AirTran Airways Complaint - Never again - flight experience
AirTran airways is one of the worst airlines I have ever booked with. On my flight to San Francisco from La Guardia, via Milwaukee, on August 19, 2011, our plane taxied for 3 hrs (max allowed by law) before returning to the gate due to weather conditions in Milwaukee, which after deplaning for 30 min, was ultimately cancelled. In those 3 hours, they couldn’t figure out how to reroute the plane that the storm eventually approached the NY metropolitan area. I proceeded to rebook my flight for the following Tuesday, according to the AirTran agent, the only flight available was from LGA to SFO via Atlanta with a 7-HOUR LAYOVER. In the days between my cancelled Friday flight and my new reservation on Tuesday, I called the airlines daily to find out if I can get an earlier flight Tuesday morning with a shorter connection. The agent I spoke to on Sunday, who was very helpful, said I can attempt to fly standby early Tuesday morning and advised me to be at the airport an hour before the departing flight (LGA to SFO via Milwaukee). I called AirTran again Monday to see if any flights had opened up, and if I could fly standby. This time the agent said NO, all the flights were sold out. He sounded irritated with me, and didn’t even advise me to try to fly standby, nor did he even disclose to me any of the departing flights to SFO—just a flat out NO. He didn’t care and wasn’t interested in helping me in anyway. Well, I followed the advice of the first agent I spoke to on the phone and showed up early at the airport in hopes I could score a standby flight. When I inquired at the front ticketing desk at LGA, the AirTran agent said, “NO, I cannot put you on the standby flight to Milwaukee” (in contrast to what the first agent told me on the phone) because the reservation or connecting flight MUST BE identical; so instead, she puts me on later connecting standby flight to Atlanta. Well, I decided to see another agent, but this time at the gate. He was super helpful and put me on standby for the next flight to SFO, which happened to be the connecting flight to Milwaukee. By this time, I realize how inconsistent AirTran is with customer service and rules regarding flight reservations. And it’s absolutely frustrating. I get on the Milwaukee flight and personally thank the agent that helped me, and when I finally get to Milwaukee, and I think that after this whole ordeal I can finally make it home to San Francisco, our plane again is taxing on the runaway, this time a failure of the weather radar. Of course, the captain says “it takes a few minutes to replace then we’ll be on our way”. 5 minutes later he states, the antenna failed and will take 2 hours to fix. AREN’T AIRLINES SUPPOSED TO DO MAINTENANCE CHECKS BEFORE DEPARTURE??? I finally make it so SFO with no problems afterward. With all said and done, the most pleasant aspect of AirTran is the stewardesses who were consistently friendly on each flight; however, it is not enough to choose AirTran again for my future travels.