Last Saturday (2 JAN) I was set to fly from MLI to RSW via ATL @ 5:34AM. Aside from the 3/4 of the people on board being geriatrics headed to Florida for a cruise, the experience was a nightmare. We boarded the flight on time, but just as soon as we were ready to fire up and go the pilot came on the PA saying they had to shut everything down and try to reset a fuse because it was reading that the engine wasn’t on. The pilot had both engines going on the 717 aircraft but apparently the -15 degree temps messed the fuse up and was reading an error. We all had to get off the plane and sit in the small Quad City airport for 10 hours while we waiting for a mechanic to fly up from Orlando and the new part to fly up from Atlanta. Finally once it was fixed we re-boarded and took off @ 1:45PM.
AirTran promised a free round trip ticket for everyone on the flight and we would all be rescheduled for our connecting flights. The nightmare continues once we got to ATL…the planes gets to ATL and nothing was taken care of for the people who needed to get on connecting flights. I was lucky to get a spot on the last flight to RSW scheduled for 9:55PM EST and was delayed to 11:00PM with 3 different gates changes. First gate was in the C Terminal, then D, and finally B. Anyone who has been through ATL knows that going between terminals is a hike.
On top of all this crap, my girlfriend was suppose to arrive in RSW about 12 hours after me on Saturday. Needless to say she gets to MLI and the AirTran flight didn’t exist and claimed they never even had her in the system as a paid passenger when she had her ticket and confirmation code. When I called AirTran, as I was still sitting at ATL waiting to get to RSW, they told me they emailed her and I the change two days after I booked her flight in October. I never saw an email stating a change and I check everyday religiously when I book flights anywhere for business. The crazy thing is that I checked the night before and the day of and printed everything out for her and there was no change in her scheduled flight times. When she was trying to look for someone with AirTran @ MLI, 50 other people were there as well to check into that same flight to ATL and had no idea anything changed. And I went on AirTrans website, the flight never changed and said it was on time.
Long story short, I get into RSW when she was suppose to Saturday night, and she ended up getting into RSW 5:30PM Sunday. I understand planes break and you are stranded, thankfully they compensated me with a free round trip ticket. AirTran was telling us @ MLI that it was American Airlines fault for taking a heater or something for there plane which took off before us.
My girlfriends story on the other hand was just inexcusable. She never got any compensation from the airline.
Sorry for the long story btw, I needed to rant a bit.