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AirTran Airways / airtran cancellation charges

1 United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 312-279-3400

I fail to understand AirTran's method of "charging" the customer for a cancellation. The majority of airlines charge the "penalty" - a rebooking fee of anywhere from $75 to $100 per - at the time of rebooking, whereas AirTran wants it's money up front.

I had to cancel my husband's ticket to Florida - a ticket that was originally priced at $215.00 excluding taxes, etc. Because we hoped he'd be able to make the second leg of the trip, I originally cancelled only the outbound leg. AirTran charged $75.00 for that "change" reducing the value of the ticket price.

When it was determined that my husband would not make the second (return) leg, I called a day in advance to cancel the flight. AirTran again charged $75.00 to cancel the flight.

So, a ticket that I originally paid $255.80 for is now worth a whopping $76.40 ... AirTran has quite the scam going on!

I'm sure that airlines can set their penalties and fees however they want ... perhaps it's time forthe Government to step in to ensure that the customer is getting a fair shake in transportation!

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  • Va
      22nd of Jan, 2007
    AirTran Airways - Boycott this airline so that they come to their senses!
    United States

    My family and I were booked on flight 678 Orlando to White Plains on January 15 (8:25am scheduled departure). We got to the check in counter 45 minutes before the flight and were told by one of the AirTran employees that the flight was closed.

    He directed us to a counter where we were supposed to rebook our flight. We protested that we should be able to check in for our flight since we were there before the Orlando minimum check-in time (=40 minutes) but the employee refused. We were told by him that the security line alone was 40 minutes long. After we waited in line we were offered standby tickes for a flight leaving at 5:15pm. After we left the counter we passed by the security line and guess what? There was no line! At that time there was still 20 minutes until the scheduled departure of the flight and we could have made it to the gate without problems. Needless to say, the flight at 5:15pm was fully booked so that we had to wait a full day to get home. Since we had been at the airport prior to the minimum check-in time the irresponsible behavior of AirTran's employees led to a denied boarding situation. At the time of our arrival and after denial of boarding we were NOT presented with a written statement as indicated in their contract of carriage. Since AirTran did not provide acceptable "alternate transportation" as also described in detail in their contract of carriage (we were supposed to arrive at our destination within 1 hour of orignial arrival) we are entitled to a payment equal to twice the sum of the face values of our itinerary. Of course AirTran is not answering my e-mails. I hope enough people will start to boycott this airline so that they come to their senses!!!

    0 Votes
  • Va
      29th of Jan, 2007

    I have flown with Airtran several times and have nothing but praise for courteous, timely and price smart flights.

    Too often, we only let companies know what we think of their service is when we have a complaint.

    However, what prompted me to get in touch was a News Report earlier this evening. I tuned in a little late, but what I understand happened is a family was asked to deplane because their 3 year old was having a whopper of a tantrum. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I also heard the parents had been offered air tickets they declined because they were never flying with Airtran again. Makes ME want to choose Airtran again in the future, just based on the fact these particular parents won't be aboard with their out of control daughter. Instead of being embarrassed because of their poor parenting skills, they have been interviewed because of this incident.

    Again, thank you Airtran, and to the person who made the judgment call to ask these hands off parents to deplane. You have my vote and my business.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      16th of Apr, 2007

    AirTran is the worst flying experience I've ever had in my life. No business or company has ever treated me with more disrespect, rudeness, and bull crap than AirTran. If they were to go out of business and all of the people who worked for them,including the pilots (for supporting the airline), lost their jobs and ended up begging for food on the streets, I’d not be sad. I’d throw a party and invite all of my friends so that we could all rejoice. I got up at 3:30 a.m. so my friend could drive me from Naples to Tampa for my 8 a.m. flight. We arrived at the check-in terminal about 7:10, give or take. I would appear on the security tape. I waited in line maybe five minutes until a little lady in a blue shirt with an Indian-sounding accent started yelling for people with an 8 a.m. flight to come up. “Anyone who has an 8 a.m. flight?” she questioned. Hands went up all over the place. Some of us didn’t know what the heck was going on. We were all plenty early; what was up?

    “Come up,” she said, “or you will miss your eight o’clock flight.” We went up, and five seconds later as we reached the check-in agent, we were told the flight was closed. I looked at my Palm Zire 31 time, and it was 7:23 a.m., 37 minutes before the plane was to take off.

    Why were we called to come up if they knew we wouldn’t be let on the plane? I asked a customer service lady (who was in a red shirt) this question, and she didn’t know. I told her to ask the lady who was yelling to give me the reason I was denied boarding, and she gave me this: She wasn’t calling for people to check in, she said. She was calling for people to come up and see what could be done about them missing their flights, she said. Funny how that wasn’t actually what she said, but she certainly was able to make it up quickly to avoid getting in trouble.

    I asked her to write down her answer so I would have a record of it, but she refused. Then I asked her what her name was.

    “What do you need that for?” she asked and refused to give me her name.

    People were turned away from their flights left and right, and as I went through the runaround with the customer service lady in the red shirt, the one in the blue shirt, who had called the people to the front of the line, was explaining why she made her stupid decision. I was the last person in line, she said. She had proof of it, she said. What proof, I didn’t know, but if she meant the security camera, then the airline would also have proof that I was in line prior to when the sign said I had to be.

    And what her proof mattered anyhow, I didn’t know. What mattered was I paid $250 for a flight that I arrived plenty early for and was just denied boarding on. That’s what mattered, but this is a good opportunity to point out that nobody I talked to who worked for AirTran saw it that way. They saw it as the customer’s fault, and it was just too dang bad for the customer. Their customer service department didn’t provide me any customer service.

    I was told I could check in for the 8:10 flight but they couldn’t check my bag. Then what was I supposed to do with it? Leave it in an elevator? Throw my luggage in the garbage? Give my luggage to a stranger to keep? Have it shipped home? I really want AirTran’s answer to what someone is supposed to do with their luggage if they’re asked to take a flight but their luggage can’t be checked anywhere.

    One of the customer “disservice” ladies called the supervisor, who came out of a closed door behind the check-in terminal. His name was Mark, but I couldn’t read the last name. My eyes were too big with anger and adrenaline was clouding my thought. I’d never been more furious with a company in my entire life.

    Mark gave me AirTran’s version of great customer service by first telling me that there were no open flights until Tuesday. I had gotten up at 3 a.m. to catch an 8 a.m. flight, came face to face with a girl at the check-in counter 37 minutes before departure, was denied boarding, and now AirTrash was telling me that I couldn’t leave Tampa until Tuesday, two days later. I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that right around the same time he was telling me this, the plane I was supposed to be on was probably sitting still.

    Then Mark got a great idea. He punched a bunch of keys on his keyboard, and told me he’d be right back. He went in the door, stayed for a while then came out. There was a 3:42 p.m. flight out of Sarasota International that he could get me on.

    “Can you make it down there?” he asked.

    What the hell is someone supposed to say? What was I supposed to do, walk? Pay $200 for a cab? Hitch a ride? Sleep in the airport until Tuesday and see if maybe they could pull a flight out of their butts then? I said I could probably make it.

    So he booked me for that flight and waived the fee. I was so fed up with him and everyone else at AirTran that I was ready to barf. I felt it churning in my stomach and I almost gagged.

    I went to a pay phone and called my friend and told him the situation. He asked me twice if I was serious. I said twice that I was. I asked him to pick me up. He said he was already about an hour away, but he could do it.

    So he came and we rode all the way to Sarasota, which in itself is just ridiculous to even think about. I mean I’d gotten up at 3:30 a.m. to catch this stupid 8 a.m. flight, arrived at the check-in 37 minutes early, and here I am in my friend’s car again traveling to Sarasota an hour away for a flight that would take off seven hours later. That’s a whole day wasted. Air Tran cared not. It was daily routine. They stranded me and left me without any help whatsoever. I was out of their face. That’s all they cared about.

    When I got to Sarasota, I immediately went to the business class or customer service line, which was empty, and waited about five minutes before I finally talked to Dale Szczech. He had a bunch of complicated information on his badge, but his name tag said “Customer Service.” I told him briefly of my ordeal, and he didn’t care at all. “You missed your flight,” he said more than once. That was obvious.

    I asked him some questions and his answer for all of them was something like this: “Every day is different in air travel.”

    What the hell kind of excuse was that for anything? Even if anyone of the countless lies AirTran told me was true, what excuse was there to treat me like a piece of crap?

    I asked Dale if I could at least get a discount, and he said he wasn’t authorized to do that, that nobody in the entire airport was authorized to do it. I told him I didn’t believe that. If the customer service department isn’t authorized to give customer service, who the hell is? Somebody on a phone in India? The president? The janitor? I told him to write down what he said about not being able to give me a discount and sign it. “I’m not signing anything. I’m not signing anything,” he said, throwing his hands up.

    He said the best he could do was put me on standby for an earlier flight.

    “I can put you on standby, but you won’t get on,” he said. What the hell choice did I have? He gave me my boarding pass and said I was confirmed for the late flight for sure.

    Dale could only talk to me a couple of minutes before he pulled himself away and said he was done with me. He actually threw his hands up and said “I’m done with you, sir. There’s nothing I can do.”

    What the hell right did he have to throw his hands up and say he was done with one of his paying customers? I wasn’t done. I still had a flight to catch in seven hours because AirTran denied me boarding on the first one even though I was 37 minutes early. I wasn’t done. But Dale was done. He threw up his hands and said the words.

    I lingered at the desk. Twice he looked me and said he was done as he was rushing around and commanding customers about. When he finally came back, he said again he was done.

    “Can I at least check my bag? Is that possible?” I asked.

    If I hadn’t lingered there, he would have never once thought that he forgot to check my luggage for the flight he’d just booked me on. He never even asked if I had luggage. And even if he did, he forgot.

    He also said he didn’t know “what happened in Tampa,” even after I explained it to him. He said I was lucky they were “gracious enough” to waive the transfer fee for my late flight (there should be no transfer fee, according to the DOT). I guess I was lucky. But unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to get on board the flight I’d originally paid for. It seems you need a lot of luck to travel with AirTran. Paying for your flight and arriving on time isn’t enough. You have to be “lucky.” Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll actually meet a real human being with a heart on AirTran’s staff.

    It took me about 10 minutes to travel from that desk, through security, and to my gate. Maybe 15 minutes, but certainly not 37, which is the reason I was denied boarding on my first flight. I know that’s the reason because I asked one of the gate girls at Sarasota to look it up for me. Sure enough, Mark at Tampa had entered a reason for my transfer. The girl at the gate refused to print out the screen, of course, saying it wasn’t possible, but she did read what it said. It said something to the effect of I had checked in online and I was stuck in a long line, and they didn’t think I’d make the flight, so the only way I could get to Chicago was to transfer to Sarasota, so they did the transfer and waived the fee.

    They didn’t think I’d make the flight. Did they let me try?

    I attempted to get on the 11:15 a.m. flight from Sarasota, which I was on standby for, but of course they were booked all the way to the moon, and the President of the United States couldn’t have booked his way on that one.

    The next several hours were spent at a phone booth, where at least I could plug in my laptop. I didn’t spend any money at the airport, besides a long distance call. I was so fed up with flying, the airport itself and AirTran could eat me for all I cared.

    I started typing what would become this letter, and I also wrote (with a pen I swiped from the AirTrash customer service desk) a sign on the back of a folder I used to keep my travel info. The sign said: “I’m sitting here because AirTran SUCKS!! They back stabbed me out of a flight I was on time and paid big money for.” You might be surprised how many people stopped to read it.

    “Here I am with a sign and a run around built on the most massive foundation of B.S. I have ever experienced,” I typed.

    “AirTran could have easily avoided having an angry customer with a sign warning people about their crappy ‘customer service’ if they only would have provided some customer service right away. If they would have simply offered a discount for my flight like I asked and more than deserved, I wouldn't have to sit outside their terminal with an ‘AirTran SUCKS’ sign. But they choose path of evil, taking every chance they could to deny me a simple discount. Air Tran's ‘free’ transfer was their version of the most graceful gesture in the universe. Of course, they didn't offer me any transportation to the other airport either. ‘Are you going to be able to get down there?’ they asked. Who would be able to get to Sarasota?

    “Good thing I had a friend who could pick me up, otherwise AirTran would have left me stranded, and they wouldn't have cared one bit. AirTran did nothing for me, offered no help whatsoever,” I typed.

    Can you imagine this? Have you ever been to a business where you weren't completely satisfied, and they did cartwheels in order to make you happy and regain your trust? You probably have, and those are the best businesses. They are honorable. If you go to Burger King and they screw up your order, don’t they fix it for free, maybe give you a replacement sandwich on the house? If a casino screws something up, don’t they comp you? Of course they do.

    Not AirTran. There I was at the airport, so angry and so fed up with AirTran that I sat at the phone booth with an “AirTran SUCKS” sign.

    Nobody from AirTran offered help. Every new person I talked to said things like “I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do. I tried everything. I'm not authorized. I don't know what happened. I'm done with you, sir. I'm done with this. I have to go help these other customers.”

    The other customers didn't need any help! I needed a discount for being jerked around. I needed to get on an 8 a.m. flight that I was on time and paid big money for. Instead I was denied, denied my own flight.

    Every negative review I’ve read about AirTran is 100 percent accurate, and I appreciate everyone who is courageous enough to step up and tell others how horrible AirTran is. If anybody, especially at AirTran, wants to prove me wrong, they can give me a cash refund for my flight.

    I wasted seven hours of my life waiting for that late flight. I took another pair of complimentary ear buds, even though I already had one. I took my complimentary beverages, and I took the /SkyMall/ magazine. But I didn’t take any satisfaction with my experience with AirTran. It was horrible.

    I remember one of the AirTran staff members at the gate in Sarasota thought he was really great because he was the first one to come up with a cheer for the airline. I watched him do it twice (once on the early flight that there were no openings for), and at the end of each one he would say “My mother is proud of me.”

    He went through the cheer for my flight.

    “Give me an A,” he yelled, forming his arms into the A pattern, like in “YMCA.”

    “Give me an ‘I’,” he yelled, the passengers yelling ‘I’ back, as I stared out the window, broken and in grief from AirTran’s hurtful treatment.

    “Give me an R. Give me a T. Give me an R. Give me an A. Give me an N. What does that spell?”


    --P.S. By the way, when I got to Midway Airport, I discovered that AirTrash wrecked the crap out of my luggage. I showed the guy the damaged tag and plastic parts, and no matter what I showed him, he said AirTran wouldn’t cover anything protruding from the bag. When I showed him the edge of the bag, which is the metal rim that holds the bag together and is part of the very bag itself, he hesitated a bit then said nothing that protruded from the bag is covered. No airline would cover it, he said.

    Then I asked “What about this big rip?” showing him the bottom of the bag.

    “Um, that I can get you a $50 travel voucher for,” he said, as if I’d ever fly with AirTran again.

    The rip was from a previous trip, but it felt a little better just to rip AirTran back for the utter crap they put me through.

    0 Votes
  • Bi
      28th of Aug, 2007
    AirTran Airways - Unreasonable extra charge
    United States

    Airtran Airlines

    I had the worst travel experience in my life at Philadelphia Airport July 30th & 31st due to a supervisor who would only give me her first name: "Aleia."

    I was returning home after a very pleasant flight on Air Tran Flight 756 departing Fort Lauderdale on July 26.

    On July 30th I was scheduled to leave on flight 758 and was late due to a series of problems, (traffic, car rental return, etc.) I arrived at the Air Tran ticket line approximately 45 minutes prior to departure. The line was very backed up and I realized the probability of me making my flight was slim. I was correct. When I got to the counter, the agent, James Brophy, was very nice. He told me he was a new employee in training and told me I was too late and the best he could do was get me on a standby for the next flight. I told him I understood and he asked Aleia (who said she was his supervisor and training him) how to proceed. Aleia came over and immediately reprimanded me and told me I was late. I told her I knew that and explained due to several reasons, including the long Air Tran line, that all I wanted was some guidance how to proceed. She took my luggage and put a tag on it, put in on the conveyor belt and put me on standby for a flight to Atlanta connecting to another flight to Fort Lauderdale. I did not get on that flight (#331 nor the next one, #333.) I went down to the ticket counter and spoke to James Brophy again. He and another agent, Bill Fisher, were very sympathetic and tried to help me. I asked if they knew of another airline that was flying to Fort Lauderdale. At this point, Aleia came over again and wanted to know "what my problem was?" I asked her for her last name because I was not comfortable dealing with her. She would not tell me her last name and said, "if I did not step away from the counter she would call security, and have me arrested." I replied that I am a very reasonable man and did not understand her over-reaction. She repeated the above statement again. I walked away, frightened of her aggressive behavior due to security issues in today's post 9/11 world. Her threat was uncalled for and irresponsible. I called the customer service department and spoke to a supervisor named Debbie during this day of travel mishaps. She told me she was putting my incident in the notes associated with my flight problems.

    I was at the airport for over 8 hours and had to finally call a friend in Philadelphia to let me sleep on the sofa overnight. I called customer service again to get a flight the following day and was told that I had to pay an extra $132.00 to be put on a guaranteed flight. I was told I could travel on standby for no extra charge. I explained I had to be in Fort Lauderdale guaranteed.

    They charged me the $132.00. The flight #758 I returned on the next day was half empty and I feel the extra charge is unreasonable. I also believe the threat I received from Aleia was ridiculous and terrible training to be giving a new employee. I am 57 years old, have flown all over the world, have worked in non-profit health care all my life and feel like I was not treated the way any human being should be wrongly threatened anywhere, any time, any place.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      26th of Mar, 2008

    I have previously posted elsewhere about a trip I took 6 mo. ago on Airtran. I purchased a ticket for my son and myself for travel from SEA to ROC. My son and I do not share the same last name.

    He was unable to make the trip. I had booked two seats on my credit card, one in each of our names, a window and center, assuming that we could swap if either became uncomfortable in the center seat.

    When I arrived at the airport, two hours early, I informed the ticket agent that he would not be accompanying me. She asked if I would be willing to sit in an emergency exit seat, and I responded that I would simply use both seats that I paid for.
    Checked a bag, all okay.

    Boarded the plane to find out they had resold the window seat. It was explained that, because my complete name wasn't on the reservation for that seat, nevermind that this was for a minor child of mine, and that both seats were paid for at the same time, by me, on a single credit card; this seat was theirs to sell again.

    Flew from Seattle to Atlanta, 5+ hours in the center seat, fuming. And let's be clear about AirTran seats, the same cramped seating arrangement they use for commuter hauls in the Northeast apply to cross-country flights.

    They offered to put me in Business Class from Atlanta to Rochester, until the paying customer showed up late for that seat. (By the way, business class customers don't get shut out if they are late to the airport.)

    Then my assumption is that they paid someone in worthless AirTran script to be fool enough to give up their middle seat for a flight that I had two seats paid for.

    Arrived in Rochester, NY, late, too late to drive to my final destination. (My parents 50th wedding anniversay the following day.)

    Luggage never made it. Had to take a motel close to the airport, at my expense, such that I had clothes to wear for the occasion. Thankfully, the bag arrived the next morning; although in unusable condition for further travel. I got a worthless $50 voucher I will never redeem.

    My brother has flown this airline with no incident up and down the east coast, stick to that. Apparently, their growth is far in excess of their ability.

    Mark Johnson

    0 Votes
  • Pa
      31st of Mar, 2008

    My girlfriend and I have flown Airtran a few times and have had nothing but problems. After the last time we used them in Nov 2017 we agreed we would not fly with them again. My girlfriend wanted to fly up to NC to be with me for my birthday and the best fare from FL to NC was on Delta to NC and Airtran back to FL. We arrived for her return flight in Charlotte one hour before her scheduled departure and checked in. The customer service rep that was at the counter said her "flight was delayed and all Airtran flights were delayed so she would not miss her connection in Atlanta". She boarded her plane in Charlotte and they sat on the taxiway for over an hour. The delay reported by the pilot was "bad weather in Atlanta". I looked at the online weather radar and could see no weather within 1, 500 miles of Atlanta. She missed her connection in Atlanta and had a choice of sleeping in the airport and waiting for the first flight out in the morning or flying to another airport 75 miles from her final destination where her vehicle was in long term parking. By the time she arrived she was forced to take a taxi to her car costing $150.
    We will never fly Airtran again and I urge everyone not to use them either. They are always late, poor customer service, and liars. I have written to them more than once and never recieved a reply. They obviouly don't care for thier customers.

    0 Votes
  • Va
      4th of Jul, 2008
    AirTran Airways - I will not use them again
    AirTran Airways
    United States

    Somebody in aitran needs to be fired! I booked to single flight at Airtran, I never flew with them and will never again. The 1 flight was booked for September 20 White Plains to San Francisco. 3 weeks later I receive a confirmation schedule by email that it was changed to September 20 with another schedule, that's fine but the rental car reservation has to be re rescheduled... the second change was worse. I booked for October 1st San Diego to White Plains and I receive it has been re-scheduled to October 2nd. That’s unacceptable rude. When you call customer service they say that it s company policy and that they can change your schedule anytime. So that one I cancelled and re booked on another airline with a big financial lost but that's life... I just want other people knows that Aitran play with the people schedule and looks like somebody is having lot of fun doing that. That's a shame for the industry and the guy doing the schedule should be fired immediately before he brings Airtran to the bankrupt. On my side it's done, they will not see me anymore.

    0 Votes
  • Je
      7th of Jul, 2008

    Yes you were treated unfairly. But, being a 57 year old man who claims to be responsible and to have traveled a lot, I would think you know better than to put first and last names and the cities that these people live in into a blog that can be viewed all over the world. Airtran can sue you for slander; if this is seen by the right eyes, it will happen. Just trust me on that...

    0 Votes
  • Va
      8th of Jul, 2008
    AirTran Airways - Avoid them
    AirTran Airways
    United States

    I had the first and worst experience of flying when I took airtran. All their flights were over booked. The flight to ATL from where I had to catch a connecting flight got delayed cus the crew wanted to be well rested ( I was taking a red eye and the PA system mentioned that the crew were onboard well rested). So I could not get the connecting flight and since their flights were overbooked, I had to stay in ATL for a whole day. They never paid any compensation and their costumer service was pathetic to say the least. I met several people in the same situation and some in the airport for more than 2 days. Things I will do to avoid flying airtran include volunteering on a manned mission to the end of the universe.

    0 Votes
  • Su
      12th of Jul, 2008

    I used Airtran for the first time. I normally use Southwest. I purchased 3 tickets to Phoenix from La Guardia for my daughter, son-in-law, & grandchild. My daughter & granddaughter arrived 2 weeks prior than my son-in law, her flight times & flight numbers were changed a couple of times before she left and her last flight was delayed a couple of hours. She was suppose to get into Phonix @10:00 but arrived around midnight. I thought it was an inconvenience, but I was not happy about waiting for 3 hours at the airport, but I quickly got over it. My son-in-law arrived a couple of weeks later, his flight was another story: He was suppose to depart from NY on 7-10-08 @3:49, so he arrived at La Guardia airport 2 hours early, and everything seemed ok, until 15 minutes b4 boarding, it was announced that the flight was cancelled. Airtran set up replacement flight for the next day @6:00am, so he spent $50 r/t to go back to his apartment. He returned at 3:00am the following morning, again everything looked ok, until the last minute - Cancelled again! Finally he was rescheduled for 3:49pm. That flight was delayed by 1.5 hours, so he had 15 minutes to catch the last connecting flight to Phoenix from Atlanta. He had to travel from Terminal C to D. He said he ran as fast as he could. When he got there, the door was closed but the plane was still there. The attendant denied him boarding. So he smashed his ticket up against the glass and tried to get the pilots attention, and it worked! The pilot saw him and let him on the plane. Also, in the meantime, my daughter and I were both calling Airtran trying to get info, almost every customer service person we talked to was rude and indiffernet. My son-in-law said the same. I had to apologize to my daughter and son-in-law for the tickets I got for them. I will NEVER use Airtran again. They are a chaotic operation at best and rude to their customers.

    0 Votes
  • Va
      16th of Jul, 2008
    AirTran Airways - Verbally abused
    AirTran Airways
    United States

    Airtran Airways is the worst airline I have ever flown.

    After being treated rudely because we arrived 4 minutes after their cut off time for checking baggage (which we were never informed of), and after not receiving any answer at all as to why they would not take our bags, we asked to speak to a manager.

    The "Station Manager" at San Francisco Airport came out to tell my mother and I that she would, "Rather give us a refund than deal with *** like us."

    Customer service did not care at all that we had been verbally abused, made no attempt to help us or reconcile anything. We were issued a refund, and I will never fly their airline again.

    0 Votes
  • Va
      18th of Jul, 2008
    AirTran Airways - Worst customer service I have ever recieved
    Airtran Airways
    9955 AirTran Boulevard
    United States

    When we arrived at the Airtran Airways podium 41 minutes before the departure of our flight we were informed they would not take our checked luggage. They did not tell us why, we had never even heard of this policy before in any airline, and since the price of a ticket includes the checking of one bag, I naturally asked to speak to a manager.

    I was told this was not possible.

    I told them it was not possible that they would not check our bags, as it was part of the contract between ourselves and the Airtran Airways instated when I purchased a ticket.

    After 10 minutes of asking to speak to a manager, one finally came out and said--- and I QUOTE, "I will give you a refund because I would rather give you a refund than deal with B*[email protected]#es like you."

    I could go on, the ordeal lasted about 4 hours (during which time the manager who verbally abused us made a point of smiling smugly at us often- nothing is going to happen to her), but I think it is sufficient to say that my relationship with Airtran Airways was FOREVER concluded with my refund.

    Because of this, my plans to see my brand new baby nephew will be considerably postponed, as I do not know when I will be able to take time off of work again.

    They made no real apologies, made no attempt to even explain their policy, no attempt to make us aware of the policy before we arrived, no attempt to help us out or offer feasible solutions, no attempt to make restitution for their verbal abuse, no attempt to treat either of us like human beings- let alone paying customers. Instead, they made it very apparent that they thought we were worth no more than dirt.

    I filed a complaint with the company, which I am fairly sure is as much of joke as the "manager" I spoke with. These are the other places I filed complaints. IF YOU HAVE COMPLAINTS, PLEASE USE THESE RESOURCES:

    * The Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the US government:

    * The Better Business Bureau (will contact the company and ask for resolution):

    * (compiles complaints for possible class-action lawsuits):

    No business has EVER made me feel so helpless and degraded.

    I eagerly await the day Airtran Airways goes out of business- though I am sure no one will even notice.

    0 Votes
  • Va
      24th of Jul, 2008
    AirTran Airways - Disaster
    AirTran Airways
    United States

    Last month (May 2017) I have had the worst airline experience I have ever had with Airtran. I was incorrectly charged for an oversized bag and Airtran seems to be unwilling to do anything helpful. If you are flying Airtran, beware, they look to charge you extra even if your baggage does not warrant it. Below is a copy of the correspondence I have had with Amy Baker in their customer service department about refunding the money for the oversized baggage fee. This will by my last time flying with Airtran.

    "On Thursday, 5/29/08, I flew Air Tran for the first time in several years from Philadelphia to Orlando. In the past I have flown Air Tran multiple times, all with good experiences. This is why my boyfriend and I chose to drive down to Philadelphia instead of flying out of Newark, which is much closer to us. Upon arriving at the ticket counter in Philadelphia, we were greeted by a ticket agent who looked as if she would rather be anywhere than behind the counter. The first word out of her mouth was not a cheery hello, instead it was a rude, condescending comment of, "That bag is oversized." I was completely shocked. First of all the bag was behind my boyfriend and I, and was not very visible to her, and second, she hadn't even asked if we were checking it in the first place. When I finally did get a chance to put my bag up on the scale, this woman did an extremely quick measurement of the bag, not even bothering to tell me what the measurements were. She then just said, "It's oversized. It's going to cost you $29.99." Of course, I argued this. I have traveled on Air Tran, and many other airlines with this bag and have never had any problem before. The piece of luggage in question is a standard size Samsonite rolling suitcase. No other airline has even asked to measure my suitcase before, my last flight being less than three months ago. As I tried to argue my case to this woman, she became very loud, causing a scene that embarrassed my boyfriend and I tremendously. I finally demanded to see her supervisor. She called over another ticket agent, who I guess was her supervisor, but she certainly didn't act like any kind of manager or supervisor I've ever seen. This woman who looked to be in her late 40's, just looked at me and said, "Oversized is oversized, you'll have to pay", and then she walked away. I was completely shocked. She didn't even offer to remeasure my bag, and there certainly was no apology for how my boyfriend and I were being treated. At this point, we were running out of time to get to our flight. My boyfriend is on crutches and I didn't want to rush him through a busy airport. I finally just handed this woman my boyfriend's credit card and said to just charge the fee. I figured that she would just quickly add the fee and we could be on her way, but I was wrong yet again. This woman took ! her time entering in the credit card information, typing it in manually instead of swiping the card. When I advised her that we had a flight to catch, she simply said, without looking up, "That's not my problem, you should have gotten here earlier." I did not say anything further to this woman, as I knew she would just continue to give me smart answers back and no real assistance. On our return trip we arrived at the ticket counter in Orlando, which was very busy. When we explained that our flight was leaving in about an hour they extended the courtesy of allowing us to check in right away. It was actually the shift supervisor who checked in our bag. He did measure it, but he did it very carefully and then told me that my bag was fine. Needless to say there was much more inside the suitcase on the return trip. I do not see how my bag could have shrunk any, seeing as it is a hard suitcase, and upon returning home we measured the dimensions of length, width and height which added up to 60 inches. I would expect at a minimum, the fee charged to my boyfriends credit card be refunded, but since your company claims to have great customer service, I hope you will extend more to us than just the refund we deserve, as we were embarrassed for about 30 minutes by this rude woman. If you choose not to do anything, we will be taking this matter up with our credit card company, and will never fly Air Tran again as we live closer to Newark, and it is much easier to fly Jet Blue, as they offer exceptional customer service."

    "Dear Ms. XXX,

    I am sorry to learn your experience with AirTran Airways was less than satisfactory. All of our Crew Members are instructed to professionally perform their responsibilities while providing the highest level of Caring Customer Service. There is simply no excuse for the manner in which our ticket agent behaved toward you and your boyfriend. I have forwarded a copy of your comments to the appropriate department head for review and corrective action.

    The maximum weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 61 inches (length + width + height). Oversize baggage with dimensions from 62 to 70 inches will be accepted, subject to an oversize baggage charge of $29.00. Baggage measuring between 71 and 80 inches will be subject to a fee of $69. Baggage over 80 inches in dimension (with the exception of some sporting equipment) will not be accepted.

    In an effort to provide consistent service to our customers and in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulation, our agents are instructed to verify the size and weight of checked luggage. Our company instruction includes the correct procedure for bag measurement and fee assessment.

    While I sincerely regret any inconvenience this matter caused you, please understand that the baggage fee was applicable. Therefore, I must respectfully decline your request for reimbursement. I apologize for any disappointment this response may cause you.

    Your continued support is important to us. We hope to have an opportunity in the future to serve you again and regain your confidence in our airline.


    Amy Baker

    Customer Relations Department

    AirTran Airways"

    "Ms Baker,

    After reading your reply, I am more than convinced that I will never fly with your company again and I will make sure to let everyone that I know hear about the way that your company does business. It is very obvious that this issue will not be resolved by AirTran's customer service department so I will be taking the matter up with my credit card company. I doubt they will give me the same run around that you have.

    According to your baggage policy, " The maximum weight is 50 pounds and maximum size is 61 inches (length + width + height). Oversize baggage with dimensions from 62 to 70 inches will be accepted, subject to an oversize baggage charge of $29.00. Baggage measuring between 71 and 80 inches will be subject to a fee of $69. Baggage over 80 inches in dimension (with the exception of some sporting equipment) will not be accepted.", my bag should not have been subject to a fee as it is at the size of 60 inches (length + width + height).

    I want to thank you very much for obviously not taking the time to carefully read my prior email. AirTran's lack of care towards their customers has truly shocked me. I would have expected a phone call at least, but instead I received a standard form letter. Your pilot summed up AirTran's customer service best when he said, "Thank you for flying AirTran where we love your money." I guess now that you have our money, you don't need to provide any level of customer service.

    From now on, I will be spending the extra money to fly on JetBlue. You should really take a lesson on customer service from them. I hope you will take the time to actually read this email and take the correct steps to resolve this problem, but I won't hold my breath."

    "Dear Ms. Choromanski,

    I am sorry that you are disappointed with my response, please understand that this department corresponds with customers by e-mail only. Please know I did read your email and also reviewed the comments in your record. Your bag clearly states it measured at 63 inches.

    I am sorry to hear that you will not be flying AirTran in the future. I hope that we can have an opportunity to better serve you so that we can prove our commitment to you.

    0 Votes
  • Tr
      7th of Aug, 2008

    I'd guess since AirTran carries 25 million passengers a year, somebody would probably notice. Story doesn't make sense, as the airline recently made #1 in the airline quality review survey.

    Long story short. You showed up late, Grandma, and they didn't want to accept you for an oversold flight. Plan ahead next time, MARY.

    0 Votes
  • An
      10th of Aug, 2008


    "Passenger check-in information

    Ticket Counter Check-In Requirements
    AirTran Airways recommends that passengers arrive at the airport 120 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of their flight. Due to security requirements, passengers and their baggage will not be accepted at the ticket counter less than 45 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of their flight.

    Gate Check-In Requirements

    Customers must present themselves at the flight departure gate no later than ten minutes prior to the scheduled departure of their flight. Failure to comply will cause the customer to lose their reservation and, if so, they will not be eligible for denied boarding compensation."

    0 Votes
  • Va
      29th of Aug, 2008
    AirTran Airways - Stay away
    AirTran Airways
    United States

    This is the letter I wrote to Airtran after my last flight they finally offered a $50 voucher, which as of now has not been received.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I emailed the following letter to you weeks ago. Because I have gotten no response, I am following up by sending the letter to you. All I can really say at this point is your customer service as a company in general is lacking, not only do you “over sale” but your people are rude to the customers. You don’t answer consumer concerns. I have no intention of ever using your services again; furthermore, I plan to tell everyone I know about this experience. By the way, did you know, statistics have shown a satisfied customer tells at least 3 people but an unsatisfied customer tells at least 10? Word of mouth is wonderful, don’t you think?

    I am writing you because of an incident that happened over the weekend with your branch at IAD. I had flown in to visit and help my daughter out because she was sick. Let me preface by saying I pay extra to fly in and out of IAD, instead of the other airports. On Saturday, I had booked a 6:50 am flight on Air Tran, which was to fly to ATL, then Hobby, We were up at 4am and at the airport by 5am. I went to the machine at the Air Tran terminal and put in my numbers to find that the machine would not take them. Then I waited 20 minutes to reach the counter where 2 people were working, but only one was helping the customers in line the other an older man was moving baggage. There I was told that the flight had been “over sold” and that I may not make it onto the flight. I was also told by the man that they “over sale” all the time. I had to dash off to the security where of course it takes forever to get through, and by the time I got to the gate I was told that I would be on standby for the next flight with no guarantee that I would be able to get on that one, and after that there was a probable 3pm flight. There were two guys there. They had low communication skills and were more than rude!! They told the passengers that they were late in arriving to the airport, and it was their own faults, for being late! We were held up at the counter at the entrance because you over sold tickets!! I was there right on time, The extremely rude man, the one who did most of the talking kept his name tag where it could not be read!! I was told that they could only over sale by no more than 3 people. It seems that they had over sold by 12.

    I asked to get a seat on the Sunday flight and go back home with my family for the night, I didn’t want to sit at an airport alone possibly all day, as my family couldn’t sit with me, to wait on the flight. But the Sunday flights were “over sold” too!!

    My daughter and son in law were furious about everything, frankly so am I. I paid full price, for a ticket, as well as the other people that were left waiting with me. When I should have been home at 10am I was home at 6pm. I had plans that day! I will never use Air Tran Airlines again. I will be going onto all consumer websites and posting this letter to you so that consumers are forewarned. I want some kind of compensation for this!! How does your employee think he has a right to talk down to your patrons like he did? I paid full price for my ticket not only did I end up not being on the flight, I had some (sorry for the expression) *** speak to me like a second class citizen! My daughter was so embarrassed about my treatment she is writing a complaint to IAD.

    I demand some sort of compensation, I demand answers! If a football stadium with thousands of seats can sale and not over sale, how can an airline with less seats not get it right?

    0 Votes
  • Mi
      9th of Sep, 2008
    AirTran Airways - Bruce, customer service at BWI
    AirTran Airways
    United States

    This is the letter I sent to AirTran:

    Dear Corporate Complaint Resolution Officer:

    I am writing to complain about an incident that happened while checking in for a return flight from BWI to Boston Logan Airport on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 2, 2017.

    My wife and I had checked in online several hours before our flight was scheduled to depart and indicated that we'd each have one bag to check. We arrived at the AirTran ticketing counter 90 minutes before our flight. Upon arrival, we proceeded to the self-service kiosk and entered our confirmation numbers. We each received our boarding passes, and patiently waited five, then ten minutes for someone to check our bags for us. Finally, when the female agent behind the counter continued her personal conversation with her friend after ten minutes, we and another traveler, whom we did not know, asked if she could check our bags for us. Instead, she told us that we'd have to take the bags to another agent. We both proceeded to the area she indicated. Three separate agents never even made eye contact with us and continued their personal conversations. So, we went back to the original agent. She again told us we'd have to go to the other agents. When we returned there was now a line of five people in front of us. (The line was not surprising since apparently 90% of AirTran employees' work days at BWI are dedicated to personal conversations. On the plus side, I did get some rather JUICY details about one of their dates, so we can always cherish that.)

    At this point I was extremely frustrated and went BACK to the original kiosk to complain about the service we'd been getting. It was at this moment in time when my wife and I were delighted to have had our lives on this Earth cross path with someone who we will never forget. Unfortunately, it was for all of the wrong reasons.

    Bruce, one of your lovely Customer Service Officials who you so proudly tout as being specially trained and available at all of your locations, began a course of events that cost you two customers for life.

    Let me briefly interject that I am a well-seasoned traveler. My line of work in national, non-profit management requires me to fly frequently. I just recently moved to Boston from the Baltimore area where I was a member of Southwest's Rapid Rewards program and earned countless free flights. So, you can imagine my wide-eyed hopefulness when I realized that a low-cost carrier, AirTran, flew out of Boston to many of the places I need to go. But, I digress.

    Bruce, Bruce, Bruce. After explaining the series of customer service failures we'd just experienced, Bruce's first comment was to chastise us that after we check into a kiosk we should never leave. (Nevermind that we were told to leave the kiosk three times from AirTran's own personal Dear Abby.) He then begrudgingly decided to check our bags for us without uttering one word of apology for what we'd been through.

    Our first bag was a small duffel bag, no problems. But, Bruce was determined to make sure to lose us as customers. Bag two is placed on the scale. Bruce places an evil smirk on his face as he looks to the scale in maniacal anticipation of our bag being overweight but, alas, it wasn't. Bruce's smirk fades. But wait! Bruce isn't done yet. There is still a way to seek retribution. Perhaps the bag is, wait for it... OVERSIZED!

    A brief pause here once again. The bag in question has been used in flights on AirTran and other carriers no less than 50 times, including our originating flight from Boston to BWI.

    Back to Bruce. Bruce interrupts two different counter agents from their important work as gossip mongers to ask for a tape measure. Then, with lightning speed, Bruce measures two dimensions of the bag, the height and width (not depth). He then, somehow with only taking two measurements, determines that the bag is 63 inches. Finally, Bruce has us in his clutches. A $29 fee is imminent.

    After telling Bruce that we had no problems checking the bag when flying from Boston, he indicated that the counter agent in Boston wasn't doing their job and pressed AirTran's cardboard baggage policy stand into my wife's face. Bruce may have thought that being a condescending blowhard works with women in his own personal life, but not my wife. He is lucky that she didn't find another place in Bruce's body to put the tape measure where he wouldn't lose it again.

    At this point, I knew there was no arguing with Bruce the Bully. I paid the $29 on my credit card and we boarded the plane. Now that I've had a chance to examine the bag, I realize that it isn't even oversized. It is 28' tall, 21" wide, and 11" deep. In other words, 60".

    I have disputed the charge with my credit card company. I insist that my $29 be refunded as well as a letter of apology from Bruce the Bully's supervisor. Unfortunately, I had booked two flights with AirTran before this incident occurred. Unless I receive the refund and the letter, as well as much improved customer service on my next two flights, you can rest assured they will be our last flights ever with AirTran.

    I have cc'd the Washington Post's Coming and Going section as well as the travel editor and reporter for the Boston Globe. Since there must be hundreds of other disgruntled AirTran customers, I hope that they will remember this letter when dozens of others arrive.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
      9th of Oct, 2008

    I had a similar experience with AirTran in Atlanta on October, 2 2017 with my wife's bag that she has been using on many airlines without a problam for several years. They were not as rude as what you experienced, but were unwilling to bend on their judgement that the bag was too large. While they stated the limit was 61 inches and that her bag was 63 they was a sign on their counter that said 62 or less. I showed them that you could even get a 61 measurement on her bag which is a soft fabric bag when it was laying on it's side. With it being so subjective and the fact we were unaware of the rule and had used the bag before I stressed to the manager that it was poor customer service to charge me the now $39 charge and lose me as a customer than to let it go. I made the point that I could have 2 50 lb. bags under62 inches and pay only $25 dollars for the extra bag if I wanted to game their system. The lack of logic in their pricing policy was lost on her and she chose to charge me the $39 knowing she would lose me and others for life, as a customer.

    It seems obvious to me that there has been some training, coaching or even incentives for their reps to charge this fee if they can get away with it.

    I also made the point that AirTran and other airlines were getting it so wrong by nickel and diming their customers and continuously changing the rules and rates. We know they are hurting from high fuel prices and need to increase revenue, so why not just raise prices of the tickets slightly rather than make customers jump through hoops trying not to get "burned" by thier ever changing rules and restrictions.

    0 Votes
  • Le
      16th of Oct, 2008

    Last week was my first time flying AirTran and it is my last. My flight was 30 minutes late getting out of Washington DC, and having only 50 minutes to transit in Atlanta, I missed my connecting flight to Seattle. Prior to departing from Washington DC, I asked if it is possible for me to connect in such a short period of time, and the AirTran employee said yes and if not they would take care of me in Atlanta. Sure enough, my flight was late, and AirTran gave me a discount on a hotel room, the discounted hotel room was 63 dollars.

    AirTran claims no responsiblity for late flight, if their lateness is due to "air traffic control" they do not need to compensate you for the hotel room...this is simply not right.

    If possible, I would not take a gamble with this airline, pay a little more and ride on a airline that values your business.

    0 Votes
  • Me
      16th of Oct, 2008

    I just got back from a hellish trip on AirTran. 'Wait till you see my post! I think you 'll empatize as I did with yours. Thank you for so-concisely writing up your story.

    IMHO, ALL AIRTRAN CUSTOMER STAFF must go for ettiquete training before AirTran is allowed to fly again.


    +1 Votes

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