So I am trying really hard to like AirTran. Primarily because Sarah always has nothing but delightful experiences on the airline, but also because United pretty much sucks (that includes you too Ted) and everyone else’s prices are too high. However despite my attempts to appreciate the airline I am constantly getting shot down by them. This weekend was a perfect example. The flight I booked apparently didn’t guarantee me a seat on said flight. Merely I was guaranteed a ‘reservation’. What the hell that means I don’t know but apparently its worth $300. I get to the gate and ask for a seat (pretty please) and find that its oversold by 15 seats. The only way I can guarantee a seat is to hope 15 people forget to go to the airport or upgrade to first class. Fortunately due to the situation they where offering the last two first class seats for a nice $60 upgrade. Being that the upgrade usually costs $200 bucks I decided to take up the offer. That and I saw a large group of 14 year old foreigners on a youth group trip all waiting in line for the same flight and I wanted NOTHING to do with them*.
So anyway after getting on board we are stuck waiting 45 min while a crew comes in and tries to fix a cockpit malfunction. The captain comes on every fifteen minutes or so to ensure us that they are trying the ‘quickest fix possible’ which is hardly reassuring. After a wait, we taxi and head to the runway. Only to turn around and go right back to the gate. “We don’t feel comfortable taking of with this nagging issue that we thought we had resolved” is the captains response. Back on come the techs. Sitting up front I was able to see and hear everything that was going on in the cockpit, and the confused faces and seemingly random ‘lets try this one and see’ approach to the knobs and buttons hardly made me confident. After half an hour they decide they need to reboot the plane (you can do that!?!?) which meant all laughs, air and communications went dead. We where stick in the dark for two hours before everything came back to life and we where able to take off. Come on Airtran…I wanna be friends. Why won’t you let me in? Why you gotta always be like this?
*Why the hell do those groups wear matching colored t-shirts? You can’t shut the damn kids up for 30 seconds. There is no way you are going to misplace any of them. And if by some strange reason that happens: good for you. Get on the plane.