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 Duflfle bags that were not filled. However, when the measurements were taken the clerk expanded the Duffles 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!!!
DULLES, VIRGINIA -- I am writing you because of an incident that happened over the weekend with your branch at IAD. I had flown in to visit and help my daughter out because she was sick. Let me preface by saying I pay extra to fly in and out of IAD, instead of the other airports. On Saturday, I had booked a 6:50 am flight on AirTran, which was to fly to ATL, then Hobby. We were up at 4 am and at the airport by 5 am.
I went to the machine at the AirTran terminal and put in my numbers to find that the machine would not take them. Then I waited 20 minutes to reach the counter where 2 people were working, but only one was helping the customers in line, the other, an older man was moving baggage. There I was told that the flight had been “oversold” and that I may not make it onto the flight. I was also told by the man that they “over sale” all the time.
I had to dash off to the security where of course it takes forever to get through, and by the time I got to the gate, I was told that I would be on standby for the next flight with no guarantee that I would be able to get on that one, and after that there was a probable 3pm flight. There were two guys there. They had low communication skills and were more than rude!! They told the passengers that they were late in arriving to the airport, and it was their own faults for being late!
We were held up at the counter at the entrance because you oversold tickets!! I was there right on time. The extremely rude man, the one who did most of the talking, kept his name tag where it could not be read!! I was told that they could only over sale by no more than 3 people. It seems that they had oversold by 12. I asked to get a seat on the Sunday flight and go back home with my family for the night, I didn't want to sit at an airport alone possibly all day, as my family couldn't sit with me, to wait on the flight. But the Sunday flights were “oversold” too!!
My daughter and son-in-law were furious about everything, frankly so am I. I paid full price for a ticket, as well as the other people that were left waiting with me. When I should have been home at 10 am, I was home at 6 pm. I had plans that day! I will never use AirTran Airlines again. I will be going onto all consumer websites and posting this letter to you so that consumers are forewarned. I want some kind of compensation for this!!
How does your employee think he has a right to talk down to your patrons like he did? I paid full price for my ticket not only did I end up not being on the flight, I had this man speak to me like a second class citizen! My daughter was so embarrassed about my treatment, she is writing a complaint to IAD. I demand some sort of compensation, I demand answers! If a football stadium with thousands of seats can sale and not over sale, how can an airline with less seats not get it right?
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I'm not saying everyone who works for AirTran is horrible, but come on, this has got to stop!!! When will the President step up to the plate and revamp its policies and hiring policy??? I WILL NEVER FLY AIRTRAN EVER AGAIN!!! I flew from Atlanta to AZ flight #531 and I checked two pieces of luggage both under the 50 lbs capacity, I even tipped the skycap rep $10.00, not a big deal, but it is. I am 6 months pregnant, high risk pregnancy with a lot of meds that were in my suitcase, since the new rules of taking prescription drugs on the in flight with you has changed, I had no choice.
I flew on February 14, 2008, one of my bags arrived, and funny how we arrived 20 minutes before our scheduled time to land. Well I later found out that AirTran sent some of our bags on another plane before we even took off so when we got there, some of the passengers' bags were already at the luggage claim office. Funny how my other bag was checked by TSA Security but my other bag disappeared!!!
I called the 800# which is a slap in the face because NO ONE EVER answers and if you leave messages, they NEVER return the call. I had to call Customer Relations to yell them out and at least get someone on the phone. Well they didn't seem too concerned when I spoke with them and told me they were doing the best they could do and I would just have to sit back and wait!!!
Wow!!! What customer service training they were taught by the company!!! This was my second chance flight for AirTran because NO matter what in the past, I was always guaranteed that my flight would be cancelled or my seat would be given away with no explanation!!!
So now I get this claim form I'm supposed to fill out and get back to them in a timely fashion in order to insure proper reimbursement...yeah OK, I'm totally convinced my file is closed out in the system for airline alerts to even search for my bags at this point and I'm to provide receipts of anything over $100.00. You have got to be kidding me!!!
For all of you who reads this or would like a clear understanding about AirTran, my suggestion to you is NEVER EVER GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY, THE COMPANY DOESN'T DESERVE IT. They may have cheaper flights, but somehow, someway you are still going to pay just the same as you flew another airlines because of all of the stealing going on with this company. I wouldn't be surprised if the president wrapped my Puma sneakers in a box and gave them to a niece or a friend of a friend, or maybe even donating all of my maternity clothes to AirTran motherhood charity.
I know it sounds like I'm bitter, but I'm pretty sure I feel just the same as you if you have been there, done that with AirTran. AirTran needs to step up to the plate, I am not saying my situation is any different but you would think that they would respond to a pregnant lady who has all of her medication and maternity clothes in the luggage, which by the way--who keeps receipts for underwear???
AirTran YOU GUYS NEED AN "F" FOR ALL OF YOUR NON-EFFORTS IN ANY CLAIM THAT IS FILED WITH YOUR COMPANY. If any previous passenger feels like you will retrieve your luggage, think again. It's not going to happen, it's 85% guaranteed that you will never be able to see your luggage and items unless you make the special purchase all over again!!!
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- I am writing to complain about Flight 716 on January 17th, 2008, nonstop from Dulles to Orlando leaving at 11:32 am. My son, my fiance, and I were on that flight. It is by far the worst flight I have ever taken in my life. It was my fiance's first time on a plane, and needless to say he couldn't believe how bad his first flight turned out to be. It started to snow heavily at 9:00 am in the Washington area and the flight was supposed to leave at 11:32 am. Some airlines were already delaying flights. But not AirTran.
The plane got to the terminal late, at 11:48 am. Obviously the weather was a problem. Yet for some strange reason, AirTran decided to board the plane, and have us sit in the plane for three hours and ten minutes. Why make the foolish decision to board the plane in the middle of a snowstorm if you were not 100% sure that you could take off? The air circulation on the plane was awful. There was no fresh air circulating because the plane shut down, and it was disgusting. He tried to turn the plane back on once or twice more, for a few minutes each time, but it was so disgusting, and cramped and nasty in there, you felt like you were going to go crazy.
My fiance, my son and I were sitting in a cramped plane with knee pains and back pains along with other frustrated, starving, confused passengers wondering why were we sitting on a plane that was not taking off! People took turns walking up and down the aisles smacking into each other just to stretch out their bodies.
To make matters worse, the pilot decided to insult our intelligence by getting on the PA system every 20 minutes with BS excuses as to why we could not take off, which included, the weather, the plane had to be de-iced, the tower is not letting us go, the runaway needs to be cleaned, the plane needed to be “pulled” off the runway but some machine… excuse after excuse after excuse. He knew damn well we could not take off, so why was it necessary to keep us on a plane for three hours and ten minutes? We were not offered water/juices or appropriate snacks nor food vouchers.
Somebody asked about getting off the plane, but the stewardess said we'd miss our flight if we got off the plane - turning us into fearful prisoners. We were only given soda which is absolutely unconscionable, and after three hours and ten minutes, we were told we could go back to the gate to go eat something and were told to come back in twenty minutes.
Why twenty minutes? Because after twenty minutes they foolishly boarded the plane again, and had us sit on the damn plane again for one hour and a half with more excuses how the plane had to be de-iced AGAIN, how there was now a maintenance issue (with no clarification offered) that needed to be resolved, the plane needed to be refueled, how the tower had still not told us we could leave. All he kept saying was “we are ready to leave but this, we are ready to leave but that”. Total crap. WE WERE NOT READY TO LEAVE!
By now, we were beginning to think there was something wrong with the plane and that you they used the weather as an excuse, considering the fact that in the total five hours we were sitting on the plane, there was no fresh circulating air and other planes around us were taking off, but not us! We finally took off an additional confinement of an hour and a half later after the most horrendous experience with an airline that we have ever experienced.
Why did they keep us on the plane so long instead of allowing us to just wait at the gate? Why didn't they offer us food vouchers if they found it absolutely necessary to keep us on the plane that long? Why didn't they offer us travel on a later flight? I believe they owe every passenger on that plane a written apology and compensation for the unconscionable and unethical way they treated us. The weather is no excuse for keeping people on a plane for 5 hours! We arrived at Florida practically running out of that plane, completely miserable, major body aches, starving, stressed - this is how we began our vacation.
We would have been ten times better off if they had just used some brain cells and never allowed us to board, and just let us stay at the gate/terminal with access to clean bathrooms and food and comfortable chairs, and television/news access until they were 100% sure they could take off, or offered us travel on a later flight. Why would they board a plane and make people sit on the plane for a total of 5 hours in a snowstorm if they know the weather is not suitable for flying and if they had a clue that they would be delayed that long? I for one, cannot imagine flying with them again. Beware!
On 11/16/07, I took flight 851 from Minneapolis to Atlanta at 6:10 am. Upon my departure, I upgraded to first class for an additional fee of 60 dollars. This was quite possibly my worst flight ever, and I have flown quite a bit in my lifetime. I can honestly say that I wish I had at least stayed in economy. The flight attendants in first class were classless. They were unprofessional and just plain rude.
Upon boarding, they took the liberty of taking the microphone and informing the customers that they needed to shut of all devices including- laptops, cell phones, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, any type of berries- and that we had “2.2 seconds to do this before take off.” Are you kidding me? Who deserves to be spoken to in that manner after paying so much for a ticket? Then in flight (my seat was 1F), I got to listen to the difference in hair extensions and other personal business for 2 hours. So much for a peaceful flight. It was more personal information that I wanted to hear.
It wasn't until our decent, and only after the pilot had to tell them to, that they even picked up our used drinks. Apparently their conversation was more important than our service. Next we had the pleasure of being told over the microphone that “for future reference, there is a waste receptacle in the bathroom”. This was announced because apparently someone left trash on the countertop to which upset them to have to clean it. One even commented “This is why I don't do more flights in one day- who wants to clean that crap up 3 times a day. I couldn't handle it.”
Quite frankly, I did not feel the need to hear all of this in- mind you- my first class seat. Next, since I was traveling with my 9 month old and had been put in the front row (meaning I could not have my diaper bag because I had no seat in front of me to stow it under- thank you to the lady that gave me that seat knowing I had a small child with me). I kindly asked the flight attendant if she could retrieve my bag for me which had been stowed overhead- and she said, “What do you want it for?”
Not that I felt I owed her an answer but instead of being rude- like her- I stated I wanted to put back the few things I had taken out for the flight so I would not have to do it after we landed while I was trying to get off because the baby was sleeping. She told me, “no”. Then made me wait after we had arrived at our gate, until almost everyone else in first class had retrieved their bags, to help me get my one small bag down. Which I couldn't't do because I was holding the baby and had nowhere to put him down.
When I finally unboarded, I went to customer service but no one had the time to talk to me except Mr. **, and he told me all he could do was give me his card and have me email this. Needless to say I did not upgrade the next leg of my flight. How sad. I would appreciate someone getting back to me- perhaps when you have a minute? It is obvious the customer comes last with this airlines.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- My boyfriend and I had a flight leaving from Las Vegas, NV on November 2, 2007 at 2pm. We arrived at the airport at 10am to return our rental car and to await our flight. At approximately 12:30pm we left our flight gate (D24) to get something to eat just up the corridor, we returned at exactly 1:30pm to gate D24. At this time we watched an AirTran plan back way from the terminal and taxi away. We continued to sit at the window next to the D24 terminal awaiting our flight.
At approximately 3pm we approached the AirTran service desk to inquire about our flight. After showing our ticket to the guy behind the desk, Mr. **, we were told, in a very indignant and perturbed manner, that the flight had already left and we'd missed it. We then asked what could be done to correct the situation since we'd been sitting by the terminal since 1:30pm and the flight was not scheduled to leave until 2pm. He replied sharply that someone would help us and then he walked away. The young female that was at the desk, put us on stand-by for the next flight but stated that she could not confirm it.
At this point, Mr. ** returned and we began to question how was that we'd missed a flight that we had been waiting for in the same corridor and at the terminal for hours. Mr. ** began to state in a rude and accusatory tone that if we were at the terminal then we would not have missed the flight. Ms. ** grabbed her belongs and began to walk off stating repeatedly “I don't care” when we asked her for her name. Mr. ** questioned in a very condescending tone “you didn't see 140 people lined up at the terminal?”
After expressing our frustration at how we were being treated to Mr. ** and the inconvenience of the stand-by for the next flight, he retorted “I am trying to get you on the God-damn flight!” At this point my boyfriend demanded to see Mr. **'s supervisor and he responded “I am the supervisor” and stated that the other supervisor had gone for the day.
After getting the name and number of the other supervisor Zeke we walked to the AirTran desk in the main airport terminal. We called Zeke who was in fact on duty and still at the airport. Zeke and a young lady by the name of Vivian was very helpful and sympathetic to our situation and were just as outraged by the way we were treated by Mr. **.
Zeke gave us the number to customer service to file a complaint that my boyfriend called and spoke to a guy named David (ID#: **) who was just as rude and disrespectful as Mr. **. He hung up the phone and called back and spoke with a guy name Zavario who was very helpful and took all the information for my complaint down.
We have never been so disrespected by any airline and we use AirTran frequently. I am seeking the termination of Mr. **, strict reprimand for David (ID#: **), and some sort reward for Zeke, Vivian, and Zavario for outstanding customer service. I would ask to be compensated in some fashion for the way we were treated but I don't think I have to. I want to be notified immediately of the action taken against Mr. ** for cursing at long-time AirTran customers and David (ID#: **).
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- I read another review on here from someone who was told they couldn't board the plane even though they arrived 30 mins prior to departure time. The same thing happened to me. Actually, I arrived to check in my bag (my boyfriend and I were flying and we had consolidated to one large bag to check in) and I noticed a sign that said check in closed 40 mins prior to departure time (I've NEVER heard of this before). I was there about 35 mins before departure time and they wouldn't check me in.
There was no line at all, I walked right up and they told me I had "missed the flight" and the soonest time I could make it to my destination was 1:00 am the following morning via Atlanta (my original direct flight was to arrive at my destination at 4pm, the departure time was 2:05pm). I fly all the time, and while I do agree that I cut it close with the timing (I had hoped to get there an hour before the departure time) there was no reason I couldn't get on that flight, other than the fact that they were too lazy to check my bag and/or they wanted to give our seats to someone else.
Another couple came up behind us and was allowed to go because they didn't have to check any luggage. Never-mind the 40 min cut off time for check in! We couldn't travel without our luggage due to the restrictions after 9/11 - understandable - so they told us we would try for the 4pm flight stand-by, but it wasn't likely, but we'd definitely make the 7pm one to Atl and then get to our destination by 1am. We didn't make the 4pm one (way oversold!) and we didn't make the 7pm to ATL (also way oversold!).
The best they could do was get us there by 4pm the following day (the wedding we were attending started at 6:15pm). No way! Especially since they had already put our luggage on the 7pm fight to ATL (uhm, what happened to the rule about not flying without your luggage?!) I ran all over the airport looking for other options, and finally bought two new tickets on USAir on an 8:30pm flight. I had to wait until 2 am to get my luggage in my destination city. And, when I got it, it was WAY more beat up then it had been when I dropped it off at their counter 12 hours earlier.
All but one person who worked at AirTran was incredibly rude to me. They overbook, and they have no customer service skills whatsoever. They treat your luggage and their travelers awfully! The plane is uncomfortable and they are shady about how they make their policies that you are bound to lose no matter how you try to fight them. I think they make their policies to try to sell your seats out from under you. The trip back home was a whole other matter. It was awful, but I got there on time to make my flight. I checked in early, and when we sat down it turned out that another woman had checked in the previous day (online) and they gave her seats to us!
The plane was delayed 5 hours and some people had been trying to fly out for two previous nights! They blamed it all on weather, and said they had "timed out" and missed the window of opportunity to fly out. I didn't see any weather issues, and I've never heard of "timing out". When we finally got home they tried to lump four arriving flights on one baggage belt. It was a mess. It took forever then they moved it on us - as they had done with the gate as well. They can't keep anything straight.
I know it's often an inexpensive airfare, and I'd be willing to deal with a few inconveniences for a great deal. But this was NOT worth it. Me, along with many other people who flew AirTran this weekend will never use them again! One good thing - the pilots were very nice. I bet their pilots and flight attendants are as fed up with them as their customers!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- First off, I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for me… This is only my opinion as to how we were treated during an exceptionally stressful time. My wife, oldest daughter and I were supposed to leave WA/Dulles flying to Atlanta on 10 July on the 6:30 PM flight, with a connection to Seattle leaving Atlanta at 9:30 PM. The very nature of our business in Virginia was bad enough. Our youngest daughter (22 Yrs old), had passed away from a massive stroke on 1 July. We had made all of the arrangements, and we're, to put it lightly, DEVASTATED. The flight from Dulles was delayed, and we arrived in Atlanta, well, after Midnight. (We were due to land in Seattle at 11:50 PM, had we caught the not had the problem in Dulles).
There were 3 flights leaving to Seattle on 11 July: 9:30 AM, 6:30 PM, and 9:30 PM. We were confirmed on the 9:30 PM flight. Upon arrival in Atlanta, there were no AirTran Customer Service agents around the terminal. Some time after 1:00 AM, I noticed a large group of people standing in the terminal, and they were gathered around a young man. I walked up, and inquired to one of the obviously irate people as to what was going on. There were 17 people who had voluntarily given up seats on AirTran flights in exchange for 2 Round Trip tickets, and lodging for the night. They were given hotel vouchers, and put on a shuttle to the hotel.
When they got to the hotel, they were turned away. I knew at that moment that we were in BIG trouble when it came to dealing with a missed flight. They were sent out to another hotel, and as far as I know, they were accommodated. I told the "Supervisor" what had happened to us, and that we were grieving and would appreciate ANY help in catching a connecting flight the next morning. He gave me a blank stare, and said there was "nothing he could do." We tried to get on Stand-By for the 9:30 AM flight, after I told my story to yet another "Supervisor".
Passengers were asked to voluntarily give up seats, and I believe at least 3 people did so. We still couldn't get on the flight. I had to ASK for 3 meal vouchers, and I'm glad I got those. To make matters worse, I didn't have the funds to pay for the tickets in the first place, and through the kindness of my Uncle, made it to Virginia to take care of my Daughter. We sat in the Atlanta airport for 21 hours. I wrote a rather lengthy customer complaint to AirTran on their website, and haven't received a reply.
I wonder why that doesn't surprise me?! I did ask this question to AirTran: “Was it absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to find us 3 seats on any flight, due to the very nature of our trip?” During our stay in the Atlanta terminal, I saw literally HUNDREDS of irate people standing in the Customer Service line at AirTran. I was tempted to Shout out: "Don't bother!!!" Buyer beware: you get what you pay for. (I didn't pay, but my Uncle deserves a complete refund!) Thanks for reading my "rant"...
NYC, NEW YORK -- I must say, I never thought a flying experience could be so horrid. I left Chicago for NYC (1.45 hour flight - or so I thought). The ticket booking failed to mention I was flying through Atlanta, adding an extra three hours to the flight. That is not my complaint though.
On initial boarding, many of us on the flight recognized that we all were seated 'in the same seat'. Looking blankly at each other, and finally getting the attention of a flight attendant, we were told "sorry the plane is overcapacity", and "just sit wherever there is an empty seat". This left many of us scrounging for anything we could find, me... someone who paid for an upgrade, sitting smushed between two people who had no idea what deodorant was.
If that wasn't bad enough, once in Atlanta, this 'direct flight' turned into a 'get off the plane and walk around for a while' which no one traveling as a passenger did because we all wanted to get out ASAP. Too bad one of the flight attendants didn't feel the same way, as she straggled somewhere in the airport and only returned after numerous pages overhead.
Trying to avoid the same over seating issues on the first part of the flight, I rechecked in to make sure no one was sitting in my original flight seat, only to be told that I was being 'reassigned'. No apologies, no explanations, only another seat number.
Once again on the flight, the same thing happened. It was overbooked, and many people still shared the same seat. To make things even more humiliating, several 'airline workers' not originally booked on the flight, were allowed to hop the flight, each one allowed in the business class section seats that some of us had paid for... Mind you, still sitting in the back middle seats to sustain another two hours of a torturous flight.
To top it off, they lost my luggage, and told me to wait at the baggage claim for the next flight coming in. Needless to say, the bags never arrived, and were located in PA... How this happens still amazes me to this minute, since this wasn't even close to any of my destinations. Once alerted of this, they told me I would receive my bags, as they would be sent out for delivery.
I am still waiting, and it looks as if I will still be waiting for God knows how long, because I can't actually TALK to anyone that knows anything about ANYTHING... And the only solace I have is leaving message after message at the baggage claim center (which is supposedly manned - but to this minute - I assume they consider the answering machine a paid empoloyee).
I WILL NEVER EVER EVER fly this airline again, and would seriously suggest that if you have the choice to fly another airline, pay the extra 50-100 to avoid the lack of service, lack of courtesy, and lack of organization. It will be worth every penny you spend, and will save you hundreds when you (if you) get your luggage back.
My family and I (four of us total) traveled with AirTran from Phoenix to Tampa. First, my fiancé's luggage was sent to Jacksonville by mistake. While the luggage did finally reach us before we needed to board a cruise ship the next day, the “customer service” I encountered in response to the error made by the airline, was not simply lacking – it was non-existent. I can unequivocally say that every single employee of AirTran that I dealt with regarding the misrouted luggage was rude and unprofessional. That wasn't even the worst of it - during our return trip from Tampa to Phoenix, with a stop in Atlanta.
Our first flight was scheduled to leave Tampa at 6:50 p.m. going to Atlanta. As instructed by most all airlines, we arrived at the airport two hours in advance of our flight in order to do what WE could to make air travel as efficient as possible. Now, I'm fully aware that delays are definitely NOT uncommon. However, I DO expect an airline, to which I have paid a substantial amount of money, at least give me the courtesy of keeping me adequately apprised of any delays there may be.
When 7:00 p.m. (ten minutes past our scheduled departure time) came and passed without an airplane at our gate, AND WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION OR NOTIFICATION OF A DELAY, we started to wonder what was going on. No representative of the airline made ANY prior announcement that the flight was going to be delayed, why it was delayed, or how long a delay was expected. There were scores of people waiting in line to ask much the same questions we had: Where's the plane? Do we know when it might be expected?, etc.
Because we weren't getting any voluntary information from AirTran, my fiancé actually stood in line, waiting to ask these simple questions, until approximately 8:30 p.m. before we were told, AT THE COUNTER, our plane was stuck in Philadelphia due to ice. Why did we have to wait in line to get this information? As a result of the delay, we obviously missed our connecting flight out of Atlanta to Phoenix.
The person at the gate in Tampa informed us that we couldn't get on any other flights out of Tampa for THREE days after our originally scheduled departure. And, even if we had made it to Atlanta, but still missed our connecting flight, we couldn't get any flights out of Atlanta until TWO days after our originally scheduled departure. They said we could have gotten our money back for this one way but it would take 24-48 hours to get it – a tactic I believe the company uses to deter its “stranded” passengers from flying other airlines.
Finally, at 9:00 p.m. (TWO full hours AFTER we should have already departed) a representative made an announcement explaining the situation and stated that they were “hopeful” our plane would get to us by 10:30 p.m. Well, imagine my frustration when, at 9:30 pm another representative announced that the plane was coming, but that there was no crew to fly to Atlanta!!!
There were at least two single mothers, with their little babies, waiting for this plane. As tired, angry and frustrated as I was, I can't imagine how bad it must have been for them! We were all stranded there, thousands of miles from home, and the airline did not do anything to help any of us. The only "nice" thing they offered was a can of soda and crackers at 10:00 p.m. That was like giving a waitress a penny for a tip. While I understand that it was Spring Break and air travel was extremely heavy (for any airline), and I certainly don't expect anyone to control the weather, a modicum of respect, understanding and assistance during this time was not too much to ask.
When we were finally boarded on a flight out of Tampa, the inept clerks they have chosen to employ assigned us to sit in an emergency row. I have a 7-year-old daughter. Thus, the flight attendant explained we weren't allowed to sit there. We even offered to break our family up, just moving my daughter and I to other seats. The only thing I requested the flight attendant do was to try to find a window seat. She walked three aisles down and asked a person in a middle seat and an aisle seat to switch with us. She made no effort to even ask anyone in a window seat to switch with us.
This may seem trivial, but after all of the mistreatment, apathy, and total disregard we had sustained from AirTran throughout our trip, this was another slap in the face. My family and I had to delve into our savings to be able to stay in Tampa for the three nights, just waiting for a flight home. Those less fortunate literally had to live at the airport.
I am almost 40 years old and I have NEVER been treated so horrendously by an airline. We chose AirTran, and to fly to Tampa, in order to save about $400, an amount that means a great deal to the average person. In the end, we ended up spending an additional $1,200 due to being stuck in Tampa for an additional three days. Not to mention the additional two (2) days of work I missed, UNPAID. With regard to AirTran, I firmly believe there is truth in the old adage: “you get what you pay for”. Don't EVER use them.