even an inch cost you. Many of them pocket the money.
Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-08-29:
AirTran's requirements are the same as Delta and United's - 62 inches combined length + width + height is considered oversized. For what it's worth, AirTran is planning to raise the size limit to 70 inches effective October 1st.
Another AirTran Excess Baggage Victim on 2009-08-30:
Thanks for the commenters to my post. This is for Mr. Jorgen and others who need clarification about this slew of complaints from AirTran passengers. Yes, we understand the 62-inch maximum (H+W+L) and would have been ready to pay should we know we are over that maximum size limit. Luggage size for international flights measure 61 inches, and if one buys that for both domestic and international travel, one just has to be careful not to pack it for domestic travel in a way that the sides are bulging beyond 62. It's one of those things that become routine reminders to travelers who use an international sized-bag all over. As it is, its size should be just fine for domestic travel as well. In our case, the luggage was not bulging with contents. The fluff of side pockets was wrongly measured, adding inches of [technically] air and decor to the luggage size. If those are flattened (since they do not have anything in them), or if the measurer tigthens the tape measure properly, the luggage should be simply 61 and not beyond. What are people who travel international and domestic who use one baggage to do? My 75-year old mom's luggage only first became 8 lbs overweight because of books she put in it absent-mindedly after I weighed it fine. But when we took them out (and put them in my aunt's much smaller and much, much lighter luggage), it was practically all her summer clothes left in it. So there just was no reason for it to bulge at all beyond its 61-inch size. We would not have any issues or complaints if we knew we carried excess baggage. But we took precautions and planned, only to be surprised at the erroneous measurement. Lines are long at check-in and considerate passengers won't hold up the line because they want to re-measure, observe the re-measuring, or argue a magically appearing extra 2 inches on their luggage. It really is like a hold up at the counter. As to the October change, doesn't that show Airtran realized the @#$%#$@! of their excess baggage policy and practices that they are now correcting it? And how about all those "pickpocketed $39+++ from all the victimized passengers"? AirTran still gets to keep the money? And perhaps the change in October won't matter because AirTran already lost those passengers.
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Letter to AirTran Airways
Posted by on
To Customer Service/Complaint Department,

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 5:30AM. When I arrived in DC, my baggage did not. Here is a list of my complaints in order.

1. 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 daughters 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.

2. 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 5:30PM flight. I stated we had to drive 2 hours to my sisters 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.

3. 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 4:00PM. I had medication that I needed and my daughter needed her retainer. We had to go buy clothes for 2 days.

4. 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 AirTrans 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.

5. 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 IN 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 peoples) 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.
     
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goduke on 2009-08-17:
If you take the trip again, check out going on SWA from Love Field to BWI. Might save you some headaches.
Anonymous on 2009-08-17:
I'm too lazy to verify but I don't think you can get from DAL-BWI direct due to the Wright Amendment....besides, who enjoys lining up like lemmings to board a Southwest flight.
This incident could have happened on any airline but to mitigate the chances you are best to fly a non stop. AA and US offer direct service between DCA-DFW. Saving $10 on a ticket looks like seriously false economy when things go wrong - connecting always increases the mishap factor.
PepperElf on 2009-08-17:
actually I like southwest
cos lemmings or not it cost less to fly them than it did to fly other airlines

I remember back when it was just about 35 each way to fly home. then it went up to around 65 or so... then a lil higher

but still less than other airlines
goduke on 2009-08-17:
You can get from Love to BWI. You just have to bounce in a city (usually nashville). Adds about 30 minutes to the trip.
goduke on 2009-08-17:
Oh..and SWA doesn't charge that goofy baggage fee.
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AirTran Scamming the Public
Posted by on
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- So by now everyone knows that many airlines are charging baggage fees for checked baggage. My daughter recently flew on Air Tran with 2 suitcases. We paid $15 for the first and $25 for the 2nd on-line 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 "OVERSIZED" 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 dayslater 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 wastold 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 AIR TRAN 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!
     
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Anonymous on 2009-05-18:
If the bags are soft sided, measuring along the three edges would not provide an accurate measurement. As the contents shift the soft sides would tend to bow out. Placing the bag against the wall of the scale would render a more accurate size measurement.
Anonymous on 2009-05-31:
[snip - please be respectful] get used to air travel now, times have changed and you still dwell in a cave, wake up JO. Measure your bag at home, if its to wide etc. strap or tape it down because I'm tired of being held up by the lazy!! Do you really expect the airline to smash it up against a wall to meet your requirements??? Do you want them to let it slide because you fly with it all the time. Maybe they have a family to feed and actually need a paycheck to survive!!! ABN 4 LIFE D.F.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-31:
I am pretty sure the customers know how to measure their bag or read the dimensions of the bag listed on the tag, and that it did indeed meet the requirements. After all, if it didn't, why didn't the other airlines have a problem with the bag during the previous 30+ flights where they had to check it? I doubt the bag magically changed in size for this flight.

This looks like another case where Airtran extorted another illegitimate bag fee from customers, by putting them in a situation where they will not allow them to take their flight unless they pay the fraudulent fee by claiming the bag is heavier/bigger than it actually is. Then if they refuse to pay the fees, they are marked as a no show and their seats are forfeited, leaving them without a flight.

This seems to be a common practice amongst this airline now.
Anonymous on 2009-05-31:
SOARING LADY, YOU ARE WRONG, AIRLINES DIDN'T CARE BEFORE BUT NOW THE ECONOMY FAILED THEY HAVE TO ENFORCE THESE RULES BY THE BOOK OR FACE BANKRUPTCY. HE ADMITTED IT MEASURED 63" WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT????? IF PEOPLE FLEW WITH ALL THESE OVERSIZED BAGS AND RULES WEREN'T ENFORCED, THE PLANES WOULD LIKELY FALL FROM SKY AND AIRLINES WOULD BE SUED. OH WAIT, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. AN AIRLINER CRASHED AND AFTER INVESTIGATION IT WAS DUE TO THESE ITEMS THAT WEREN'T DOCUMENTED SUCH AS AN OVERSIZED OR OVERWEIGHT BAGS!! THE WEIGHT AND BALANCE IS CRITICAL. YOU DON'T GET IT...

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Anonymous on 2009-05-31:
Soaring Consumer is a male
Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-31:
He did not admit it measured 63". He said that Airtran claimed it measured 63" despite it actually measured less than that. They took advantage of this customer.

I know airlines don't measure the actual bags, they use "average weights" and still do. It is common industry practice, and I doubt a couple inches would make a difference.

And I am not a lady, lol.
DisputeTheCharges on 2009-06-01:
Soaring every airline has a size as well as weight requirement.

For Air Tran the checked baggage requirement is 50 lbs. or less with dimensions 61 inches or smaller.
http://www.airtran.com/policies/carry-on_checked.aspx
DisputeTheCharges on 2009-06-01:
Looking around at what other airlines charge you should be thankful you weren't flying on Jet Blue because they charge $75 per bag over 62 inches. I guess they have to make money somehow.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-01:
Yes, the customer said it met the requirements given to him and that AirTran measured the bag to be bigger than it actually was.
Jakelaw on 2009-07-04:
I found a very simple solution to airline luggage charges.

I fly Southwest whenever it is practical. No charge for the first two suitcases, plus tickets are completely refundable for credit provided you cancel prior to the plane departing.



Star107 on 2009-07-23:
The situation described was EXACTLY what happened to me in Orlando on new years day. I have solved the problem by NEVER flying Airtran, telling everyone about my experience, and flying Southwest whenever possible. I felt ripped-off from the experience due to the creative measuring of my luggage. FLYER BEWARE of unfair fees...
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Soured on AirTran
Posted by on
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 sons 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 ashame 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!!!
     
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Ben There on 2009-01-04:
We have been hearing a lot about AirTran's $39 oversized baggage fees... I wonder if the employees at these huge airports that seem to be causing the trouble like Atlanta and Orlando get a bonus for each baggage fee.

You can always claim that you will never fly AirTran again, but as someone who flies last minute a lot I have seen lots of times where AirTran's and USAirway's fares are hundreds less than American, Delta, United, Continental, etc... Even after the fees and the penalties a lot of people save a fortune. Amazing how a $400 savings can make people forget bad events, and I think the corporate offices know this.
Anonymous on 2009-01-04:
Tie wraps... not going to happen as airlines try to decrease employees touching luggage - OJI, time, cost.
Just an FYI no airline makes money flying MCO or TPA, FL for the most part is a revenue loser despite the flying frequency.
If you are a frequent flier on AirTran you'd be reluctant to give up their affinity perks.

Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-01-05:
The TSA would have a fit if the airlines started zip tying bags shut. And the clerk was right, people at Orlando have a tendency to get the bag weighed and tagged and then the kids remove all their Disney jackets, hats, etc and stuff them into the bag before it goes to screening. So blame the folks that try to beat the system for making it tougher for everyone.
gaby on 2009-01-15:
Same thing happened to me! Was subject to extortion and had to pay $39 for a not very fully packed 60 inch bag. The check in person who measured it actually started the tape from the 1" mark and when I asked her to start from zero she said "that is not how WE measure it"! SO the company tells them how to cheat!
The rude supervisor then came and measured it again and looped the tape in a crooked way and would not let me touch it to straighten it. THis is extortion. Never fly with AIRTRASH again!
Another AirTran Excess Baggage Victim on 2009-08-29:
I read this after I read the same type of complaint from a group checking in 2 golf bags, one of them claimed by Airtran as being 2 lbs over the allowed limit. Then I read this too. Amazing how misguided AirTran is about this ?#@!#&%! is being done to their passengers. I wish this whole fiasco gets bigger coverage about the state of airlines' dismal PR and worsening customer service. I was told check-in people's and supervisors' hands are tied by company policies, something about AirTran being required to measure luggage as they ... what's the term used ... stand? If I knew, I should have brought a roll of tape to wrap around the fluffy, air-filled pocket/flap. That should suck in whatever is being counted as excess size. Oh no, I will not even think about using a strong string ... the protrusion from any knot on the string may be counted in the measurement. Pardon me that I started with this. Here is our own encounter with AirTran's excess-baggage charging blitz/campaign.
*******

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 measurementss 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 oversized." So I told the check-in agent something like, "He said it's not oversized. 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 handcarry 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? The, fine, but at least allow me to claim that that morning, I was the victim of a hold up.


gary on 2013-01-08:
Airtran ripped a zipper off on a non stop flight from Tampa to Dayton. We did not notice until we got home, then called airtran customer service. That CS is simply a recording. We left a message 5 days ago and still no return call. Fixing the zipper will be a $10 cost, so not a big deal, but customer service at airtran is a failure.
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Stranded In Georgia - You Won't Believe It
Posted by on
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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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)?
Ben There on 2008-05-16:
I am guessing since you had to divert that weather caused the initial problem?
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.
ejack053824 on 2008-05-16:
What type of airplane was this?
Hugh_Jorgen on 2008-05-17:
Ejack - I believe they use the B717 for that route.
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.
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.
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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