Why I no longer fly airtran

 
Old May 7, 04, 11:40 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: memphis, tn, USA
Posts: 38
Angry Why I no longer fly airtran

I fly a lot since I like to travel and usually roll with the punches that airlines throw at me. I live in Memphis and most of my family is in Florida, so airtran is many times the cheapest option. However out of 7 or 8 trips I've twice gotten stuck in Atlanta overnight. And just this week my friend (who got his NWA elite matched on airtran) got stuck there on his first airtran flight. I can deal with getting stuck, but it is how I'm treated that is the problem.

First airtran doesn't pay for hotel but gives me a "50% off" hotel coupon which in actuality only was good for $5 less than the guy who walked in off the street in front of me at the hotel. Then they won't move me to another airline when they won't put me on the 1st airtran flight out the next morning. And the same thing happened to my friend this week, he couldn't get a flight out until 2:00pm and is "elite" on their airline.

What I've discovered about airtran:
1. rarely cover hotel when stuck
2. won't switch you another airline
3. you become lowest priority when you miss a flight, they would rather make you 12 hours late then bump another passenger and have to compensate them, no compensation for me since my delay was "weather"

Why fly them? Lately their fares have gone up and the price advantage they had isn't there anymore, usually never more then $10-20 cheaper

Yes, airtran is making money by offering mediorce service
neworder71 is offline  
Old May 7, 04, 4:36 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Somewhere between IAD and DCA
Programs: UA Premier, Starwood Gold
Posts: 333
As someone who flies AirTran on a regular basis, I have to disagree with your comments. I have been stuck in Atlanta many times due to weather but the airline cannot control what nature does.

If flights are canceled due to weather, they are not responsible for picking up your hotel. I travel four days a week, and had to stay in many hotels unexpectedly because of weather. Itís part of the game. USAir, Delta, Northwest, JetBlue, & Southwest have never picked up my hotel for me.

In most situations when Iíve been stuck in Atlanta, Delta and other airlines were either booked up, or they had their flights canceled as well. Hard to switch to an airline when their flights are oversold or canceled.

Having Elite status with AirTran as well as US, I donít see many differences between the programs. If my flight is canceled on US, then Iím put on the next available flight. If itís not until 2PM the next day, then I have to wait.

Atlanta is a major part of the problem. Since they have ILS on parallel runways, the FAA has required higher ceilings than most airports.
DCATravel is offline  
Old May 10, 04, 8:21 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA - AirTran Elite #1 FF * Delta Diamond Medallion * Starwood Platinum * PriorityClub Gold * Hilton Diamond
Posts: 672
AirTran has switched me to Delta several times. When I emailed customer service, they also gave me full AirTran credit.

They won't move you for weather or pay for hotels for weather. I've gotten stuck before 9/11 and Delta / AirTran paid for hotels for weather. Since 9/11, no airline has put me in a hotel for free for weather.

It's a new economic reality. If you drive and get stuck in bad weather, will your insurance pay for your weather? No . . . it's on you. Same now with all major US airlines.
JoeFlyer is offline  
Old May 12, 04, 4:19 pm
  #4  
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: memphis, tn, USA
Posts: 38
Well I'm glad you 2 had better luck.

In my friend's case, seats were available on Delta and they would not move him, they offered to refund 1/2 his fare and he could book Delta himself. Of course getting $150 back to buy a much more expensive one way same day ticket was not feasible.

The 2 times it happened to me they didn't even make this offer.

And don't even get me started about the customer dis-service line in Atlanta, always seems ridiculously long.

Almost forgot, another time I got stuck in FLL overnight (can't remember if it was weather or mechanical, but doesn't matter), wouldn't/couldn't redo all the tickets that night. Anyway, there are 2 flights early 6:00 am and 7:00am, desk doesn't open until 5:15 am for checking in(no gate check at the time). They have 75% of the previous nights flight, plus 2 other flights to deal with and only 2 reps. Basically, it became first come first serve just to try and fill the planes. So, why didn't they open on time 5:00 am and knowing that there was a crush of passengers expected why didn't they call in help. I've worked in places that value customer service and if we couldn't find employees, we'd call in managers, on or off duty, different locations, whatever had to done to impact the customer as little as possible. And I don't get that feeling from Airtran.
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Old May 12, 04, 7:04 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: MCO
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There was a thread that spoke about the Delta/AirTran relationship in DL forums not too long, I believe that Delta has canceled the agreement with AirTran and no longer accepts stranded AirTran passengers for Delta Flights.
ThisDJ is offline  
Old May 12, 04, 7:16 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: CLE,OH
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DL will accept Airtran passengers but bills AirTran full fare.
coplatua1k is offline  
Old May 12, 04, 11:48 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA - AirTran Elite #1 FF * Delta Diamond Medallion * Starwood Platinum * PriorityClub Gold * Hilton Diamond
Posts: 672
Yep, unlike every other airline, Delta charges AirTran fulll fare. This makes it much harder for them to offer switching now. But it does help Delta pay their pilots $300k a year . . .
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Old May 13, 04, 1:22 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: MCO
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Posts: 540
Dartboard

And it means that is an extremely RARE Occurrence that AirTran is going to put someone on Delta Metal, there is loads of bad blood between the two airlines in ATL, i remember a certain face on a dart board issue a few months back in the press!!
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