AirTran Airways Complaint - Arbitrary Boarding Policy and Procedures
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Our first AirTran flight took off 30 mins late from SAV, so I knew we would be pressed to make our connecting flight to LAX. I informed the gate agent in SAV of the tight connection and was assured we would arrive in Atlanta in time to connect with our LAX bound flight. We landed and deplaned at gate C2 and I walked over to gate C1 and saw the plane sitting at the gate, I walked straight up to the gate agent, but when I tried to board I was told I was too late and that the flight was closed. I then watched the gate agents begin a process of calling people to the podium and boarding them for the LAX flight over the next 15 mins.
The explanation I was given for my denied boarding was that AirTran has a boarding policy that if you are not at the gate 10 mins before departure the flight is closed and you are denied boarding on that basis.
I was given a customer service package with a $7 food coupon and a $25 future flight purchase.
Five and a half hours later we boarded our delayed flight which was scheduled to leave at 9:05PM, then changed to 9:44PM. We finally were seated and ready for take off at 10:30PM. Then there was an additional one hour wait at the gate with no explanation.
Until, without any explanation again, five very hurried passengers were boarded, immediatley seated and we then took off-
This is an Outrageous! Hipocritical! Arbitrary and Inconsistent Boarding Policy! How dare they do this to people.
I am convinced that they overbooked my first LAX flight and gave away my seat to someone, and therefore I am owed compensation under the terms of the contract of carriage.
In the case of the 5 people we waited for in the plane, as this was the last flight to LAX for the night, it is obvious that they held the plane for them from a connecting flight so that AirTran would not have the expense of putting those people in a hotel until the next LAX flight in the morning.
So instead, I had to pay for a hotel room in LA because by the time we arrived it was 1AM and impossible for me to arrange ground transportation to my home over 1 1/2 hrs away in Orange County.
AirTran should be avoided at all costs, you will be at their mercy and have no recourse but to put up with how they "chose" to handle you. Stick with Delta, American, or Rent-a-Car, you'll get there quicker.