Stranded After AirTran Never Bothered To Announce The Flight

Reader Thomas was waiting for his delayed AirTran flight…. and waiting… and waiting. Turns out that AirTrain never made an annoucement that the delayed flight had arrived and it left without Thomas and a few other passengers.

The following is why my girlfriend and I will never fly AirTran again and why we are extremely disappointed in American Express for their lack of concern for a consumer getting the royal screwjob.

My girlfriend and I had planned a weekend (Feb 8th – Feb 10th) to visit her brother in Baltimore and booked a flight through AirTran because they were the most reasonable. We left Boston Logan and arrived at Baltimore/Washinton, MD (BWI) just fine. We also had a great weekend.

Then came time for our return flight. Being the tech savvy people that we are, we checked AirTran’s website to ensure that our flight was on time and it was not. Not a big deal, we were still going to arrive at the airport on-time (like AirTran recommends to do on their website) and I would have plenty of time to read more of my book or grab some food. Our flight was originally scheduled to leave at 8:30pm but was delayed almost 2 hours to 10:15pm. We arrive and check in around 7:20pm and got through security by 7:35pm. During that 15 minute span we checked the time of our flight twice, still delayed. We get to our gate, still delayed. We then decide to grab some wings at this bar that was right at the end of the hall. Right outside the bar were displays, flight was still delayed. So we go into the bar not thinking anything of it. While we were in the bar I was careful to listen to all announcements regarding flights from AirTran. I heard at least two last minute pages from AirTran gates for passengers to get to the gate but they was not for our flight (825) and were not going to Boston.

We were in the bar until about 8:25 and when we left I checked the displays again, “FLIGHT ON TIME” is what it read. I was shocked that they didn’t make an announcement. My girlfriend and I then ran to the end of the hall and went to the gate and I spoke to the representative and she said that flight was already in the air. At this very same time a women comes running up to the desk and asks if the flight had left, she was told the same thing. She said that the man at the check-in counter was supposed to radio them letting them know she was on her way — he obviously did not do this. Then about 5 or 6 more passengers show up and are all bewildered and the representative just says that we should have been waiting at the gate. I then ask her “Why didn’t you make an announcement for this flight? Others AirTran flights were called, why not this one?” and her response was just “You have to be sitting at the gate to hear the announcements.” I then asked her to put us on another flight, even from another airline if she has to, and she said that was not possible. The best she could do was a flight the next morning. We had to accept.

Now we had to get a hotel room and pay another day of parking at Logan — about $100. We asked the representative if we were able to get a hotel voucher, she said that that was not possible.

When we got home my girlfriend called Amex and the representative on the other side was very sympathetic and agreed with us that we should not have to pay for the hotel and parking because AirTran should have better customer service than that. He said that he would suspend $100 from the total bill (of $342) and put that into a dispute. Feeling confident that Amex would agree with us, we just sat back and waited for them to give us our money back.

Fast forward to today. We get a letter that says our dispute has been closed and we will not get our money back. Fuming, my girlfriend calls Amex and the rep she spoke to just said the ticket was closed and he could not open it. She explained the story again to him and he opened another ticket for us and assured us that he would put the entire story in the notes so that the ‘investigators’ would read it. He also suggested calling AirTran and seeing if we could resolve it with them. I knew this was a long shot but we called anyway. The woman on the other line could really care less about what happened. She also flat out lied to us. She said that AirTran only makes announcements in the gate area, not in the wing of the airport. At this point my girlfriend says “Well then why did we hear two announcements about AirTran flights while we were sitting in the bar, not in the gate area?” and the representative had no answer and just said that she could not do anything to help us. We asked to speak to a supervisor and she claimed that everyone working there was a supervisor, we asked to speak to her supervisor and she refused, saying that they would not be able to do anything.

While the loss of $100 (and both of us missing half a day of work) annoys the heck out of us, now it’s a matter of principle. I would never in a million years dream of treating a customer like it is their fault for my shortcomings as a provider of service. While I do not believe that all inconveniences deserve some sort of compensation, I do believe that people should admit when they are at fault and that a huge company that claims to have such great customer service should have responded better. Do you guys have any suggestions? I mean, other than never flying with AirTran again…

You’ve probably done all you can do in this situation aside from filing a complaint with the Department of Transportation and avoiding AirTran in the future. Do any experienced travelers want to weigh in on this one?

(Photo:ZonaPhoto)

Comments

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  1. The Count of Monte Fisto says:

    Is it possible to edit some of these testimonials down? Jeez.

    On the subject, I’m not sure how you can pin this on AirTran as a company. Seems like there’s an airline horror story a week on here, and they all end with “Never fly so-and-so again.” Obviously what they did was wrong, but I ask you, who is left for us to fly?

  2. APFPilot says:

    I fly Airtran a couple of times a month and haven’t had any problems. I would agree that it is BS they didn’t make an annoucment though if the flight status changed. Amex is another story, I had a platnium american express that I paid $450 a year for, I had to go to Tampa for work and they didn’t have a Fine Hotel and Resort location there and the travel service sucked so I booked a room on priceline. The hotel that priceline got me ended up being a dirty bed bug infested swamp so I got another room, Amex disputed the charge with Priceline with no luck and then sent me a letter with my full account number, expiration date, address and phone number in an well marked Amex envelope to detail that they would not be refunding my money. Upon calling customer service they offered a 40 dollar credit. I charge well over $50,000 a year on the card, I told them where they could go and what they could do when the got there.

  3. mgy says:

    Wait – what was AmEx’s final answer?

  4. sleze69 says:

    You should have disputed the total bill (or just the half from Baltimore to Boston). Your arguement should have been that they misled you as to the time that your plane would be leaving and refused to accomodate you, thus not providing you the service you paid for.

  5. FatLynn says:

    I don’t think AmEx can actually do something like that, subtracting $100 out of a $325 ticket fare. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but the airline did indeed provide the service for which they were paid, and I don’t think AmEx is at fault here.

    Also, I don’t know if AirTran offers this, but ALWAYS sign up for the text/e-mail alerts for your flights. I always do this on American, and I have found out about many a gate change this way, even when sitting at the original gate, where you’d expect to hear it announced.

  6. ptkdude says:

    I stopped flying AirTran when on my last flight from Atlanta to DFW, the cockpit crew was introduced as “Captain Mikey and First Officer Skippy”.

  7. tkozikow says:

    I have seen this happen more than once with AirTran in Atlanta and is the reason why I try to stay close to the gate or able to view monitors nearby when a flight is delayed. I don’t think that you can rely on terminal announcements for updates.

  8. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I think you should’ve implemented a dispute through Amex for the entire cost of the *flight*. You might have to eat the parking/hotel at Logan. It’s much easier to make a company pay for a service or product that they provided that was defective than trying to get them to pay for services over which they have no control (parking and a hotel).

    While I don’t agree with that per se, it’s just the way it is.

  9. catskyfire says:

    Why do people keep complaining about the length of people’s stories? If you think it’s too long, don’t read it. If it’s about a subject you don’t care about, don’t read it. Not everything needs to be in five second blurbs.

  10. missdona says:

    I only had one flight on Airtran. The oxygen mask compartment was duct-taped shut and there was a loud rattling for the whole flight. That was enough for me.

  11. JGB says:

    Airtran customer service is the worst! I spent a year and a half working in Miami while living in Kansas City. During that time, I flew Airtran quite a few times and can never remember a flight that rated above ‘miserable’. You would be on very safe ground assuming that your flight would be late since, in my experience, Airtran never leaves on time. Never. And they could not possibly care less if you complain. Once, after a 4 hour delay in Atlanta, I was trying to complain/make alternate arrangements at the Airtran counter. The customer service rep fell asleep while I was explaining my situation. I shit you not.
    I started flying Midwest Express, even though I had to drive to Ft Lauderdale to do it. If you have never been on this airline, you would not believe how nice it is. When I read that Airtran was trying to make a hostile takeover of Midwest, all I could think was NOOOOOOOO!
    Thank god that fell through.

  12. jfischer says:

    All the customers that missed the flight should have exchanged contact information on the spot, and agreed to combine forces to extract full refunds for out-of-pocket expenses and such.

    The airline’s claim “It is your own fault” is refuted by the fact that multiple travelers were left by the lack of a announcement over the tannoy in the concourse.

    People have to start treating these incidents like they are car accidents. They need to take photos, take down names, look for witnesses, and so on. The airlines are treating customers as adversaries, so the customers have to realize that they must “document their claim” in real time.

    Also, don’t be subtle about your documenting.
    Shoving a cell phone into the gate agents face and saying, “would you please repeat that?” would likely get you a different answer. Many cell phones have “record memo” type digital recorders.

    Taking a photo of the agent who stonewalls you can also work:

    “Why are you taking my photo?”

    “You have everything down to my shoe size on me, I just want to be able to identify you to corporate when they disavow your refusal to make good on your airline’s error to so many passengers.”

    If you start identifying individuals, and letting them know that they will not remain anonymous, they will quickly pass your up the authority chain, as no one wants to be held liable for angry customers with a valid complaint. Discretion is a big part of the job, so encourage them to use their discretion to “defuse” a situation that is clearly being photographed, filmed, recorded, and might end up on 60 minutes, or worse yet, YouTube. Or, like, “Consumerist”.

  13. moore850 says:

    Wait — you weren’t at the gate? There’s not much excuse you can have for missing a flight if you’re not at the gate, especially if the flight has been delayed. Lots of airlines will just leave whenever the flight is ready if it has been delayed. If you’re not around the gate, they assume you made other plans, etc. This is especially the case with weather delays.

  14. timbrews says:

    Maybe you should have paid closer attention to the airport’s departure board? Perhaps you shouldn’t have spent so much time in the bar? Maybe you should have checked the actual gate (did you even make it that far down the terminal?)

    I don’t work for an airline (or Amex), and I travel via air perhaps 3-4 times per year. This seems silly and frivolous. I’m glad you didn’t get your charges reversed or anything back from AirTran.

    What ever happened to a little thing called “taking responsibility for yourself?” Quit whining & next time get to the actual gate. It’s your responsibility to find out if you plane is at the gate, boarding, etc.

    If the airline tried to overtly screw you out of your flight then perhaps I’d have some sympathy…but don’t blame them for your not checking yourself.

  15. sirwired says:

    If you look in the “Contract of Carriage”, I am pretty sure that most airlines state that even if the flight is listed as delayed, it may, in fact, leave on time, so if you miss your flight because you are not around, you are SOL. (They don’t even technically have to put you on another flight, since you are now just a “no show”) While I’m not saying that this is the right thing to do, it is the reason AmEx is no help.

    The reason for this part of the contract is that the airline may, for instance, decide that the flight is so delayed, they will just assign another aircraft to the flight.

    Yes, the gate agent should have announced the flight over the terminal-wide intercom, but also the original poster should have paid more attention to the terminal monitors.

  16. toddr4fun says:

    I agree — you should have been at the gate. Or you should have made “delay friends” with someone staying at the gate to call you if they begin boarding. Especially at a hub — they can make equipment shifts and delays can evaporate. What do you expect, for every flight that has its time changed, for an announcement to be made in the whole airport? I fly Airtran twice a week, many times our delays have evaporated as in my experience, they overestimate delays.

  17. SkokieGuy says:

    Since airport displays showed the flight delayed till 10:15, the customer has no obligation to be in the gate area at 8:00 (when the flight was actually boarding).

    If the customer had checked online from home and found out the flight was delayed till 10:15, 8:15 would be a logical arrival time (two hours prior). This arrival time would not have permited boarding.

    Air Train is fully liable. Small claims?

  18. chgoeditor says:

    After several bad experiences (including one very similar to this), I stopped flying AirTran years ago!

  19. Beerad says:

    @The Count of Monte Fisto: Hey, customer-blaming in one! Nice shot!

    Seriously, though, it took under a minute to read that whole post and it wasn’t that long-winded. It probably took you longer to complain about it than to read it, and as someone pointed out, your solution is very simple: don’t read posts you think are too long.

    “How could you pin it on AirTran as a company?” Do you mean besides the fact that AirTran employees dropped the ball, causing several passengers to miss the flight, and completely failed to appropriately reimburse these people after the fact? That’s how I would pin it on them.

    While I agree that one individual employee’s stupid mistake probably wouldn’t prevent me from using the service again, the frighteningly obtuse customer service suggests that any future problems will likewise be poorly handled and one might be better off patronizing another airline.

  20. not_kosher says:

    Wasn’t it the AirTran CEO who accidentally replied to a customer email with an email he had sent someone else in the company saying that they (AirTran) didn’t owe the customer any money and he (the customer) would be back as soon as they saved him a penny?

  21. humphrmi says:

    So Meg said she wanted experienced travellers to weigh in… I’m just saying this so it doesn’t sound like I’m blaming the victim.

    As others said, you should stay by the gate. Get your wings to go, and eat them at the gate. In my experience flying millions of miles over the last 30 odd years, the geographic scope of flight announcements is inconsistent at best, varying across airports, airlines, and even from one terminal to another. The only place you’re assured of hearing about last-minute updates is at the gate.

    I was once sitting in the Heathrow Admiral’s Club waiting for a delayed AA flight. One would think the premium club for AA would announce flight departure changes. The flight ended up boarding and leaving sooner than their originally announced delayed departure time. I barely made it onboard, only because I left the club to go check out the shops. They never announced the updated departure time, and this was in the Admiral’s Club.

    Point is, you can’t rely on announcements anywhere, even premium clubs. Stay at the gate.

  22. Tallanvor says:

    @FatLynn: You can dispute any portion of a charge.

    I had to dispute a charge with CapitalOne once when the company I rented a phone in Germany from didn’t refund the deposit. Contrary to some other people on this site, I’ve never had a problem with CapitalOne, except they actually refunded the whole amount, and I had to ask them to add back the amount for the actual phone usage (If I expect companies to act responsibly, then I figure I should do the same). And that wasn’t a big deal.

  23. Beerad says:

    @humphrmi: But isn’t the Admiral’s Club supposed to announce those departure changes? Like don’t they have those little monitors everywhere with the flight information, in addition to the smiley women at the entrance desk who keep the hoi-polloi out and make announcements? I got to hang out in that place once travelling on business (British Airways, though, so probably better service) and I’d swear they announced boarding flights all the time.

    I’m not jumping on you, just curious. Doesn’t it defeat the purpose of a first-class lounge if you need to go sit at the gate for the three hours that the flight is delayed?

  24. toddr4fun says:

    @not_kosher: Spirit–not airtran

  25. brewmonkey says:

    Get the Amex Rewards Gold. It come with travel insurance. I had a flight that was delayed 3 hours. Amex reimbursed us about $250 for the price of meals during the delay, 1 day rental car, and an overnight stay at a hotel near the destination airport.

  26. timsgm1418 says:

    wouldn’t he be better off sending an email or letter to higher ups in the company than relying on the “everybody’s a supervisor” on the phone? I wouldn’t stop with a phone call.

  27. FatLynn says:

    @Tallanvor: You’re right, I mis-worded my question. My point was that the passenger paid for a flight, and they got a flight. It is not really AmEx’s place to step in and make a judgment on whether they should be reimbursed for meals and parking. If they had been forced to pay to get on another flight or something, that may be AmEx’s call, but AmEx can’t really refund something DIFFERENT from the original charge.

  28. ivanthemute says:

    Ditto everything that jfischer posted. I do wonder about one thing, did the OP have any checked luggage on this flight? If they did, they should also contact the FAA, as no flight is supposed to depart with unaccompanied baggage.

  29. Orv says:

    @humphrmi: +1. I’ve seen flights go from delayed to “on time” at the very last minute. I never stray far from the gate. Departures are often only announced at the gate itself…besides, there seems to be some guy who goes around and carefully tunes airport PA systems for total unintelligibility, because I’ve never been in one where you could understand a word the announcer was saying.

  30. ChicagoAndy says:

    I stopped flying Airtran when the flight attendent refused to allow me to use the bathroom for an entire flight.

    I also found it odd that this same flight attendant was bragging to nervous passengers how her late husband was the pilot of the plane that crashed, killing the entire Marshall University football team. (this incident was made into a movie, “We are Marshall”. It seemed like an odd story to tell to nervous passengers.

    That one trip had enough Airtran oddities that I was convinced Airtran is entirely run by amateurs. There are times where I’m entirely comfortable in the hands of amateurs, but flying a part 135 commercial aircraft is not one of these times.

  31. aeproberts says:

    I actually had the same thing happen to me when i was flying Southwest out of Las Vegas. I had a really important meeting the next morning at like 9 am so they flew me to Midway, and I had to sleep the night on a bench (no hotels available in the airport) and then took a 6 am flight. I barely made the meeting and I was offered no compensation from Southwest. I have not flown them again since.

  32. Fly Girl says:

    @ivanthemute: Wrong. Any domestic flight can leave with unaccompanied baggage. It’s only on international flights that those stipulations apply. (Unless the bag belongs to someone designated a “selectee,” in which case it has to be pulled.)

    As a frequent traveler, I know that even if the flight status says that you’re going to be three hours late, you get to the airport on time.

    Why? Because those flight status updates change every 10 minutes and if something happens that makes the plane available early, they leave– even if that means they’re leaving two hours earlier than what they originally said.

    And as a frequent (and I mean FREQUENT–several times a month) traveler, I hope to God that they leave as early as possible, not wait around for the delay just because it had been previously announced.

    I don’t know about the terminal speakers at BWI but it’s very rare that every flight announcement is heard throughout every airport. There’s just too many flights and too many terminals and too many announcements for that to be possible.

    There are three types of announcements that gate agents can make: gate area only, terminal wide, or airport wide. Generally, all boarding announcements are made gate area only. Things like the final boarding call announcement are made terminal wide and occasionally, if there are lot of people from the manifest still not on-board the aircraft, they’ll make an airport wide announcement.

    Because they were in the bar, it’s highly likely that the announcement WAS made but they just didn’t hear it and that’s not really the airline’s fault.

    If they were in the gate area and didn’t hear it, or even just wandering in the halls and didn’t hear it, that would be one thing. But with televisions, music, and other patrons it’s easy to miss boarding calls while you’re in the bar, if they were even played in the area of the airport that you were in.

    People miss more flights than you could ever wrap around your head because of being in the bar and that isn’t really the airline’s fault.

    Some tips for the future: tell the gate agent that you’re going down to the bar to get a snack. Even leave her your boarding passes if you feel so inclined. That way she’ll know that if something happens, you’re there, in the airport, wanting to take the flight. (Even though online check-in is super cool awesome, it has created a situation where many passengers that are “checked-in” for the flight aren’t even at the airport for the departure. Gate agents don’t waste too much time looking for people who are checked in but not on-board because of that.) Also, I would never trust the flight status displays that are monitored by the airport. Unless it is a flight status display solely operated by and for your airline, there can be critical delays in status updates. Those ones with ALL of the flights that are operated by the airports are useful tools, but they often do not have the most up to date information. If you were looking at an airport board, by the time you saw the status change, your flight might have already been in final boarding. Finally, like someone suggested earlier, if you’re not going to say at the gate the entire time, make a delay buddy. Give someone your cell phone number and ask them to call you if there are any changes in the status, especially changes like the flight leaving on time rather than two hours late.

    While this is a situation that most definitely sucks big time, it’s a tricky one and one where the airline is probably within their rights for not compensating you. After all, a plane full of people heard the announcements and made it on the plane so they must have been made.

    Rest assured, though, that this situation is not unique to AirTran– it happens to every airline every day. I don’t know that that’s a good thing but it does mean that you shouldn’t let this one incident turn you off AirTran forever– they do have damn good prices and paying more on another airline is not going to guarantee you that something like this never happens again! (I’ve never flown on AirTran, however, so I can’t say anything about the rest of their service… Only that this could have happened on any airline.)

  33. Hawkins says:

    I must agree, I’m afraid, with those who say to stay at the gate, no matter what the monitors say.

    I’ve been on delayed flights where they abruptly resolved the delay by substituting smaller equipment. They let people on (not by row or zone, just general boarding), and apparently counted heads, and when they got to the number of seats available, they quit letting people on.

    I was the last one on. I don’t know what happened to the poor suckers that we left behind.

    The point is: the airlines have made air travel so randomly difficult, with so many things that can go wrong, that the wise air traveler sits by the gate and, and at the first opportunity gets the f*ck ON THE PLANE.

  34. whydidnt says:

    Right or wrong, if your flight is delayed and you don’t want to miss it you have to check back with at the gate every 20-25 minutes or so. You can’t count on airport monitors, announcements or anything else. I fly about 50,000 miles a year and this doesn’t sound that unusual. It’s even easier to check if there are 2 or more traveling together, send a scout from the bar to the gate every 20 minutes and ask the Gate agent for an update. You’ll either see that they are boarding the plane and you can retrieve your friends or they’ll tell you if there is a change in schedules.

    It’s too bad this happened, but hopefully Consumerist readers now know the best way to deal with flight delays.

  35. SkokieGuy says:

    So in Chicago, where we have winter storms that can delay flight 5 – 6 hours or more, I should go to the airport anyway AND stay by the gate just in case the flight ends up departing earlier? That seems insane on several levels.

    Why do the airlines encourage us to check our flight status online before leaving for the airport?

  36. humphrmi says:

    @Beerad: Yes, absolutely, they are supposed to, and i’ve even asked a couple times when checking in at the Admiral’s Club desk, “Are you going to announce flight changes?” And they always say yes. But then a few times that I’ve flown, they haven’t.

  37. Orv says:

    @SkokieGuy: “Insane on several levels” is a good way of describing the state of air travel in the U.S.

  38. Fly Girl says:

    Oh, and another tip. If you can read airline lingo, you can get some pretty good information about your flight status, and what in God’s name is going on with it, by pulling out your laptop or Blackberry and looking up the Flifo.

    Don’t depend on the craptastic information that your airline is going to give you– “delayed arrival” or whatever B.S. they’re trying to tell you. Want to know WHY there’s a delay? Flifo is your best friend.

    Using Flifo you can determine what the cause of the delay is, how long it’s been delayed, what is going on with the inbound aircraft, and exactly where the inbound aircraft is.

    That info is especially helpful if you find yourself stuck in a rolling delay– quite often your inbound will still be on the ground in Chicago while you’re sitting at your gate in San Francisco waiting for your departure.

    The airline knows damn well that there’s no way your flight can leave anytime in the next five hours, with your plane still in Chicago, but instead of just TELLING you that, they’re gonna roll your ETD back every half an hour or so another ten minutes. You won’t get a true ETD from the airline until your inbound aircraft is in the air.

    But the FAA controls Flifo and all information has to be honest, up-to-date, and monitored by the FAA. It tells you what the delay is coded and where your plane has been (using the tail number) for the entire day. Did it start out with a half-an-hour ground delay in Detroit and it’s just trickled down to this point? Has it been on the ground in San Diego for the last six hours because of a major mechanical? Is it waiting in Seattle for a new crew because of mandatory sleep times?

    You can find out all of that and more by using the Flifo.

  39. flyingphotog says:

    I haven’t seen anyone else mention this, but it appears AirTran did an “aircraft swap.” If a flight has a huge delay, they might get a different aircraft that is sitting there at the airport and put it on the flight that is scheduled to leave sooner.

    Example:
    Flight 1234 is running 2 hours late arriving to BWI.
    Flight 5678 Arrives into BWI on time but is not scheduled to leave again for another 1.5 hours so they take that plane and use it for the 2nd leg of flight 1234, allowing it to leave with a mininal delay.

    The delayed flight 1234 gets to BWI 2 hours late, and continues the 2nd leg of flight 5678. It leaves 30 minutes late.

    Aircraft swaps are perfectly legal and happen several times a day. For Airtran they only fly 2 kinds of planes (717 & 737) so it’s not difficult to swap aircraft. The passengers should have stayed closer to the gate.

  40. The Count of Monte Fisto says:

    @Beerad: My point was simply that you can’t really paint a company with such a broad brush because of someone’s bad experience. I imagine many readers have flown AirTran without a problem (as I have), just as many of us have gone to Best Buy, Wal-Mart, et. al. without a problem.

  41. Youthier says:

    Terrible customer service from AirTran but I don’t really blame Amex for rejecting the claim. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed people who missed their flight because the “airline didn’t announce it” and they were really yakking on their cell phones or something and I can imagine that someone at Amex assumed that was the case.

  42. mkn1972 says:

    Here’s how I would handle this.. I’d EECB Amex and ask why the “investigators” never bothered to follow up. As a former police investigator I can assure you that about 80 percent of an investigator’s job is follow up. Ask Amex to refund your money as they promised the first time you contacted them.

    If that doesn’t work, you can always take the route used against Dell: Sue AirTran in small claims court for your time, the money you were out, and the extra parking, the headache, etc. Serve them with notice at their airport counter.

    Either way, someone owes you an apology and at least $100.00.

  43. Atlantys says:

    @The Count of Monte Fisto: If the story is too long for you, go buy your a longer attention span

  44. JerseyJarhead says:

    Youthier, you moron: They didn’t miss their SCHEDULED flight.

    The fucking flight was DELAYED by the jackasses at AirTran.

    Must passengers, delayed by the incompetent airlines, sit at gates for hours rather than take a piss, get a meal or have a drink? And what about when the idiots CHANGE THE GATES and never tell their passengers?

    This is the same airline (ValueJet, which then changed its name) that ilegally put pyro canisters onboard an aircraft and then plunged it into the everglades. Please. Get a R job for the airlines you asshole.

  45. shufflemoomin says:

    Lots of airports don’t make any announcements at all unless it’s for lost/delayed passengers and they all manage to make flights. If a flight is delayed, stay at the gate and wait for it to be ready to depart. Don’t go off to a bar and then blame the other people. Use some common sense next time and accept responsibility like a man.

  46. Proud_AirTran_FA says:

    JerseyJarhead, First off allow me to correct you on ValuJet’s so called name change. ValuJet did not simply change their name, the company was purchased by Airways Corp in 1997. AirWays Corp, the owners of AirTran at the time, combined the two airlines and gave control of the two companies to AirTran. AirTran acquired all of ValuJets planes, which it quickly replaced with the much safer and more efficient Boeing 717.

    As to ValuJet Flight 592, your quick summary of the accident is flawed. ValuJet flight 592 was loaded, very legally, with oxygen containers that had been removed from an old aircraft and were being sent to recycling. A poorly trained mechanic failed to place the pressure safety pins in to the oxygen canisters before loading them in to the planes cargo area. Without the pins in place, the oxygen canisters worked the way the were meant to. As the flight took off the pressure in the cargo area changed and the oxygen containers began mixing its chemical agents to make oxygen. The process created excess heat which caused a fire in the cargo area which was in turn only worsened by the oxygen the canisters were making. The crash of flight 592 was a sad lesson in airline cargo management.

    Inregards to the topic of this forum, no one likes missing a flight, and I simpitize with everyone who has been burned by the airlines (no matter what their name) The general rule of thumb is not to leave the gate, if a flight is delayed and the plane shows up it is the gate aggents job to board that flight as quickly as possible and get the plane to its destination as close to on time as posible. My suggestion to anyone is if you need to leave the gate, to get food or anything, stop up at the counter and tell the gate aggent you will be right back. If the flight does start boarding, the agent will remember that there are people outside the gate area and will most likely page through the whole terminal.

    Folks who are going to sit here and trash Airline for not treating you like royalty are the same people that wont admit fault of their own. As soon as you leave the gate you are taking a risk of missing your flight, and you knew that too, otherwise you wouldn’t have been intently listening for a PA from your flight.

  47. redhand32 says:

    I am going to run, not walk away from any Air Tran flight offer ! I will never use Air Tarn again.

    Orlando to Philly flight scheduled 8:22 PM, left at 10:31 PM due to weather they said. No adverse weather reports indicated in either Philly or Orlando or en route. Air Trqan had 3 people working at checkin, and the longest lines I every encountered in any airport anwhere. No employees were monitoring the long line in Orlando of VERY disgruntled customer. Baggage tags were only available to fill out when you got to the counter, therby holding up everyone else in the long lines. The employees were mostly young and rude (possibly from being overworked and stretched thin).

    After my 1st of 2 waits in the long line they told me at the counter that I was “too early” for them to check in my luggage. I had to wait until 4:30 Pm for my 8:22 PM flight that left at 10:31 PM to check in luggage.

    I will either pay extra or not travel by air before I travel on Air Tran. It was that bad for me. Never again. Keep the discount.

  48. statesman4 says:

    I am usually not the one that complains, but over the years it has gotten worst with airtran. My wife’s family lives in Canada, so we frequently fly to Buffalo and then drive to Toronto. Everytime we have flown airtran, it just seems like they’ve been waiting on us.

    Last time my wife travelled alone with two young kids, we bought two seats. The airline staff refused to even give a blanket to my 16 month old daughter. When my wife asked, the answer was “You should bring your own blanket”. On her way out, she asked steward if she can help her unfold the stroller, and his answer was “NO”.

    Another time they refused to have us sit together with our two kids. They actually wanted us to fly separate, one with each kid.

    I’ve called their higher ups, but their response was “Too Bad”, not even a sorry.

    I know I wont be flying them again, but if you are travelling with family, check with them first before booking a ticket, better yet, fly someone else.

  49. Adisharr says:

    AirTran pulled this crap with me too. They failed to announce a gate causing myself and 4 other people to be left stranded at the Atlanta, GA (otherwise known as the toilet of the Earth) airport for 27 hours.

    I’m sure we can all agree that the airline industry is going to eventually hit rock bottom in service quality.

  50. OrianaAmphictyon says:

    Just a couple of clarifications to the clarifications about the Valujet
    crash. Valujet, and other airlines as well, was not authorized to carry
    oxygen canisters as cargo. A separate contract company, Sabretech, through
    a process of misunderstanding, miscommunication, and pencil-whipping,
    mistakenly loaded the hazardous materials on the Valujet flight. The
    Valujet ramp agent incorrectly accepted it. One or more of the canisters
    triggered in flight, causing the crash.

    The accident had nothing to do with Valujet maintenance, per se. It does
    speak volumes about outsourcing, oversight, and training.

    The result is new focus in recurrent training for all airlines on
    identification and handling of hazardous materials, most of which are not
    authorized for flight.

    An excellent reference: the last chapter of William Langwiesche’s *Inside
    the Sky *, Pantheon, 1998