Weird experiences lately in BC

 
Old Nov 12, 13, 2:38 pm
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Weird experiences lately in BC

I got upgraded last month from HOU-ATL. Got in after all the BC passengers. u BC was NOT full. yet all the overhead bin space was full. I only had one laptop bag. Since I am tall, I prefer to put it above me. Some airtran employees hogged one of the bin spaces with a lot of their gear. FA was kind of curt and told me to place it near my feet. I wonder where the other two BCs would have put theirbags if BC sold out instead.

THen I had a flight from PBI-ATL 3 weeks ago. The FA told one idiot that he could sit in my seat 1D when he goofily asked her if he could sit there(according to the guy in 1F who told me whathappened after the flight). I walk in and see my seat occupied by goofball. Then the goofball feigns confusion about his seat number and stands around looking confused. At no point, the FAs ask him to leave. I see an empty seat in 3F and since I prefer that seat anyway, decide to take that seat and since I was last on the plane, I had a feeling 3F was a no show in a full BC.



Then I had a flight from ATL-PHL last week. I am given 1D at the ticket counter when checking in my bag. Since I already got upgraded, I decide to take my sweet time going to the gate. I arrive at the gate 20 -25 min early. The GA scans my boarding pass and tells me that something was wrong and directs me to the main gate counter further away from the door. The lady told me she gave away my ticket to someone else. I am not happy. But I can't demand anything as it is a free upgrade. I asked if my exit row seat was still there. She said yes. When I walk in, I notice 2 empty seats in BC and tell the FAs what happened andasked them if they could let me upgrade if the no shows remained no shows. They dont show up. THere are two Airtran FAs sitting in Row 4. The FAs to their credit ask me to go to the BC cabin before departing. Those FAs in row 4 probably hogged the overhead speace again in BC and despite 2 no shows, the BC bins were already full. So I had to put my bag underneath again. I talked to the lady next to me and she told me she was on a buddy pass and she got upgraded at the gate. Shouldnt the Ga have waited until the last minute before giving a buddy pass passenger on standby the opportunity to get the upgrade?

PHL-ATL today: I have someone with me on my reservation. So i go the GA 50 min before departure since he made some announcement of someone needing to pick their boarding pass . I asked him how the elite upgrades looked. He said you can pay 89 bucks. even if he misunderstood my question, it's ony 69. When I repeated ELTE, he asked me for my name. I then reminded him my mom was on my reservation too. he then told me upgrades were only for elites and not anyone else. I told him she was on my reservation. This guy is a Southwest guy. He looked confused for asec, but processed the upgrade anyway. He kind of mumbled that there might not be seats together. I said that's not a problem. But he ended up giving us two seats next to each other anyway. There ended up being 3 empty seats in BC after all that.
saneman is offline  
Old Nov 12, 13, 7:23 pm
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I wrote a response and sure thought I posted it.

However I am restating it.

After a period of seeing many empty seats in BC I am seeing far more BC seats taken and fewer upgrades. It may be Southwest connecting passengers or the result of the recent Credit Card bonus upgrades, although I can't figure out why anyone would want to get and Airtran credit card now.
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Old Nov 13, 13, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I wrote a response and sure thought I posted it.

However I am restating it.

After a period of seeing many empty seats in BC I am seeing far more BC seats taken and fewer upgrades. It may be Southwest connecting passengers or the result of the recent Credit Card bonus upgrades, although I can't figure out why anyone would want to get and Airtran credit card now.
It's still 2 roundtrips.
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Old Nov 13, 13, 9:37 pm
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It may be the success of the program... I've seen flights with just a couple full BC fares (though lately with SW bookings even more) Then a few purchased upgrades and 20 or more Elites hoping for upgrades.

Last flight I booked via Southwest on FL with a 2 day prior fare the difference between BS and AT was less than $12. The extra points were worth it alone.

DL's hoping to Upgrade list often is far longer even on smaller cities. On RJs on business routes it can get very close to the entire number of passengers booked. Diamond and Platinum might score. Golds very rarely get UG's even on mainlines.
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Old Nov 14, 13, 7:08 am
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My last flight (yesterday) I was offered an upgrade however as I was traveling with my wife (also Elite) and there was only one seat. I declined. As I understand the system the seat should have gone to my wife as she checked in before me, but no matter she declined as well.

The flight showed only one empty seat, the Business Class seat I passed on. It was actually empty. I could see it from my seat a few rows back.

I was boarding pass 19 (she was 17) so I was surprised that there was apparently no other Elite on the plane.

l should have taken the seat, I missed out on the cookies and my wife slept the entire flight.
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Old Nov 15, 13, 4:23 pm
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You'll like this one...

Two weeks ago, flying RIC-ATL, I'm in the boarding area. It's about 45 minutes until takeoff, but there are no GAs.

About 10 minutes later, two GAs show up at the boarding door - not the desk -- and make the announcement that they will start boarding in two minutes.
I take that opportunity to go over and check on the status of elite upgrades.
The FA looks at me and says, "Oh, we don't do that here. You need to go to customer service to get that done."
I assure her that in all of my years being an elite, never once have I gone to customer service to get an upgrade and politely repeat my request in case she misunderstood me the first time.
Her equally adept partner looks at me and says, "Yeah, we can't do that here."
Um, OK.
As I'm turning to leave, go find customer service, brood, whatever, an Air Tran guy comes walking up with a handful of boarding passes and hands them to the GAs. I wait a moment to see if perhaps they are going to call me back. They don't. I approach them again and say, "Are those, by chance, the upgrades?"
One looks at the passes, says, "What's your name?" I tell her, she hands me my upgrade pass, I thank her, she says nothing.

Then comes boarding. This is no exaggeration of the announcement:
"OK, we're going to begin boarding now. Zones 1, 2 and 3, you can board."

No "people who need extra time" (and there was an older gent with a cane standing there who clearly needed a few minutes). No "business class and elites." No "Zone 1 only." Just a general, "Come on down!"

I shook my head and laughed at the absurdity of it and the woman behind me starts grousing that she just paid $15 for an early boarding pass (when did Air Tran start doing this??) and is going to mention it to the GA. I only heard part of their conversation as I went down the jetway, but I think the general reply she got was, "I don't know what you're talking about."

So I get on the plane, sit in my assigned 3C, people come aboard and when the plane is fairly full, I noticed 1D and F still empty.

An older lady comes aboard, looks down the aisle of the plane, looks back and sees row 1 open, says to no one in particular, "Oh, I got lucky. No one is sitting in the front row," and proceeds to sit in 1F.

I'm gritting my teeth, hoping an FA heard her or would at least ask to see her boarding pass - clearly a WN flier who STILL doesn't realize that Air Tran has assigned seating - but nothing happens.
I saw an FA move someone from coach up to 1D - an elite, perhaps? - and I assume that 1F would have stayed empty, anyway, so no harm, no foul. But it's just the point. It really shouldn't be the passenger's decision to just randomly sit in business class!

Clearly, the FAs have given up even trying to adhere to standard FL policies, like the proper order of boarding and seating assignments that actually make a difference.

Flying to PHL tomorrow. Can't wait to see what happens - though I know I won't be going through the Pre-Check line. Thanks again, WN!
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Old Nov 15, 13, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
My last flight (yesterday) I was offered an upgrade however as I was traveling with my wife (also Elite) and there was only one seat. I declined. As I understand the system the seat should have gone to my wife as she checked in before me, but no matter she declined as well.

The flight showed only one empty seat, the Business Class seat I passed on. It was actually empty. I could see it from my seat a few rows back.

I was boarding pass 19 (she was 17) so I was surprised that there was apparently no other Elite on the plane.

l should have taken the seat, I missed out on the cookies and my wife slept the entire flight.
Bizarre that happened to you, too. I posted a few months ago how I was boarding pass #4, my husband was #5, we paid the same fare, yet he got called for the one upgrade seat and I was overlooked. I contacted customer service about it and got the unsatisfying response that, "We'll have our IT people look into it to see what caused the system to bypass you."

He took the seat at my insistence and saved his Milano's for me.
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Old Nov 16, 13, 4:17 am
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The Business Class cabin is indeed starting to become the Wild West. I just requalified Diamond on Delta and have resumed flying AirTran to get Elite.

At TPA the newly remodeled ticket counters have no AirTran checkin area, the SWA ticket agent had no clue how to print an AirTran boarding pass. Elites go to the express bag drop area to be.... served.

On two flights, SWA fliers have simply sat in Business Class even when their assigned seat is in Coach. Yesterday I saw shenanigans similar to the above, where the FA obviously knew someone sitting in bulkhead coach and was contemplating offering a last moment favor. I gave a polite but firm stare from 3F and the joking ended.

Many ATL markets now see straight up Business Class fares less than $20 above last minute coach and $60 less than comparable Delta A and P fares. As always, AirTran Business is fully refundable, free baggage, you can even no show and get a full cash refund.

So we continue to ride the dinosaur as the snow behind to fall...
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Old Nov 19, 13, 8:52 pm
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I sat with an Airtran pilot earlier this week in BC, and he had mentioned that SW was getting rid of "redundancies" up in BOS -- that is, the FL gate agents. To further validate his claim, I had noticed that same day that the normal FL gate agents I've had at BOS were "switched" to some Southwest folk looking slightly confused. Sucks, but I guess that's how it goes with these takeovers.

I asked about any upgrades as usual at the counter, and it took a lot longer than usual, but luckily didn't run into any real issues (fingers crossed for future flights).

I am (unfortunately) less surprised by the issues mentioned above, particularly since SW is letting some of the FL people go hopefully the process will improve after SW folk are "trained in" -- but that may be wishful thinking!
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Old Nov 21, 13, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by melissaru View Post
You'll like this one...

Two weeks ago, flying RIC-ATL, I'm in the boarding area. It's about 45 minutes until takeoff, but there are no GAs.

About 10 minutes later, two GAs show up at the boarding door - not the desk -- and make the announcement that they will start boarding in two minutes.
I take that opportunity to go over and check on the status of elite upgrades.
The FA looks at me and says, "Oh, we don't do that here. You need to go to customer service to get that done."
This is probably due to the fact that some of the Southwest/AirTran agents at small stations are now outsourced. In RIC the ramp and "ops" agents (ops agents are the ones who conduct the boarding process) are actually employees of a Delta subsidiary. Customer service agents (the ones at the gate desk and at the ticket counter) in RIC are unionized Southwest employees, all former AirTran but not many of them left.
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Old Nov 22, 13, 12:57 pm
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Maybe someone can buy Airtran from WN and make it Airtran again...
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Old Dec 3, 13, 9:53 am
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I quit flying Airtran a few years back because of these very issues. I flew MDW to ATL on Airtran at least once a week prior to the merger with Southwest. It got to the point where the upgrade process became so frustrating I would dread walking to the counter just to leave empty handed. Once on board, BC would be occupied with the people I saw chatting with the gate agents prior to boarding. It appeared to me they were a combination of Airtran employees and friends of the gate agents that were getting complimentary upgrades while the Elites sat in coach. This happened in both Chicago and Atlanta. The constant feeling that I was getting screwed became too frustrating and I finally switched carriers.

Sounds like matters have gotten worse with the merger.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 10:56 am
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I have not experienced extensive issues with favoritism, although I have suspected some. I may also have benefited from it in the days before the merger.

Since the middle of November when the schedule was modified to be more Point to Point I have seen a general increase in BC bookings. This may be seasonal, but it may also be the new schedule with lots more flights stopping and continuing on. My last flight was such a flight it flew on from Atlanta without the through passengers deplaning, something I don't recall ever happening on Airtran.
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Old Dec 3, 13, 5:10 pm
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You mean the Southwest bus pulled in?
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Old Dec 5, 13, 9:29 pm
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The craziness has moved beyond BC.

On a flight earlier today a passenger decided he "needed" to sit in seat 11F. When another passenger showed up with a boarding pass for 11F He just sat there and at first said he was a "through" passenger and had a boarding pass. After being unable to produce a boarding pass for 11F, the FA's pointed to their manifest showed him in a different seat, he shifted to "I didn't want to sit in the bulkhead". Finally the young woman agreed to sit in his seat (15 or 16 D), away from the friends she was traveling with.

Last edited by rsteinmetz70112; Dec 5, 13 at 10:04 pm
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