SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I had taken Amtrak to Vancouver B.C. for my flight to London. I had, however, neglected to take into account the long line I would find at customs. While we were supposed to sit obediently in our cars til we were permitted to get off (and I was in the last car) I realized I was in danger of missing my flight. I cheated and got off the car before our turn, got through customs, got onto the SkyTrain, and arrived at the airport with under an hour left before the flight. I had hoped to make up the time with self check-in, but that option was not available. So I got in line to sweat it out.
A nice English couple and I started talking and they, learning about my situation, let me cut in front of them in line. The woman at the desk told me that the gate was closed, but after consulting with a supervisor and a call to the person at the gate, she told me if I could get there in time I could board. I ran like hell through the airport (fortunately I travel light) and I arrived just in time. They did not have to do this, and being late was my fault, but I appreciated it. I just wanted to let people know AirTran is not all bad.
I had planned a trip to San Diego to connect with some friends and take a drive out to Las Vegas for the week. Hotels were booked, as was a flight with AirTran that would have connected in Oregon on July 13th. I was leaving from LaGuardia airport in NYC at around noon, and due to a mere 90 minutes of rain, AirTran cancelled all flights leaving NY for that day while airlines such as Frontier, US Airways, and Jet Blue were still providing delayed service.
I had called AirTran to change my reservation to leave the next day on flight 369 to Atlanta, with a connecting flight to Las Vegas leaving at 7:50 pm (flight 772). Flight 369 arrived in NY two hours behind schedule, leaving at 6pm instead of the promised time of 3:52 pm. As this flight was landing in Atlanta, flight 772 to Las Vegas was taking off. The best that AirTran could do to appease the situation was to give me a standby ticket for the final flight to Las Vegas, flight 769 leaving at 10:25 pm.
I had taken the standby ticket, as I had little choice in the matter. I had asked the customer service representative what would happen with my luggage since it never made it to the intended flight, and the representative told me that the luggage would be checked into the standby flight whether I was on it or not. Meanwhile, flight 769 was already overbooked by five people, and the only way I could board was if six of the confirmed passengers failed to appear.
Before the boarding procedure began, two Air Tran reps were offering free round trips and a complimentary night at a nearby hotel to anyone willing to give up their seats. I had thought that I would make it onto the flight, but once five volunteers accepted the offer to cover the five overbooked seats, AirTran then withdrew the offer despite that more people were interested in taking it.
I then had to sit there and ask if all seats were taken, and they were. Air Tran was willing to wait for a plane arriving late from Ohio this evening, but they were not willing to wait an extra ten minutes for the flight I had been delayed on for two hours. There is a hotel in Las Vegas that is currently billing me for a room I am not using, and to add insult to injury, the hotel suggested by AirTran for me to spend the night was not complimentary; I am paying half price for this room.
Meanwhile, as I write this, my luggage is on a plane to Las Vegas while I am stuck here. Upon checking into the hotel recommended, I called the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to inquire about baggage that would need to be left overnight. The airport could not assist me, and the reason was because of yet another AirTran policy: any questions related to lost or stolen luggage or luggage left overnight had to be handled by an AirTran office, and their office hours had concluded for the day despite planes still in transit.
This costly nightmare has been going on for 36 hours at this point, and there is an alarming possibility that I will arrive in Las Vegas tomorrow morning to discover that my luggage was either lost or stolen. I will never fly with AirTran again; no cheaper airfare is worth this aggravation.
I've flown with AirTran Airways a number of times, in both coach and business class. I will review my experiences with business class, as there are many coach reviews, and few business class reviews. Overall, I do recommend business class as long as you know what to expect.
My experiences with business class has been mostly pleasant. Each time was an upgrade as I checked in online. The process is easy, and walks you through the steps with ease. Changing seats interface is a bit clumsy, though. You also get to declare how many bags one is going to check, I think with business class you get a 2-bag allowance with no fees. Checking in 24 hours online in advance gives the best chance of seat preference.
Business class gets priority baggage check and security queue. This alone is a great perk for those whose time is valuable, and the airport is busy. Service is prompt, and usually professional and courteous for business class travelers. I did have a few incidents where the attendant was a bit rude upon check-in, where they must've thought I was in the wrong line or something ("Sir, this line is for business class..."), although they did become courteous once they confirmed my status. The security queue is usually out of the individual airline's hands, but having priority through the queue is nice especially when there's time constraints.
Boarding is a bit odd, business class travelers do get priority boarding, although it hardly matters it seems. The attendants seem to rattle off each boarding zone after a few seconds which makes the zones seem redundant, and the boarding line just becomes a big herd. Though in all honesty, it's best for business class travelers to board close to last (especially if one has an aisle seat), since the cabin gets crowded as passengers pass through. Once seated, the flight attendant usually will offer a pre-flight drink. It is good that business class overhead storage is reserved, most of the time.
The seats are comfortable, and roomy (in comparison to coach). There isn't too much difference in the quality between the two main planes of Airtran - the Boeing 717 and the 737. I do think the 737 is generally nicer. It is a great step-up from coach in quality and comfort. Generally the cabin is clean (in comparison to coach), earlier flights are cleaner while later flights tend to have more trash and crumbs scattered about. The big perks here are leg room and elbow room. The under seat bag storage is a bit cramped, and business passengers in the first row have to keep bags in the overhead - there's no other storage, which can be inconvenient.
However, there's a lot more leg room in that row. The cabin can be a bit loud, though it's fairly easy to just drone out the noise, although it does make speaking to the flight attendants a bit more difficult than needed. There's XM radio, although I've never used it. There is a lavatory in the front, which is primarily for business class, as the flight attendants generally announce that the rear lavatories is for coach. However, the front one can be utilized by coach if the rear is occupied.
In-flight service really depends on the flight attendants, though you can expect a few complementary drinks and a couple snacks. The GO magazine has a list of the drinks available in back, I'd recommend using it to help facilitate service if one is unfamiliar with what's available. Asking the flight attendant can be hit or miss. Generally, the flight attendants are courteous, and friendly, to everyone in the cabin. I have been on flights were the flight attendants were selective in service, rude to some passengers, while going out of the way for other passengers. Some flight attendants were short-tempered, others had seemingly eternal patience.
I was, however, put off by a couple flight attendants that were rude towards my pregnant wife once (who had to use the bathroom plenty of times in-flight), and towards my young daughter (who was well-behaved, I'm thinking that flight attendant just didn't like children in business class). Overall though, the service is decent, as expected. It's also a nice perk to exit the plane first to head to baggage claim or one's next gate.
My gripes with AirTran isn't with business class per se, which is what this review is about, but about general service, which I will state briefly. I have issues with how they handle luggage, since each time at least one checked luggage item gets minor, usually repairable, damage (a small rip or tear usually, with nothing lost though). The gate attendants tend to be a bit rude, sometimes understandably though. I don't like that gate changes tend to go unannounced at certain airports. I really don't like the aggressive AirTran credit card hawkers, some of them are really unprofessional.
I do recommend business class as an upgrade option, it's worth its price for the peace of mind when traveling on time constraints for the baggage check and security queue alone in many instances (like at Washington Reagan National Airport). The extra comfort is decent, as is the complimentary snack and beverage. Depending on how one plays their cards, one can get this service fairly cheap too (like still significantly cheaper than full fare coach).
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Yesterday (Saturday, July 27th), I had quite a traumatic experience involving AirTran Airlines. I am still terribly upset by it. My son was flying as an unaccompanied minor out of LaGuardia to Akron/Canton. Gate B4. My son is 8 years old, and as you can imagine, this was already a bittersweet moment, to have to say goodbye to my only child as he departed to fly solo.
It is important to note here that I was told that I needed to stay until the plane left which I did. It departed right on time, 2:25pm. No, the plane was not in the air. I did not stay at the gate until the plane was in the air because it was not made clear to me by any of the staff at any point that this is what I was expected to do. Nor did I at any point receive an email or any written material that detailed the policies about exactly was expected of an escort to an unaccompanied minor. I was doing as I had been told - I stayed until the plane departed.
I went downstairs to the food court and was there for a full hour after the plane left the gate. It is my understanding that somewhere in that time, the plane had to return to the gate. I had my cell phone with me, and yet no one called me. I am aware that my cell phone number is in the computer system because I gave it over the phone to the reservation agent when I purchased the ticket for my son.
I was called by my mother-in-law from the Akron/Canton airport around 3:55, just as my husband and I were entering the Midtown Tunnel into Manhattan. We were told that his plane had de-boarded and that we should go back. We were preparing to do so, but knowing it would take us at least 30 minutes to get back at that point and another 15 to reach the gate, I decided to call AirTran for an update about my son's flight. I explained to them that he was an unaccompanied minor and I was his mother.
I was told his plane was scheduled to depart at 4:00. Since that was five minutes away, I was given the impression that the flight had already boarded and was about to leave, so my husband and I decided to not to go back based on that information. At 4:45, my mother-in-law called me and told me that his flight had been delayed further but that his flight was now scheduled to leave at 5:00. Now I'm starting to get really upset. I should have been there with him. But with his plane leaving at 5:00, there was really no point for me to make the 30-minute journey from Manhattan to LaGuardia as I would not get there until after the plane had left.
Again, no had called my cell phone or had left a message on my home phone. And I'm beginning to wonder why no one would call the child's parent in this type of situation. I'm only getting the information I am receiving because my child's grandparents are at the Akron/Canton airport where they are able to get immediate information.
At 5:30, I was sent a text by my mother-in-law that his plane was now leaving at 5:55. I began to feel myself starting to emotionally unravel, worried sick about my child, and started trying to find a way back to the airport. I arrived at Port Authority at 6:00 and waited for an Express Bus that was supposed to arrive in 10 minutes but had still not arrived 30 minutes later.
While waiting for the Express bus to show, my mother-in-law gave my husband and I a number to call. It was a 718 number so I can only assume I was going to be speaking with someone at LaGuardia. I was so grateful to finally have a chance to speak to someone who could tell me definitively what was going on.
The person on the other line kept telling us that we were supposed to be there and that they weren't allowed to give us any information - both extremely unhelpful things to say. I was very angry that the airline was not able to give the parents of an 8-year-old information about their child. We were immediately put on the defensive and tried to explain that we were there until the plane left the gate, were in the airport for another hour after that, and that no one had told us that we were supposed to stay until the plane was in the air. Nor had anybody tried to call us. The conversation was ultimately unproductive, extremely frustrating, and of no help whatsoever.
Because the Express Bus never showed, I hailed a cab around 6:40. I called AirTran while stuck in traffic in the cab. I was told that my son's plane had been cancelled and he was being placed on another flight set to leave at 7:55. Upon arriving at the airport at around 7:20, I was told that I would have to wait in line for a gate pass, so I did. And by the time I got to the gate at 7:40, his plane had already left the gate and was about to depart.
Upon arriving at the gate, the gate attendant started to berate and verbally abuse me for not coming back to the airport earlier. Already being quite emotional and angry about the events leading up to this moment, his tirade really blindsided me. He told me that I knew I wasn't supposed to leave, so I told him that I did stay until the plane left the gate and was never told that I had to stay until the plane was in the air.
I tried to explain the chain of events, defend my actions, and ask why no one had called me directly at any point, but he continued to tell me that I had abandoned my child, that he couldn't let my son go the bathroom, and even used foul language. And then he asked me why I hadn't yet thanked him for babysitting my son.
He wouldn't listen to how it went down on my end or answer my question as to why nobody ever called me. He refused to admit any responsibility whatsoever. I felt that he was attacking me as a mother after I had already spent 4 long hours being quite distraught about my son. Needless to say, the conversation was rather heated and I felt very much on the defensive. I then stayed until the plane took off.
My greatest complaint is how horrible the communication was on AirTran's end. It was never clear to us that we were supposed to stay until the plane "was in the air." The plane "leaving" and the plane "being in the air" are different enough to warrant clarity when giving instruction. This is not something we do often, and clear communication about the protocol would have been appreciated. Someone should have called my cell phone the moment it was discovered that I was not there. Perhaps I could have just come back upstairs from the food court.
And even if a child was not involved, there is that a plane that was supposed to leave at 2:25 pm did not get its passengers off the ground until 7:55 pm. Not to mention the 45-minute long line to check-in with the airline - all less than ideal situations when one is trying to fly somewhere. I also want to reiterate that after first hearing that my son's plane was delayed, I was constantly being told that the plane was only minutes from departing by the AirTran employees with whom I was communicating.
And then there's the gate agent at Gate B4 whose customer relation skills were abhorrent. I'm still very upset over the trauma I endured yesterday especially at the hands of the gate attendant. I could have been spared all the grief and anguish I experienced if someone had simply told me, "Please remain at the gate until the plane has lifted off. We will let you know when it is okay to leave the gate area."
I would also suggest that you make it part of the protocol regarding an unaccompanied minor to contact the parents should a problem arise by calling the phone numbers that were given to the reservation agent. Please look into this matter as I feel it deserves serious consideration.
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA -- 11-19-2012 - Boo on you…AirTran. The pet policies on AirTran are atrocious!! FYI: I have already spoken w/ your customer service representative on Monday…day of flight…for 30 min. I haven't received any response yet. I'll see how long after Thanksgiving it takes for a response…if at all.
What's even more interesting is that Southwest's pet policy is: "Southwest Airlines accepts small vaccinated domestic cats & dogs. All in-cabin pets must be carried in an appropriate carrier, as indicated below & are subject to a $75 pet fare each way/pet carrier. The pet carrier counts as either a carry-on item or a personal item." "Southwest Airlines allows only one pet carrier/ticketed passenger." "The carrier may contain two (2) cats or dogs & must be of the same species/carrier." "The cat or dog must be completely inside the pet carrier & be able to stand up & move around the carrier with ease."
This finding is particularly interesting as AirTran is NOW owned by Southwest & I followed SW's pet policy to a 'T'!! Also the pet carrier I was required to purchase was nearly 1/2 the size of my carrier…& provided poor Mister Charlie far less room than Bailey Sue had in the carrier I already had. He certainly was NOT able to stand up & move around the carrier with ease…as it was quite evident when I witnessed the top of the bag bulging when he stood up. Supposedly the policies have recently changed… However the policy stated on AirTran's own website does not reflect the 'new' changes.
My problem on Monday: While flying home for Thanksgiving, as I was waiting to board w/ my 2 precious small Maltese dogs… A 'NEW' policy was presented verbally that only 1 dog/carrier was allowed. This creates quite a problem because in order to do this, it requires an extra carrier & according to the 'NEW' policy, would require an extra person. As it now states… "Airfare for a pet is $75 one-way & is non-refundable. Six (6) pets are allowed with a limit of one (1) pet/paying customer traveling on the same flight." And THAT'S where 'they' got me!!!
Nowhere did it state that 2 dogs cannot be in the same carrier nor does the current policy even have a weight restriction. But as soon as 'they' NOW noticed the '1 pet/paying passenger' policy… The issue was now 'that'…& not '2 dogs in the same carrier' issue.
See…I am a single young woman who has flown multiple times w/ dogs on AirTran & other companies & have NEVER received this kind of mistreatment & humiliation…& at the GATE, no less!! I nearly missed my flight due to this last minute… "Oh we can't allow 2 dogs in the same carrier" crisis. (FYI: I had been sitting at the gate since 9:30 am & flight did not leave till 11:08 am.) This pet carrier crisis wasn't brought to my attention until the flight was about to board!?
First, the claim by AirTran employee ** was that only a mother & her pup could fly in the same carrier. Knowing that the 'current' policy did not state this, I replied w/ "This IS her son. She's 5 & he's 2." To which her response was: "The pups must be of the same litter & under 8 weeks old." That's when I required this 'new' policy be shown in WRITING. As her worried eyes skimmed the current printed policy, I could tell that it obviously did NOT have her statement in it. I even had to go so far as to bring it up on my iPad to prove to her that the policy she was holding (that I currently have in my possession) was the SAME one on the internet.
Then & only then did she latch on to the new '1 pet/flying customer' policy. And as I said previously…THAT'S where they had me! I was told I must purchase a 2nd carrier & pay an additional $75 pet fee. Their solution ONLY created more problems for me cause NOW I had 3 carry-ons & oh yeah, 2 dogs in 2 separate carriers but only 1 paying passenger.
If it hadn't been for 2 lovely angels placed in my path Monday, I would still be in Tampa Airport stranded w/ no way of getting back home to either of the 2. First, the issue was I needed to pay for an additional pet fee & carrier which easily totaled over $100. I had only a small amount of $$ on me & they would not even speak to my mother over the phone who was trying to do anything at this point to get me home. They wouldn't even attempt to manually type in the same CC # that I used to purchase my ticket, original pet fee, & checked luggage fee. They wanted the physical card now.
That's when the 1st angel walked into my life in the form of "** from DC." She ended up paying w/ her own CC & would not even give me her address to repay her OR to even send a thank you! She must have noticed my shirt I was wearing & told me, "It's fine, I ran the half marathon w/ you yesterday." It was like a breeze of fresh camaraderie had entered my solo circle of it's ME against ALL of 'YOU' mentality. In a clash of irony, the Women's Half Marathon in St. Petersburg had brought 2 first-time race runners together in this time of crisis. Of course that's where AirTran employees had to shortly dash my hope w/ yet another one of their problems.
I still needed a 2nd paying passenger for the 2nd dog. That's when my 2nd angel entered my life in the form of "passenger last name ** in row 30." She volunteered to take 1 dog during the flight & that's the info she gave me as she boarded the plane in case I was also allowed to board. Of course AirTran employees went so far as to look the info on the other passenger to ensure its accuracy. And THEN, & ONLY THEN, was I able to board my flight for my quick 2-hr flight back home. Boy! It sure seemed like they were doing more to prevent me from getting on that plane than helping me to board.
I wish that's where my troubles w/ AirTran stopped but NO! I was either treated rudely or snubbed by the gentleman supervisor attendant & 2 female flight attendants. Before we took off, as the gentleman was walking the aisles, I requested his attention. It felt as if he was purposely avoiding me w/ his back turned so I called for his attention w/ 'Sir.' Then you would have thought another CRISIS happened. He turned around & in a very rude, harsh tone barked, "WHAT'S HE DOING OUT?!?!"
I looked down at my feet to see the most adorable, sweetest little head had popped out of the small cramped carrier I was required to purchase that was nearly 1/2 the size of my carrier. It was Mister Charlie, my mischievous little guy, that was only trying to get some air out from under the seat. He also was flying for the 1st time solo & was more anxious as they made me separate him from his mommy 3 rows up. I replied that he wasn't out, he had just 'popped' his head out.
I was then lectured as to how the carrier was to remain closed at all times! Even though the pet policy only states: "The pet must remain in the carrier & under the seat for the duration of the flight." Mister was NEVER out of the carrier OR out from under the seat. Nowhere does it mention that the carrier must be zipped up completely OR that the dog's nose or head can't be 'popped' out for air. How does AirTran expect animals to get ANY water during the flight w/ this factitious statement that was being enforced. He also made it a point to mention "…cause I've already spoken to the pilot & he knows if there's ANY problems with you…"
Not sure what would have happened cause that's where he ended his threat. I was & STILL AM insulted that he felt he had to report me to the pilot like I was a possible terrorist threat!! All due to the INCONSISTENT, INACCURATE pet policies that need some major revamping & ENFORCED PROPERLY!!! How in the world does AirTran expect anyone traveling solo to fly w/ 2 small dogs weighing roughly 10 lbs combined?!?! Well according to AirTran's 'new' pet policy, they can't EVER! Even if I chose to EVER support AirTran w/ my $$ again, I couldn't as the 'new' policy stands.
I obviously wish I had never had this undue stress put upon me but if it had not been for AirTran's inconsistent & rude treatment, I would have never been able to experience the wonderful, generous, kindness of 2 totally complete strangers!! If I had the financial resources & personal connections, I would LOVE to start my own airline for animals, particularly canines. This airline would NOT make you pay $150 for 2 dogs one-way & then make you shove them under hot seats in a much smaller carrier than the one you already had.
INSTEAD, it would cater to humans & canines equally allowing carriers, or even better yet, dog car seats to be placed securely fastened in the seat right next to you!! Your dog could be attended to properly, given adequate food & especially WATER! NOT thrown under a hot seat after paying more than most humans on the plane did for their one-way ticket. In this day in age, I have a choice as to the companies I support w/ my $$. I most certainly WILL support the companies who value & RESPECT both me & my dogs! BOO BOO on you AirTran!!!
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- AirTran WILL leave you behind, and WILL kick you off a flight due to the incompetence of the people they hire. Let me explain: I took a flight out from Boston, ended up in the TSA security line for 45 minutes before I got completely through, and that included having to cut 3/4ths of the line when I realized I was cutting it pretty close to departure time. Showed up at the gate 3 minutes late, they left without me. They NEVER paged me, they NEVER sent someone to see if I was stuck in security. They also departed BEFORE their departure time (I screenshot the flight information at the end of the night from my phone as proof).
Their staff had no interest in helping me upon realizing my flight left without me, and were genuinely uninterested in my situation. They offered no help, and basically told me, "too bad." They wouldn't even look at me when they talked to me - they were typing fast away at their computers. I left a BBB complaint about the incident and they are one of only two companies I've had to leave a complaint about that had no interest in making things right. They dismissed all my grievances to the matter and blamed me, under a guise of "we shut the doors 10 minutes before departure, as it's important that we get our passengers in the air as soon as we can and prevent delays."
Let me now explain to you how this is a complete farce. On the day of my rescheduled flights, on my connecting flight, a flight attendant managed to get her seat wet from rain (I've flown plenty where it's rained and never heard of this happening). After we pulled out from the gate, we sit for a couple minutes and we hear the captain announce the aforementioned issue, and that they'd have to pull back in so they got "replace the seat." I think to myself, replace the seat? Why don't they just put plastic trash bags over it, or towels or something?
What they ended up meaning by that is that they were going to get an AirTran representative to board the plane and tell, not ask - but tell, a coach passenger they had to deboard the plane and be put on stand by. Then they told, not ask, "told" a first class passenger they had to move back to the now empty coach seat. And the now vacant first class seat is where the flight attendant ended up sitting for the flight. If you make a complaint against them, they WILL lie about the details, and do what they can to not own up to their own mistakes.
They claimed in their response to my BBB complaint that they confirmed that they did page me - lies - I listened intently out of worry that I was starting to cut it close and it never happened. Heard plenty of other airlines paging other passengers to other flights. I rejected their response, made a rebuttal, they then reiterated what they said the first time for the most part, and closed the case out with no consequence.
Don't make the same mistake I did by flying with these guys. They gave me a bad experience the first time I flew with them 4 years ago, gave them another chance because the flight was that much cheaper, and I regret it. I lost more money in the day of work I lost in comparison to what I saved choosing them to fly with. Also keep in mind Southwest Airlines owns AirTran, so you may want to consider skipping them as well. You're a number to them. Well, this number is taking his business elsewhere. In fact I just booked a flight for next week and skipped over them despite seeing they had a cheaper flight in to where I was going. Not worth the risk.
AirTran Airways is one of the worst airlines I have ever booked with. On my flight to San Francisco from LaGuardia via Oregon on August 19, 2011, our plane taxied for 3 hrs (max allowed by law) before returning to the gate due to weather conditions in Oregon, 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 re-book 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 Oregon). 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 any way. 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 Oregon. 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 Oregon flight and personally thank the agent that helped me, and when I finally get to Oregon, 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.
I normally fly with Delta to Atlanta but this time my husband and I decided to try AirTran because of the flight schedule. NEVER AGAIN WILL I FLY AIRTRAN. Checked in from San Francisco Int'l airport. As the 2 agents saw me rolling my big luggage, they ask if I was checking in my luggage. I thought to myself are they blind because my luggage is big - is it not obvious?
As I place my luggage on the scale, I handed my boarding pass and ID to the male agent so he starts to process my luggage when the female agent says "It's close to the cutoff time, we cannot promise your luggage will be in the same flight with you. You might have to check it on the next flight which arrives the next day." As I rush to get the luggage check in, I ask the female agent if she can just call downstairs to make sure my luggage gets in the same flight. She answered "No we can't do that but if she hurry up, it might still make it."
Then she places the tag for the luggage and proceeds to measure my luggage taking more time instead of putting my luggage on the conveyor to send it downstairs to the cargo area. She then tagged - placed a tag that reads 61 inches. Worried the entire flight that my luggage will not be there, I was relieve to find it on the baggage claim area. On the way to Atlanta, I had already picked my seat and I know it was seat 21. I handed my boarding pass to the agent at the door and he then tells me to remember seat 21D because he will take my boarding pass.
As I enter the plane, he then tells the flight attendant to tell me that I'm not on 21D but 23D. So I proceed to 23D and someone was already seated. A flight attendant checks her list and finds out that my seat was 21D and took me back to row 21 and someone was also seated in my seat. She then tells that passenger to move to his original seat on 21B but another passenger was also assigned to that seat.
On the return flight from Atlanta, when they measured my luggage, it measured at 64 inches. I ask them they must have a smaller measuring tape because that luggage came from San Francisco and they had tagged it at 61 inches. To make the long story short, I had to pay $49.00 for over-sized luggage. We boarded on time for our 8:45 pm flight.
As we settled in our seats, the pilot announces that there was a small radar problem and that it will take about 10 mins or so. 30 mins pass and the pilot announces that now we need to refuel and that will take another 10 minutes or so because we have to wait for the fuel tank. 1 hr later, more passenger was walking in and looking for seats and was told to just find an open seat. It turns out that AirTran had held the flight to wait for the delayed Orlando flight which carried passengers on their way to San Francisco.
NEVER AGAIN WILL I FLY WITH AIRTRAN.... YOUR CEO or COO SHOULD TRY FLYING WITH YOUR AIRLINE SO THEY KNOW HOW YOUR COMPANY TREAT THEIR PASSENGERS.
I was on a flight last month from JAX to ATL. Everything was going smoothly and just seemed to be clicking. After about 30 minutes of sitting on the plane, we were informed that the plane had some mechanical issues that required us to get off while it was tended to. I thought to myself, "Okay, no problem. This kind of things happen all the time." About 4 hrs later, the "high-speed" personnel working for AirTran finally got the plane operational again. Because it took so long, it backed up a lot of other flights and I somehow ended up getting knocked off the manifest. After another 40 minutes of fighting for the seat that I paid for, I was well on my way to ATL (so I thought).
As soon as I got to the door of the aircraft, I realized I was being followed by a plump fellow that looked like he was wearing a shirt that I would've worn for my 5th grade class pictures. He insisted in broken English that I check my bag, a bag that was worth well over $1,500. I was told that it was to be checked because in the 40 minutes I spent battling with him over MY ticket, the plane filled up with other disgruntled passengers along with their baggage. All I could do was laugh at the situation that I found myself in to keep from drop kicking the incompetent employee down the terminal.
I handed my bag over and knew that nothing else could go wrong. My day had already gotten as bad as it could get. WRONG!!! The boneheads inevitably "lost" my bag. Because I wasn't planning on checking my bag, I had my keys to my vehicle in one of the pockets. WHOOPS!!! Guess that one was on me, right? I figured that this airline was no different than all the others and I would receive my "lost" bag within a couple of days, at most. Wrong again. Here I am, over a month later just getting my bag back.
To put the icing on the cake, everything seemed to be intact and safely in my possession again. After a couple minutes of digging around in every pocket and corner of my bag, I discovered that my $150 external hard drive was "missing." Funny how that happens, isn't it? Oh yeah. Remember the key to the vehicle I told you about? I had to get another made after staying the night in JAX on my way back home, because locksmiths don't usually cut keys at 11:45 pm. It ended up costing me a solid $300 to get the key made due to all these fancy-smancy chips they're putting in keys these days.
Thank you AirTran. You cost me a unacceptable amount of money for my less than ridiculous trip. Oh well. You live and you learn, and I've learned to never travel with AirTran,Airways again and that typing up these nice, informative customer reviews is very therapeutic. I hope it has informed you. Don't make the same mistake I did. GO AIRTRAN!!!
VIRGINIA -- I read the posting about the AirTran passengers that had two golf bags, and I commiserate. This is our own encounter:
I was guiding my 75-year-old mom and 70-year-old aunt (walking with a collapsible cane) through their airport check-in for a domestic flight. They are going on their second city on their 2-month vacation that started with a flight from abroad three weeks ago. Think of a 75-year-old mother wanting to visit all her children one by one before she settled down on a more slow-paced life abroad.
Well, for this domestic trip, my mom still packed her 61-inch standard sized luggage (good for both domestic and international flights). We weighed it and measured it at home. It all checked fine. If you are letting two 70-something ladies to fly on their own, you try to get things in order for them as best as you could. Looks like I failed.
At the AirTran check-in counter, my aunt's small checked-in luggage weighed around 34 lbs. Fine. When my mom's luggage was weighed, it came out at 58 lbs, 8 lbs overweight. Of course, I was surprised the weighing I did at home was inaccurate. But, knowing there is an easy solution, I did not think twice kneeling down the airport floor as I did the transferring of about 8 lbs from my mom's luggage to my aunt's much lighter luggage. I did not think to just pay the $39 excess baggage. As I labored on the airport floor digging through luggage, of course, the two 70-something ladies tried to help me.
So there were all three of us looking pathetic stooped on the airport floor. At that point, I felt guilty and thought I should just have paid the $39 and not subject them to that. But I was already doing it, so we just went ahead and proceeded with the luggage transfer of about 8 lbs When we were done, we thought that was the end of it, so we approached the baggage check-in again to re-check in them again. The weights checked out fine. BUT THEN, the ticket agent said, "NOW I will measure the size." It did not even register to me as something to worry about.
We just removed 10 lbs from the large luggage, so it should be really squeezed to its within-limit measurements more than it was before we took stuff out of it. The check-in agent, per his measurement, now says it was 64 inches. If you see a long line of people behind you, wouldn't you be forced to relent, out of courtesy and common sense, to just pay the darn thing? At that point, I felt that I had my hands held up and I was being robbed, asked to turn over the money.
I was starting to get really assertive at this point. A baggage boy approached my bag sitting on the weigh scale and put his hands or arms around it and looked at me motioning something like, "I don't think it is over-sized." So I told the check-in agent something like, "He said it's not over-sized. It looks like the baggage boy has more sense or good judgment than you." The check-in agent responded, "He's just a baggage boy."
Before I go on further, I don't even know how to describe the whole "nonsensical, money-grubbing vs customer service, check-in robbery" episode. If I knew, I should have just paid the $25 for a second checked-in luggage and have my 75-year-old mom check in whatever she had to hand carry or slug across the airport. Does AirTran really think so poorly of its passengers as rascals who think they can slip through two extra inches, real or imagined? Do we just cower and hand in our payments and be done with it? Then fine, but at least allow me to claim that that morning, I was the victim of a holdup.