AirTran Airways Complaint - Horrible experience
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 then 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 traveler's awfully! The plane is uncomfortable and they are shady about how they make their policies that you are bound too 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!
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