Topic Author
Posts: 2216
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2000 6:00 am


Thu May 09, 2002 2:31 pm

I took a quick breather to relax at my friend's place in Florida. Price was too good to pass up; $40 + tax (one-way) BUF-FLL. It's my first report, so pardon me if mine is missing details. Btw, it was my first time with AirTran.

Flight 557
May 02
Supposed to leave at 17:50, but ended up leaving an hour after scheduled departure time. Considering that the weather in the east coast was pretty harsh, I think I got off easy. Flight was on a brand new 717; I was impressed. Sitting in seat 12A, I could hardly hear the engines roar. I suffered from a minor ear problem (as posted earlier in gen. av. forum), but I survived :P.

Flight 723
May 02
Very interesting leg...
I found out that the flight was delayed by an hour; new arrival time at FLL would be 1:00 AM. That's a little late, so I phoned my friend to let him know of the new arrival time- only to find out that the plane would be delayed til 2:45 AM. Other pax weren't too pleased. They understood that the weather was wreaking havoc on the schedule, but understandably were irritated by the repeated push back.
After a few pax complained to the gate agent, he (or was it she?) came on the p.a. and explained that the flight could not depart because they had no plane to fly the route. Pax were perplexed as this announcement took place after mindnight, when almost all the gate except ours had idle planes for overnight stays. Soon after, the same agent came on the mic to announce that she had, "found" a plane for us to fly on. Everyone cheered as the agent instructed pax to get ready to board. A couple minutes later, she came on the p.a. to announce, "We have no pilot to fly the plane." I thought she was joking, but she was not. So we were forced to wait again for the pilot to arrive.
After minor delay on the ground, we landed at FLL between 3 AM and 4 AM (can't remember because I was too sleepy).
I called my friend to get him to pick me up at the curb on the arrivals level. He should have taken no more than 2 minutes. After waiting for a good half hour, I phone him again only to find out that he was waiting at MIA! Let's just say that I left the airport when the sun was rising...

Return legs were uneventful- both on DC-9s. I just found my second leg quite interesting, with the missing pilots fiasco. Despite the delays, I'd take AirTran again; staff were friendly and accomodating to passengers. Way to keep those classics flying!
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 4:57 pm


Fri May 10, 2002 12:24 pm

Hey - just did a little delay research for flight 723. The "missing pilot" fiasco was due to a cockpit crew reroute due to weather. The new crew rescheduled
for the trip then "timed out" or became illegal to fly due to duty regs and the lengthy delay in getting a replacement aircraft. (The aircraft scheduled for the trip was stuck in BWI.) Maintenance routing (FLL is a maintenance base) also played a role in determinig the replacement aircraft That probably should have all been explained at the gate....but often when it's that late, and the flight is that delayed, the last thing passengers want to hear are more excuses. Other than that, I hope the delay was handled well.

Topic Author
Posts: 2216
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2000 6:00 am


Sat May 11, 2002 4:53 am

Thanks for the explanation Travis. Gate agents indeed handled themselves admirably. Trying to crack jokes to life the mood of the delayed (and angry) pax left quite a positive impression on me.
Will definitely fly them again in the future.

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