As many of you know mother is very sick. I went down to Florida for a few weeks to spend time with her, my grandmother and my little sister. The only airline I fly is Airtran as I love the wifi, extra comfortable seats, and no to mention the great staff. Well the flight to Orlando MCO was perfect going back to Indianapolis is another story.
I was in Orlando for a few weeks and it was time I head back to the Midwest. I had the last nonstop flight out of Orlando on Airtran. I went to return my car back to dollar and realized I forgot to fill the tank. I was running at of time and said go ahead and charge me for a full tank which was 7.99 a gallon. Talk about expensive. The guy at Dollar insisted I save some money and head over to a local gas station as he wanted me to save my money. I still had time to make my flight so I got in the car and headed over to the departure where you can do the outside check in. I figured it would save me time and I can tip the guy very well for taking my bags and making sure I am checked in. Well I get out and the Airtran guy comes over and asks me where I was going. I told him Indianapolis. He then tells me sorry but your flight was canceled. I pause for a moment and think the guy is joking with me to crack a smile out of me. He was being very serious. I was in a state of shock lol. So he runs inside to see what he could do. I was leaving on April 3 mind you. He comes back to inform me that they won't be able to fly me out till the 6th of April. He suggested I park and come inside and talk to a Airtran rep. I got in my car still in shock and pulled into the parking lot.
Now it gets better......
So I get to the Airtran ticket agent who goes by the name of Wagner. Before I did that I went on my Blackberry Storm and went to the Airtran site to check on flights leaving the next day. I found a nonstop flight leaving around 11 am or so showing 29 seats available. I handed the agent "Wagner" my id and he told me he could not book me on a flight till the 6th. I could not believe my ears. SO I told him about what I found on the Airtran site and he tried to find excuses as to why the seats where showing available. He then told me that I could stay in Florida for a few more days and go to Disney world. I about lost it when he said that. My mother has cancer, shes dying and I have been taking care of her for the last weeks. I wanted to cry my eyes when he said that as he has no idea what I have been through over the last weeks.I kept my cool, but after he told me that I told him I had to look into a few things and I walked away.
Oh sure I will stay a extra few days just to go to Disney world. How about a Disney cruise? I love Disney world. My mother has never been, and If I had the finances to take her to Disney I would as she would absolutely love Disney. Disney is a place for everybody as it makes you feel like a kid all over again. But he said that at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I went on my phone and still the seats showed available. I went back to counter and this time talked to another agent. I told her the deal with the seats for the next day. She too said there was only 4 seats available on the flight all business class. Okay here is where I was frustrated. I already had a business class seat so how hard is it to take my canceled flight "refunded" ticket and put me on the plane leaving the next morning. She didn't want to do it. I told her I could go ahead and book this seat and get on the flight. She then told me the seats were overbooked and I would be on stand by. Of course I didn't believe that. I went ahead and while I was at the counter booked my flight on my blackberry. Within minutes I was booked on the plane. She then looked me up and was shocked to see that I was booked on the flight. I wasn't shocked as I knew the seats were available. So then she refunded me the ticket for the original flight and Airtran pays for your hotel and gives you a $10 dollar certificate for food at any place in MCO.
I can't believe how difficult it was getting a seat on that flight. Airtran was not helpful and did not do the best that evening to serve the customer. I was pretty much treated like a low life that didn't know what she was talking about till I proved that a seat could be purchased.
None of these agents know the the customers story as to why they are flying. They may e going on a vacation or they may be facing a family emergency. There are so many stories out there.
I hope that no one experiences what I went through on Airtran and if you do deal with a canceled flight make sure you do your homework and look up the flights if you have access to the Internet or call someone who has access to the Internet to look it up for you. That way you know whats available. Better to be safe than sorry.