“ Country: USA „
That s now the second flight they re schedule on 2 different flights and destination. I believe somebody lost it in this company.
Facts: June 16 I booked 2 flight the first one is White Plains to San Francisco on September 20 the second is San Diego to White Plains on October 1st. On July second I receive a first email stating that my flight was confirmed for October 2nd. I took it was an error so I call customer service on July 3rd and they say that it is only a schedule change and that it is company policy that they can do that anytime. I cancel this flight and booked trough another company. After I ask about my other flight on September 20th if it will be also re-scheduled, the reponse is no but it can be changed too anytime and slam on July 3rd at night I receive another email that my september 20th flight was re scheduled that time I'll arrive 30 minutes later at destination and the flight number changed but that's still unbelievable. What the hell is doing airtran? Who is playing with the people schedule?
AirTran are one of the newer low cost airlines operating within the continental United States and the Caribbean. I made several trips with them between last June when I moved over to the US, and this September when I thankfully escaped the place, and have had mixed feelings.
FACT: Overbooking? Try Over-assigning!
I checked in at the airport, received my boarding pass and proceeded to the gate. However, on boarding the aircraft, I found someone sitting in the seat I had been given. Close inspection of her pass told us we had somehow both been given the same seat. According to the air hostess this happens "all the time" when check-in attendants fail to press the right button on their terminal to save the details of the seat they've just assigned. Seating lists allow only one person per seat, so generally there is room for the people left standing to sit, but these can take a while to reach the staff on board during which time you're left standing in the aisle like a wally while the hostesses ignore the situation and instead work out where you're accent marks you out as being from, and strike up conversations about the classy show that is "Airline". From a techie point of view, I'm quite amazed their systems allow them to print boarding passes with the same num on for different people, but as I learnt during my stay, there are lots of things in that there country that don't make a lot of sense.
Something else odd about seats - they were once convinced I was travelling with 2 others, and checked 3 times before letting me check in on my own. Seems that couple had the same surname as me, but again, this must happen frequently, so you'd think they'd realise they can have 2 Jane Bloggs on board without them being sisters or lesbian life partners. Flying to the Bahamas and back I ended up next to the same couple each time, which was strange since these were scheduled and not charter flights, and I'd assumed seats were assigned in order of check in, and which point those 2 were no where to be seen in the long queue behind me.
FACT: Low cost <> No Frills
They don't do a lot, but they do do some. Though a budget airline, they're not quite as basic as Ryanair and Easyjet are. For example, they assign seats at check in, so it's not a mad free for all when the time comes to board. (See above though - technically they give you your seat, but it might not work out that way though). They also do free soft drinks and snacks, namely little packets of pretzels. Alcoholic beverages are available but you have to pay, and payment has to be by card as they will not accept cash on board. The selection of drinks is good - I was on flights where they had Pepsi and Coke, and diet versions of both. They also offer you a choice of sizes - either a glass full, or a full can if you're thirsty. And, they will hand it you unopened if you smile nicely, so if you're not thirsty then you can take it with you for later on in the day.
Because of the fast turn around, seats and seatback pockets sometimes come with stale pretzel crumbs, but I'd rather brush off a seat before I sit down than pay an extra $100 or so for someone to do it for me.
FACT: Staff knowledge can be lacking at times
I flew to the Bahamas. That's not in the US. I spoke with an accent marking me out as coming from Britain. That's also not in the US. So I was an alien flying out of their country to one other than my own, and then back again. But somehow I still got the form for American citizens, and somehow they said it was the right one, even when I checked. Fast forward 5 days and you have me dashing all over Freeport airport looking for the right form when I should in fact have been indulging in some Bahamian airport shopping. Not good.
That being said, the ground staff in the US were great most of the time - they offered seats on earlier flights, pointed out the best places to while away a few hours before takeoff, directed you from carousel to carousel in the baggage claim areas as the incoming luggage kept changing its mind as to where it should put in an appearance.
FACT: AirTran flights are a great way to meet guys.
I met my last partner in crime on one of their flights coming back from the south. We bonded over a mutual dislike for the city we were both currently calling home (and where he still is, poor guy), and, in a fairy tale for the digital age, were soon swapping email addresses. Coincidence, maybe, but I never hooked up with anyone I met on a Southwest, BMI or American Airlines flight, so who knows?
FACT: Flight timings and durations are over-estimated
On almost every flight I took with them, we took off late and landed early, meaning that their 1 1/2 or 2 hr flights always resulted in maybe 1/3 less airtime than you'd think. This is something lots of scheduled full fare airlines do (saves them paying compensation because sometimes even if they're late, they're right on time) but not many budget ones do.
AirTran fly in and out of Atlanta airport to destinations all over the US, with some direct services between other points such as my Baltimore to Bahamas flight. Prices depend on how far in advance you book, but are generally low - my most expensive was only about £130 including taxes, and the others I took were around the £80 mark which, when you consider the distances involved (Baltimore to Atlanta clocks up more miles than Manchester to Frankfurt). Recommended because they're cheap and so am I.
www.airtran.com for online booking and the lowest prices.