Check-in / Boarding Experienced problems during check-in or boarding?

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  #1  
Old May 27, 2008, 4:48 PM
philemonv6 philemonv6 is offline
 
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Default AirTran Airways - Nightmare, Refused Travel

What a nightmare! After checking in an hour and a half before departure, and getting thru security almost an hour before scheduled departure, I had the audacity to stop for a cup of coffee at Starbucks!

Could Airtan make a general announcement in the terminal that my flight was boarding? No.

I was sitting right in front of the gate 25 minutes before scheduled departure... no announcements were made that the gate was about to close, and at approximately 10:40, the gate closed for a flight scheduled to depart at 10:52! Myself and another customer ran over to the door and banged on it. No response. Another Airtran employee tried to help, and opened the door to pleas for us... the answer? NO! You can't get on the plane. We have finished our paperwork and we are going to leave EARLY! You have to suffer the consequences!

Wow! The gate agent claimed she was a supervisor, and told me she was not required to make any announcements before closing the door! I heard the same from a telephone and e-mail 'service' representative!

What a horrible excuse for service! These people have no compassion. Why would I ever want to fly on this airline again? Why would I ever encourage anyone else to fly Airtran?
  #2  
Old May 27, 2008, 10:42 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Location: Nearest Airports: COD, BIL, WRL
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I was sitting right in front of the gate 25 minutes before scheduled departure

I’ve heard stories where some people have been talking on their cell phone; went to the newsstand, or Starbucks, and didn’t hear the announcement, and missed the flight. If, however, you were in the gate area for that entire 25 minutes, and you were watching the gate agent, or the door to the boarding ramp, and, all of a sudden, the door was shut, then, clearly, you should receive the compensation applicable for involuntary denied boarding.

In recent years, a lot of airlines have adopted lying as a standard business practice. I don’t know how much Air Tran is into this. Anyway, if Air Tran got desperate, and really wanted to avoid paying denied boarding compensation, they could invoke the rule (section C(5), appearing on p. 12 of their Contract of Carriage, 05-14-08 ed., lie, and basically say you were behaving like a raving lunatic. What is particularly bad about this rule is that the determination you are a raving lunatic is limited to “…Air Tran’ (sic) sole opinion…” American Air has a similar provision in its Contract of Carriage, and I’ve read of more than one instance of a gate agent bullying customers, by playing psychiatrist, and denying boarding.

Air Tran’s Contract of Carriage, Page 11, “Rules On Reconfirmation Of Reservations, Check-In Times…” Section B(2) ( http://www.airtran.com/common/PDF/Ai...f_Carriage.pdf ) indicates passengers need only be at the gate “…ten (10) minutes prior to original scheduled departure time of the flight.” However, in addition to this requirement, there is a requirement, for those who check baggage, that bags can not, at some airports, be checked less than 45 minutes prior to departure.

I guess we’ll have to start making hidden camera videos, with sound, of Air Tran at the boarding gate!
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  #3  
Old May 29, 2008, 10:53 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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wow how does one begin to respond to a complaint or even the response to said complaint? First you're responsible for getting yourself to the airport, through security and at your gate in time for your flight. (we all know this, right). You the passenger. If you decide to walk away to get coffee, use the phone, take a pee break, whatever, who's fault is it that you miss the flight and why should one receive denied compensation for that? clearly the act was not involuntary at all, even if they don't make final boarding calls, how can you fault airtran for this guy going to get coffee and stay away from the gate, when the flight is boarding? Not only that he states he was in clear view of the gate yet made no effort to go to the gate himself to board his flight, but chose to wait to be called? Shouldn't the act of other people getting up and going through the doors enough to warrant you to also follow suit? Sorry but no, it's his own fault the flight was missed and you can't fault anyone else for this guy lacking common sense.
  #4  
Old Jun 3, 2008, 9:30 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Here's my question - you say that it was you and one other passenger that went running to the door. If they didn't make any announcements then how did all of the other passengers know to board. And on every airline you have to board 10 to 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time (the time ahead depends on the airline) but this is because there are things that have to be done once all passengers are on board, including weights and balances.

Everyone want's an on time departure, but in order to do that the airline has to have a few minutes in the end after everyone is on board to get these things done so the plane can leave on time.
  #5  
Old Jun 3, 2008, 11:16 PM
bah humbug bah humbug is offline
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You were sitting in front of the gate for 25 minutes before departure? Are you kidding me? Did you not see everyone else boarding the flight? How do you think THEY knew when to board? Perhaps a boarding announcement was made? There is no way possible that you were at the gate. Why is it the airlines responsibility to call your name. You are an adult and you need to take responsibility for missing your flight. GROW UP!

Hope that Starbucks was worth it.

Bah humbug
  #6  
Old Jun 4, 2008, 1:13 AM
philemonv6 philemonv6 is offline
 
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Default Do You Work For Airtran?

You remind me of the customer relations people at Airtran. Why would you believe a customer? We are your enemy, isn't that right? (Hint... maybe you should look for a job you like; or take some Dale Carnegie classes... truly serving people and listening and helping people is a blast!)

Why is it so hard to believe this gate agent did not make an announcement before closing the gate? Why would I get to the airport 90 minutes in advance if I didn't want to get on the plane? Have you ever been to a gate when no one made an announcement before closing the gate? How was it two of us banged on the door as soon as it closed? Why did an Airline employee open the door and plead for us? Do you think I could see, and run, but not hear?

From the rest of my flights, I can see that Airtran starts boarding about 45 minutes before scheduled departure. It is all about trying to leave early. That is fine as long as you make announcements so everyone can get on. They were done boarding before I got to the gate, even though I heard no announcement sitting at Starbucks not far away.

It is fine for you to say they don't need to make an announcement by name... most airlines do have this much courtesy. I hope you don't have this happen to you one day!

I guess I am used to travel on an airline that is service oriented and cares about each customer. An airline that treats comments with respect and cares about its reputation. They are great at communication and even humor... and they are growing and doing very well while airlines that seek to discipline their 'bad' customers are having serious problems. Hello!
  #7  
Old Jun 4, 2008, 1:54 AM
bah humbug bah humbug is offline
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In your first post you were sitting "right in front of the gate". In your second post you were "sitting at Starbucks not far away". Lets get real. You missed your flight and you are looking for someone to blame. How do you explain that on an aircraft that holds 117 passengers there were only two of you who didn't hear any announcement. Maybe you don't hear any sympathy in my comments because I deal with this everyday. YOU missed your flight!! YOU were sitting at Starbucks not paying attention to the time. If you could see the gate area from where you were, YOU ignored the fact that all the other passengers were boarding the aircraft. It is your responsibility and yours alone to get to the gate on time. Departure time is departure time, it is not boarding time. You must be in your seat on the aircraft 10 minutes prior to departure, not boarding the aircraft at 10 minutes prior to departure.
Now I am sorry that YOU missed your flight, but that is just what happened.
  #8  
Old Jun 4, 2008, 2:02 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Default Time to take some personal responsibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philemonv6 View Post
Why is it so hard to believe this gate agent did not make an announcement before closing the gate?
Because unless EVERY other passenger got left behind, then they somehow new that it was time to board. Probably from the boarding announcement. This is what is going so wrong with America these days, nobody want's to take responsibility for their own actions. If you were in the gate area 25 minutes prior why do you not board? Were you on your cell phone not paying attention?

Bottom line is that if every other passenger made it but you, then we need to look at YOU, not the airline. Even if one other passenger missed it, it's still the tow of you against as much as 120 or so other passengers.

Did you not notice that the people in the gate area started to disappear? Or if they had already started boarding, and you showed up to a fairly empty gate area, did you not ask about boarding? Did you not notice an agent next to the door?

Sorry, but again, lot's of people somehow made the flight, you didn't. Time to take some personal responsibility.
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