Last Tuesday I flew from Orlando to Atlanta via Airtran's 717. I submitted a trip report (it was a great flight.) Well, one week later I made the return flight back home to MCO.
First, we had the same captain as we had last week (Captain Atwater.) I am very impressed with him. He is quite personable and talks to the passengers before the flight. He comes on the intercom before the flight and is very nice, funny, and informative.
Because of some late connetcting flights, we had to wait for the baggage to be loaded from other planes. Despite being a 1:30 flight, we did not begin taxiing until about 1:45. The Captain apologized for the delay, saying that at least "you guys going down to the House of the Mouse will have clothes to wear."
Obviously, at Atlanta, there were several planes in front of us. Suddenly, the plane turned and headed back to the gate. The Captian told us that an indicator light came on and they would have to get it checked.
A technician came on board. They powered down the plane and then powered back up. After ten minutes, they told us that we would have to get off of the plane. We waited for about 15 minutes before we were told that we could once again board.
We finally arrived in Orlando two hours after we were scheduled to. For me it was rought because as associate was picking me up, but he had another evening meeting and could not wait around for me for two additional hours.
It was a pain to be delayed, but I applaud the crew for keeping us updated every second of the way. Literally, they were giivng us updates about every little thing. Likewise, their apologies and genuine personalities made it hard to get mad at them. Think about it - a flight that was 80% full and 2 hours late, and yet no one was upset. In fact, we all thanked the crew as we exited the plane. The delay did cause me to have to take a cab ($40 fare) home. But I was impressed with the crew. Of course this is only my second time flying on Airtran and I have had the same Captain and lead Flight Attendant each time. They were great, and one can only hope that the rest of the employees of Airtran are just as good.