AirTran NOT Friendly to Family Needs
Customer Service - Complaint
I booked a flight for my entire family (including an infant) with AirTran. We have previously flown with Delta and United with the baby and they have allowed the stroller and playpen free of charge (which we were happy to find out). The playpen is a necessity as it allows the baby somewhere safe to sleep at our destination. Just before travel with AirTran I decided to review their policy regarding infant items. It turns out that they do not allow a playpen as free baggage, but they do allow a stroller and car seat. I would not be bringing a car seat (we will be renting one at the destination). So I contacted customer support through email to inquire about bringing the playpen instead of a car seat (the collapsed playpen is much smaller that a car seat- but 2 1/2 inches longer than carry on allows) and told them that other carriers allow playpens for no additional charge.
I received an email on a Saturday that stated their baggage pricing structure and stated I would have to pay $75 (each way) in additional costs, nothing more. When I called customer service the same day to address this email, I was told that the customer service department was closed on Saturdays. I did manage to speak with a customer service representative who seemed wholly annoyed with me. She asked if the playpen was over-sized (over 61" or over 50#). It is neither. When she started huffing, I asked to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor was slightly more agreeable but the complaint seemed to have hit a wall. I asked if my concern could be forwarded on to someone who could reconsider this policy as it made family travel much more costly and difficult. She halfheartedly agreed to forward it on. Ultimately, we have decided to buy a playpen at our destination as $45 (to buy a basic one) is cheaper than the hassle and cost of dealing with AirTran's policy.
Throughout the process I felt that AirTran was not interested in my concern and was reluctant to forward my complaint to the proper department. I will not choose to fly AirTran in the future and I will discourage those with infants from flying with AirTran.