AirTran Airways Complaint - Worst Airline EVER
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 cruiseship 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. (2 (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.