AirTran: Here's Your Pretend Voucher, Have Fun Redeeming It

It certainly looks real, but according to AirTran this voucher may not be valid. Why? Because it doesn’t specifically say you get a flight. Why would AirTran issue vouchers that don’t vouch for anything? We just don’t know.

Last January Brett’s flight from Chicago to Boston was canceled. In the course of getting back to Boston, Brett had to fly to Georgia, then New York, then take a bus to Boston that he had to pay for himself. Rather than a quick 2-ish hour flight, Brett’s trip took 12 hours and cost him an extra $60. But he didn’t mind. He was getting a free round-trip flight. It was as simple as calling the number on his voucher.

When Brett called a customer service representative to redeem the voucher, the story changed. He was told there was no free flight on file for him. Brett writes:

I told him I had a voucher, and he said, “but does it actually say you get a flight on it.” I read it carefully and it didn’t. It was deceptively nice and apologetic, and generous-sounding.

airtran2.jpgBrett was told to call Customer Service, where he was then told that since he’d received an apology letter, and the letter told him there would be no compensation, he wasn’t entitled to any. Too bad Brett never got a letter.

I am appalled that I would be given a voucher, only to be told it never happened. Clearly something fishy is going on. I was told I cannot call this woman at customer relations back, and that I will receive no notice when my voucher is either approved or denied. I will have to call back every day, she told me.

What gets me is the fact that this voucher was given to me for my inconvenience, and yet I almost feel that the inconvenience here deserves some sort of compensation.

So, the way we see it, there are three possibilities here.

1) AirTran’s suspicions are correct and Brett made a fake voucher in a crazy scheme to achieve compensation for his troubles, and when caught, he decided to out himself to the whole internet as a liar who makes fake travel vouchers.

2) The AirTran employee who wrote the voucher made a mistake and never entered it into the computer, or the voucher was misfiled due to an error with the date. The date on the voucher does not match the date in Brett’s email.

3) AirTran gives people worthless vouchers that don’t explicitly state what they are for.

We would lean towards option 2, but find it very strange that the CSR would admonish Brett to read his voucher carefully to see if it really vouched for anything. That sounds shady. We guess that’d be option 4) That CSR was shady. —MEGHANN MARCO

Brett writes:

I just called Airtran to make use of a free voucher they gave me on January 7, 2007. On that date, my flight from Midway, Chicago to Boston was canceled. I was forced to fly first to Georgia, then New York City, then take a bus to Boston, which cost me over $60 extra and 12 more hours at least (the bus to exactly where I was going was a few hours off from my arrival in NYC). I only did so knowing I was happy because airtran gave me a voucher for a free round trip. Eh, I was working for that free trip.

The woman behind the counter had written a code and date on a voucher and told me it was for a free flight, and to just call the number when I wanted to schedule, good for one year from the date.

I never thought twice about it.

I call to get my flight today, and the guy says, “there is no flight on file; you do not get one.” I was appalled. I told him I had a voucher, and he said, “but does it actually say you get a flight on it.” I read it carefully and it didn’t. It was deceptively nice and apologetic, and generous-sounding. I will send you a copy since I am also forced to fax it to airtran.

I was told to call customer relations, who said that since a letter was sent to my home with an apology, which said there would be no compensation, I do not get any. I never received such a letter

I am appalled that I would be given a voucher, only to be told it never happened. Clearly something fishy is going on. I was told I cannot call this woman at customer relations back, and that I will receive no notice when my voucher is either approved or denied. I will have to call back every day, she told me.

What gets me is the fact that this voucher was given to me for my inconvenience, and yet I almost feel that the inconvenience here deserves some sort of compensation.

Brett