AirTran – You Suck. Why I Will Never Fly You Again.

I’m traveling for work a lot these days…  to far away places like Atlanta where only a few airlines fly…. I’ve been flying a discount airline to save my company money – I do enjoy being a good corporate citizen.  However, I have now drawn the line.  Let me share why it’s the end of the line for AirTran.

I have flown them now a total of 10 times (counting the flight that I’m on now).  I have not had one good experience with them, every flight has had trouble.. different trouble, but trouble none the less.  Let me begin.

  1. Their “Rewards program”.  I don’t really think you can call it this.  I still can’t see one single benefit from being a part of this program…. I still cant figure out what use my A+ points are.  They tell me I can use them for upgrades and/or free flights.. hmm… 
    • First off, where do they actually fly to? Lets see, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Orlando…   Certainly not ‘hot spots’ in my book.  Why would I ever want to go to any of these places in my free time?
    • Secondly, lets talk upgrades.  I have enough points for 2.5 upgrades… However, its NEVER been an option for me… I keep asking why… no one can answer me …  I actually don’t think its possible to upgrade on AirTran.
    • Thirdly, do I get better seat choices? No, not with status or points, only with cash… and even then, not so much.  The green colored areas only mean I get “free” wireless … my knees still touch the seat in front of me…
  2. Next up, “Customer Service”.. actually, I should state this more clearly as “Customer Disservice”.  Boy do I have a lot to say about this.  
    • Phone “Customer Service Reps“..uhh huhhh… the name for these folks should be “I don’t give a shit about you but AirTran pays me to answer the phone so whats the problem I won’t help you with today”?  Honestly…  these people don’t know policy from their asshole.  Every single time I call (because I cant get the info from the website or I can’t do what I need to do on the website),they give me wrong information. And while they do it, I can feel their “No Way I’m Helping You” attitude bleed thru the phone.
    • Airport Counter Reps.   The counter reps are the most non-customer focused people I’ve met in the business (and I’ve traveled a lot). Maybe its just SF or Atlanta, but I’ve never seen a more lazy, non-helpful bunch of un-enthusiastic people in my life.  Each one acts as if their life could not get any worse, and if you ask them for anything (like information about changing your flight), they just might slight their throat right in front of you.  I’ve never seen anything like it – and yes, I’ve flown United where the attendants are so disgruntled they speak with nastiness and physically push people around. Delta sucks too. But at least with United and Delta, there is the off-chance that someone says “bye-bye now” and means it.  Case in Point – I get to the airport having done whatever the phone CSR recommended, the Desk Reps say, ” that’s too bad, he (the CSR Phone Rep)  should have been more informed”…. not “lets see how I can help you”, “let me see what I can do”.. you know what she did… she left and took a smoke break.  Yep, thanks for sharing your concern, I’ve got to go drink my Gatorade and have a smoke with Jamal now.    Uh huh.. I bet it works the other way around too.  It’s a special game they have going on… the “lets see who can provide the worst customer service’.  Yeah, not funny.  
    • How they ‘expertly‘ (sense the sarcasm??)  work together:   Case in point – today.  I called the phone “CSR” and he told me that I could either pay for a ticket (I was trying to catch an earlier flight – I could pay a change fee and the fair difference of $400 to be guaranteed a spot) or take my chances and fly standby. I asked If he could put me on the standby list, he said “no, you have to do that at the airport”…  So, I get to the airport, find out I’m 8th on the standby list, but would have been 1st on the list had the “CSR” actually put me on the standby list when I called…  I found this out because no less than 3 desk agents told me the asshole agent on the phone should have put me on the standby list.  Uh huh. I would have been on an earlier flight home, but thanks to the jackass on the phone, I will have spent 5 hours in the Atlanta airport and 5 hours in the air getting home.  Yes, thank you for getting me home safely is NOT on the tip of my tongue right now.
  3. Airport “Security” Personnel.. There is definitely a difference in the security personnel that “protect” the secure the AirTran gates…  I think this team must be special needs.  This is where the failures/fall-outs from the other airline terminals go. Like the misfits in the Santa Clause movie.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  After standing in a non-moving line for 40 minutes, you alert one of them that your flight is departing in 20 minutes.  After some back and forth (because English is NOT their native language), they put you in the “express line”.. which honest to god, is slower than the original line.  And if you say to them, “my flight is now boarding in 10 minutes”, they say “you should have gotten here sooner”… even AFTER they know you’ve been standing in their lines for almost a solid hour!  They are jus the stupidest bunch of people I’ve ever seen…  and they don’t get smarter with more experience…  its the same B.S. every time I fly thru San Francisco Terminal 1 gates for AirTran.
  4. AirTran Customers.  Where do I begin…
    • Am I the only english speaking person on the plane?  Honestly,  I feel like I’m traveling in a 3rd world country.  I’m pretty much the only white person with a regular sized suitcase. I am literally the only person not headed to a home country of Mexico or India.
    • Size and smell of these folks … Gross.   The fattest, stinkiest, and loudest people take AirTran. Case in point – the guy sitting in front of me is talking about having just been to court and “beaten the system”  because he got off on time served… and that his “ex” can “fuck herself”…  He is a tall bald-headed black guy with shorts so baggy I’m afraid if he gets up they will fall down and I will see his ass crack… Yep, real winner.   I should let him know I’m single. 
    • Oh, and for the 10th time in a row I’ve got some person whose body and arms can’t fit in their own seat/between their armrests. And her husband is 30% bigger than her.  You know the kicker?  I asked to go to the bathroom (I’m in a window seat), and they both didn’t move, they wanted me to crawl over them!!!  Yes, that’s right, it would take so much time to get their fat asses out of the seat they would rather have me straddle them to get to the aisle.  I’m grossed out just thinking about it.   I did ask them to get up and they were so perturbed.  They have no idea what a foul mood I’m in …. they better watch themselves is all I have to say.
    • And I just asked the kid behind me to stop kicking and fucking with the tray…I said, in a calm voice, “I just want you to be aware that what you do to the seat in front of you affects the person actually sitting  in that seat.  So when you need to grab and pull on the seat in front of you, realize that you are pushing and shoving person sitting in front of you.  His sister and mom stared at me – and really, shouldn’t the mom tell her kid this?  Manners people!!
  5. AirTan Accommodations… meaning the planes and service on board. 
    • Almost every flight I’ve been on has had something wrong with the seat I was sitting in. The second or third flight the seat I was in was missing the cover….just a foam seat.   The next flight the seat wouldn’t recline (broken button), the following flight had exposed springs on the seat…  
    • Every flight is booked solid (with stinky fat people who have zero airplane manners (or general manners if you ask me) – for example, if the bathroom sign says “occupied” you do NOT need to keep twisting and turning the bathroom handle/knob.  Idiot.
    • What happened to the food?  So the flight is 6 hours, you can’t have more than peanuts on the plane?  No snack boxes?  Gees…   I bring my own snacks now, but lordy, it seems like prisoners have it better than me – at the very least they have food and TV…  
  6. Flight Attendants… now here is a unique group of people.  Maybe it’s because they are based in Atlanta, but most of the flight attendants are black, have crazy names, and are NOT very customer service oriented… They certainly don’t take serving drinks seriously… and watch out if you actually hit the call button.. you may get a verbal beating… I saw a funny female comedian, Angela Johnson, do a skit on black flight attendants, and I think she must have flown on AirTran before… check this out.  All I’m saying is watch out for the Shaniqua, Telananque, and Bon Qui Qui’s.   

So, this blog is my bold and fierce statement that I would rather got to ATL in a Greyhound bus than take another AirTran flight…  Mark my words, I WILL NEVER take another AirTran flight. I don’t care how much less expensive it is. The pain and suffering that I go thru EVERY SINGLE TIME I fly them is not worth it.  It makes work travel worse than it needs to be…. and that is where I draw the line.

So, AirTran, I gave you a shot. Not just once, but 10 times.  You have proven that you are inferior to all other airline in ways that I never thought possible.

UPDATE – I’m just getting ready to post this and my seat mate just adjusted herself… she has squished her fat ass under the arm and it is now touching me!  Why doesn’t she point that thing at her husband??????   Gees.

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Observations from the Atlanta Airport.

So, I missed my flight from Atlanta to SF today…. by minutes.   AirTran (an airline I have nothing nice to say about) let me pay an extra $300 for the privilege of taking a later flight.. a much later flight.   My new flight departs at 5pm.. takes me to Milwaukee, where I get on an 8pm EST flight .. and get home at 11pm PST.  Yes, I arrive home exactly 12 hours later than expected, and I get to spend the entire day in the Atlanta airport. 

Here are a few things I’ve observed during the lat 4 hours …

  • Atlanta airport wireless connectivity sucks…. who do I complain to about this?
  • I just saw a woman whip her kid with a belt… I stopped and stared her down.. She didn’t care… neither did anyone else. If you hit a kid in public, lord only knows what she does at home.  Poor kid.
  • So many young men in their army green camouflage uniforms.  God they are so young.. they can’t possibly know the gravity of their decision to serve…  Do people really trust the president to make life and death decisions for them?
  • It is never attractive to wear clothing that has a name printed on the backside.  Honestly, do you really want Juicy or Pink spread across your ass?  If the answer is yes… Why? 
  • Just ate at Wendy’s for the first time in years.. when did I have a choice of chocolate or vanilla for a frosty?  I thought a frosty was just a frosty….  I can’t ever remember having to make that decision before.
  • Why does the Philipino man next to me keep staring at me? He’s actually put on sunglasses… I still feel him staring even though I can no longer confirm it..
  • How do people wear short shorts and tight skirts on airplanes? Aren’t they afraid of catching something? I would be.
  • Why is everyone so fat here? God I hope it isn’t in the water… I’ve been drinking a lot of water..
  • There are also so many flamboyant gay people here.  Not that there is anything wrong with it.. just surprises me.  I thought all the gays were in CA.. kidding people!!  🙂
  • I have 5 hours before my flight … Hope I make it thru security in time.
  • Why do people have so much luggage? What stuff do they really need?  What is it that they can’t live without?
  • I still think I have a lot of alcohol running thru my veins…  I just took another 800 mg ibuprofen to help with the headache (thanks mom!!).
  • I wish there was a place I could go to take a nap.
  • A girl just walked by with a dress so tight I could see her belly button.. not because the dress is see-thru, but because the dress was stretched so tight across her fat belly I could see, very clearly, that she has an innie. So gross.

I need to put together a page about my roster.  Seems appropriate so we can all keep track of the men I’ve dated this year.