Chris's Rants

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Adding insult to injury

Following up on my post on my developerWorks blog about my experience at XML 2005, I wanted to rant about my first experience with AirTran. Let's just say that after last night's experience, I am less inclined to recommend AirTran to anyone else.

The flight down to Atlanta was fine. I managed to get a business class upgrade ($35) (available on first-come first served basis I think) and the flight was uneventful, although there was a slight delay pushing back from the gate.

Last night was simply unacceptable. I had managed another business class upgrade, but there were technical difficulties that prevented an on-time departure (wing lights were not functioning I think is what they claimed to be the problem). We sat on the plane at the gate for over an hour while mechanics worked on the problem until they finally abandoned all hope of fixing the problem and deplaned everyone while they scrounged around for another plane.

We sat at the gate for another hour until they determined that they couldn't find another plane and cancelled the flight.

Apparently, they did manage to find a larger plane and dumped all of the 7:15 pm passengers on a (supposedly) 9:45 pm flight.

Business class was already full, so I lost the upgrade. They gave me a refund and a comp upgrade for a future flight (yeah, riiiight). But now I was stuck in coach with my knees compressed against the seat in-front of me. Talk about tight fits! Holy cow. I couldn't even manage to squeeze my laptop bag under the seat!

They finally managed to get all of the 7:15 passengers re-ticketed and boarded by 10:30 or so, but then we were delayed again at the gate for an unspecified reason (at the time) at about 11:00 the pilot informed us that they had to change the flight crew with some mumbling about some ostensible rationale (I think that it had to do with weather and the fact that the pilot originally assigned hadn't managed to fly yet without training wheels or something).

Soooo... we waited another half hour for the replacement flight crew (sigh) and finally lifted off at 11:30 pm... over four hours late.

Upon arrival at Logan, we were delayed yet again because they had no one at the arrival gate to work the jetway. So, we waited on the plane for an unnecessary 15 additional minutes while they found someone.

To add insult to injury, MassPort apparently doesn't run any shuttle busses to the overflow lot next to the Hyatt after 12:45 pm... however, they neglected to inform their other shuttle bus drivers of this and so I and a few others sat at the shuttle bus stop for 25 minutes waiting for a bus that didn't exist (despite the fact that we received repeated assurances that it was on its way).

So, I didn't make it home until nearly 3 am.

Thanks AirTran. Thanks MassPort. NOT!

I am glad that I am not going on anymore trips until after Turkeyday.


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