I know, you all miss me. I’ve been out-of-pocket because I’m out-of-town. I’m spending most of August in Hotlanta (and not because the guys are hot)… I’m in ATL for work (shameless plug for the fabulous (exKimpton) Marriott Renaissance Hotel)…. a great opportunity worth $$ if we can close it. However, there are several observations that I want to share with you:
- Unicorns is at home, in CA.. and I miss her every minute of every day that I’m gone. I want to be making dinner with her, creating jewelry, and catching up on life… talking, drinking wine, enjoying her company. Bums me out I’m missing out on that (although, we all know Unicorns is just fine without me and out and about entertaining herself)
- Life is so crazy right now that simple pleasures make me happy. Case in point:
Looks like I might have 2 dates this weekend – MM guy on Friday, and Middle Seat Airplane guy on Saturday. Yep, I’m a mover and a shaker… both of the men are on my roster.. yum!
- I’m so happy when I go to the bathroom and the toilet seat is up. It means I am the first one to go to the bathroom and I’m the first one on the toilet seat. It makes me smile and happy… What puts a bigger smile on my face is when I go back to the bathroom, I have to find another stall with the seat up… I love a good challenge. 😉
- I heard Barry Manilow on the radio at the restaurant I had lunch at yesterday.. It reminded me of th time I went to his concert with my mom and twin a lot of years ago… big smile.
I should be writing status to my manager… but I did not, I decided to give you’ll an update… I know, you feeling the love?!!?
O.k. my sleeping pill is kicking in… good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.
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.
- 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…
Next up, “Customer Service”.. actually, I should state this more clearly as “Customer Disservice”. Boy do I have a lot to say about this.
- 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…
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.
AirTran Customers. Where do I begin…
- 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.
AirTan Accommodations… meaning the planes and service on board.
- 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!!
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.
- 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…
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.
I had a whirlwind work trip this week to Atlanta. I just returned home ….glad to be home, in bed, snuggling with the little furry ladies. Now that I’m relaxed, I was thinking about my travel day on Thursday and thought I would share my story. Here is how the day went for me:
- 04:30am PST – Up and at ’em…. and I’m SO NOT a morning person.
- 06:00am PST – Get in my car and drive to the airport because the cab never showed up.. when I called them, the dispatcher said they were “all busy”
- 07:00am PST – Flight departed SFO… headed to ATL, 4.5 hour flight. Slept a bit…. finished my book, worked a tiny bit.
- 02:45pm EST – Arrived ATL
- 03:00pm EST – Boarded a train (METRA) towards the hotel
- 03:35pm EST – Departed the train….unbeknownst to me AT THE WRONG train stop.
- 04:00pm EST – arrived at the mall, that is attached to the hotel, A MILE from the train stop. The entire time I was walking I was swearing up and down, saying my coworkers name in vain (of course it was his fault!)..
- 04:30pm EST – arrive at the hotel, sweaty and disgusting as it was a “cool” 92 degrees in Hotlanta. I hop into the shower to clean up and cool down, proceed to work for the next hour and a half.
- 06:00pm EST – go to the hotel bar and cool down even further with a cold alcoholic beverage – vodka, soda, and ice cubes.. yum!
- 07:00pm EST – head to drinks and dinner with my coworker.. laughed about my travel day…
- 11:00pm EST – back at hotel…
9 hours of getting ready to travel, waiting to travel, traveling. 12 hours with the 3 hour time difference. Throughout the travel experience, I had nothing to eat… so I was starving by the time dinner time came around. Had 3 tacos, a margarita at a local taco establishment….. and 2 more vodkas at the St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta… OMG, this place is amazing! I’m definitely going back to that hotel bar…
A couple of great observations about my day is:
- I got paid to travel… I know, it’s not glamorous travel, but it was still interesting to me. I love to interact with people, watch people, watch people’s interactions with others… I love to watch the people in this world move about…
- All food and drink, while out-of-town, is on someone else’s dime. Nothing like a free beverage that puts a smile on my face.
- I think it’s so interesting how sure I was that I knew exactly where I was going. It didn’t occur to me that I didn’t know… Looking back on it, of course I didn’t know… but made me realize that the more I think I know something, the more I really don’t know anything.
And last, and probably the most important… I did ALL of this in my fabulous Olivia Rose Leopard Print Pumps.. Oh baby, do I travel in style or what?!?!?