Flights Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked Were you on a flight that was delayed, canceled, or overbooked?

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Old Mar 16, 2010, 8:05 PM
Jack2278 Jack2278 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Thumbs down Involuntarily bumped

I booked and payed for a roundtrip ticket on AirTran two months before my scheduled business conference in Dallas, Tx. No problems going down there, but big problems coming back. I attempted to preboard on the internet on Saturday morning for a 508 PM flight to Atlanta. The computer stated that my confirmation number was not recognized. I arrived at the airport DFW at 3:45PM for the 5:08 flight, with carry on bag. I was denied boarding and was told the flight was oversold and I could not get on a flight until Tuesday.
I was not offered a hotel room or meals. My options as given were two: return Tuesday or get a refund of my ticket price. I did not have sufficient medications with me for more than one extra day or clean clothing. They told me to go to the hospital and they would call an ambulance for me. Many others were in the same boat, denied boarding, people traveling for vacation, folks with little kids, people about to miss connecting cruise ships or tours. No help whatsoever, in fact the rudeness shocked me.
I was then told by a trainer at Air Tran that people who were late on earlier flights were given out seats.I filed a complaint with Air Tran and they could care less. I was told it is company policy to overbook every flight 3 to 6 seats and the last ones to check in are out of luck. I mentioned that I did try to check in on line and was refused and Air Tran denied any knowledge of this. I believe and was told by one of the counter help that our seats were gone early on Saturday morning and the people who got our seats have already cleared screening and had boarding passes.
What a rotten way to do business. I would suggest that you do not use them unless you have a few days to spare. Never book Air Tran when you are trying to make someplace on a deadline, such as a cruise. Customer service does not tell the truth, they denied having any knowledge of people not being able to check in on line such as myself, but I have since found out it is a common practice. They block your confirmation number once your paid for seat has been given away.

Last edited by Jack2278; Mar 16, 2010 at 8:07 PM. Reason: Left out a point
Old Mar 16, 2010, 9:01 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Here are the DOT rules on overbooking:

Involuntary bumping
DOT requires each airline to give all passengers who are bumped involuntarily a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn't. Those travelers who don't get to fly are frequently entitled to denied boarding compensation in the form of a check or cash. The amount depends on the price of their ticket and the length of the delay:
* If you are bumped involuntarily and the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to get you to your final destination (including later connections) within one hour of your original scheduled arrival time, there is no compensation.
* If the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to arrive at your destination between one and two hours after your original arrival time (between one and four hours on international flights), the airline must pay you an amount equal to your one-way fare to your final destination that day, with a $400 maximum.
* If the substitute transportation is scheduled to get you to your destination more than two hours later (four hours internationally), or if the airline does not make any substitute travel arrangements for you, the compensation doubles (200% of your one-way fare, $800 maximum).
*You always get to keep your original ticket and use it on another flight. If you choose to make your own arrangements, you can request an "involuntary refund" for the ticket for the flight you were bumped from. The denied boarding compensation is essentially a payment for your inconvenience.
Like all rules, however, there are a few conditions and exceptions:
* To be eligible for compensation, you must have a confirmed reservation. A written confirmation issued by the airline or an authorized agent or reservation service qualifies you in this regard even if the airline can't find your reservation in the computer, as long as you didn't cancel your reservation or miss a reconfirmation deadline.
I think you need to get on to the DOT. Give a much detail as you have, including information given to you on the scene by AirTran employees. You have been screwed over and you need to pursue this. There is a link to the DOT in the Quick Links on this website.
Old Mar 17, 2010, 1:22 PM
Jack2278 Jack2278 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Angry air tran

Thank you for the information. Everyone needs to know this. I will make sure my family sure does. I did get home and on time thanks to someone giving up their seat. But, I insisted and stood u[p to the desk crew. They were not about to tell me my rights and not about to help me. Their attitude was just go away come back in 3 days. There were a lot of upset travelers at the airport including those with little kids. AirTran is not a nice airline. Customer service told me that they will have the manager at DFW retrain the staff. What a canned answer. I would not be surprised if AIR Tran wants their desk staff to screww around passengers so they will go away.

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