AirTran Airways Complaint - Never Again - Shameful treatment, arbitrary boarding rules
The flight from MKE to SFO was early, we were ticketed, checked in, had boarding passes, were on our way to the gate; there was no discernible page about early boarding. I get to the gate, my companion was one minute behind me, the desk personnel was about to board two standby passengers when I gave our names, showed her the passes. I said he's one minute behind me; we're here. She boards the standby passengers, there are enough seats on the plane to accommodate us, and more, returns, we're waiting for her and she announces: 'Too late, you can't board." Then the plane sits there, doesn't even take off when it was originally supposed to take off. We ask for a later flight and she says: "No more direct flights today (this was 0842) you'll have to reroute through Atlanta." Did she know that flight was the only direct flight for the day and that our arrival home would mean a ten hour delay? Yep. Did she care? No. Could she have waited one minute (actually, he was there in 40 seconds) for us to board on a flight that was taking off early? Nope. And guess what - they bounced 6 other ticketed passengers. I checked: there were at least eight seats on the plane.
We reroute: both flights to and from Atlanta to SFO were late taking off and both flights waited for and boarded other passengers AFTER the cabin crew was advised to prepare for take off. In one instance, we waited over an hour after scheduled take off for other passengers to catch our flight. It took us eighteen hours to get from Milwaukee to San Francisco.
We are filing formal complaints and requesting monetary compensation. If we do not receive compensation, we will contact the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the US Dept. of Transportation.
A voucher won't cut it: the LAST airline we will ever travel on is this one. That's right, AirTran couldn't pay us to fly with them again. Ever.