UAL-Fan
Topic Author
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Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:05 am

Took my first Airtran flight this week out of SAN. People love to complain about service and I've done my share of that but I think it's also important to compliment when things go well.

I have to say I had two perfect flights. Going over to ATL pushed back early and arrived early and coming back to SAN last night did the same.

Great flight crews, love the XM, brand new 737's, comfortable cabin.....what's not to like!

I sure hope you are doing well here in my city, I'm happy you're here and I plan to check you out again the next time I head to the Southeast (usually a few times each month).

Thanks for the great service.
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:09 am

Yes, AirTran does provide a very consistent product. I was quite impressed when I flew with them. I thought their people were very friendly, the travel process was seamless, and the ammenities were at least on par with a lot of other airlines. Glad to hear you liked them as well. Just out of curiousity, how full were the flights you were on? Also, does anyone have details on the performance of MCO-SAN?
Good goes around!
 
skibum9
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2001 1:13 pm

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:20 am

I just flew my first FL trip from DAY to BWI and back. I had been a DL loyalist, and I guess a bit of a legacy snob. However, living in Cincinnati, DL's pricing gave me no option but to try out their competition, with a round-trip ticket costing $1500 on DL out of CVG vs. $400 on FL out of DAY. Being an LCC, I had all these visions of what it would be like. However I have to say that I was very impressed with FL. The airplanes were cleaner than DL, the airplanes were more comfortable than DL on those routes (717 vs. RJ), the service was the same (snack and drink), and then their was XM radio. I was honestly scratching my head saying what does DL have that these guys don't? Outside the having a larger network and international flights, I have to say nothing in the markets that they both serve. So sorry DL, you have lost me as a loyal customer due to your pricing at CVG and now knowing that your service is no better than FL. In the future I will now always consider FL when they serve the cities I need to travel between.

The loads on DAY - BWI on Wednesday was about 85%, the flight today from BWI to DAY was oversold, so 100% load.
Tailwinds!!!
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:30 am

Quoting Skibum9 (Reply 2):
Being an LCC, I had all these visions of what it would be like. However I have to say that I was very impressed with FL. The airplanes were cleaner than DL, the airplanes were more comfortable than DL on those routes (717 vs. RJ), the service was the same (snack and drink), and then their was XM radio. I was honestly scratching my head saying what does DL have that these guys don't?

That's exactly what I thought before and after my first trip with FL. Really, FL seems at least as good if not a little better than DL on the short-medium flights. I still fly DL for longer flights, but sometime, if FL goes somewhere I want to go on a longer flight, I'll definitely try them, and I'm sure they will impress me just as much as they did on the short-medium.
Good goes around!
 
dl767captain
Posts: 1206
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:44 am

I like the fact Air Tran came to SAN, it made DL lower their fares, but i will still fly DL because of a much larger plane and the great service
 
warszawa
Posts: 549
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:37 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:33 am

I've flown a ton of flights on FL, mainly because I had a lot of ticket vouchers from them (Tip: Try to fly FL to Florida during the beginning of Spring Break). But other times because they were also the cheapest.

My FL 'hub' is FNT (Flint Michigan), they have wonderful staff there. Always smiling / excellent crew/staff, very nice/kind people always willing to help. DL always is more expensive out of FNT versus AirTran, for some reason. Even to ATL, they either match FL's fares, or are $2-$5 more. Part of me wonders how they fill those flights...$225 to fly a CRJ-200 with no IFE, or $220 to fly a 717 or 737 with XM Radio....I guess the only reason I could surmise is, after FL is done filling their flights out of FNT, DL gets the leftovers (the majority of the time), so they still get their bookings for $225 after FL's fares rise because of bookings.

I've never had any problems with them. Great airline. Dont like the fact they wanted to takeover YX - I like YX also (flew them to LAS 2 months ago).

Thanks to FL I recently obtained an awesome deal on FNT-LAS nonstop roundtrip, $178 with tax for November, already booked.

Maybe this is a new feature, but before finalizing my booking on FL for LAS, I noticed they offer $5 each way to select your seats ahead of time, or you can select them free within 24hrs of departure (online or at the airport).

Because its a long flight to LAS & return, I decided for $5 each way I want to guarantee my window seat, without a doubt, so I wouldn't have to worry about it. Especially when I only paid $178 for a 5hr flight out west, are you kidding, what a deal (especially with XM Radio + free snacks/drinks!). Sounds like a mid range skybus fare with plenty of free bonuses. I went ahead and paid $10 total to get my seats for both ways.

Regarding the select your seats ahead of time charge, I'm not sure if its $5 per flight, or $5 for the whole-one way (ie, if I was flying FNT-ATL-LAS, would it be $10 to select my seats, then $10 on the return, LAS-ATL-FNT, so $20 total for seat selection? Or would it be $10 still?) Does anyone know?
Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
 
warszawa
Posts: 549
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:43 am

Well I will say though one thing, whenever I fly FL, at least trough ATL, my bags get really dirty (grease marks, etc.). Not sure if this has something to do with how ATL moves baggage (conveyor belts or what?), or if they lay baggage on the ground somewhere and it picks up grease, etc.

When I flew FNT-LAS nonstop February 06 my bags came out perfectly clean (just like I sent them). Returned LAX-ATL-FNT and the bags were dirty (black scuff marks / dust / greasemarks almost). Wasnt damaged or anything, just dirty. Nothing major (doesnt bother me really), I dont like having dirty bags, so I had to wash them when I got home. The fact that FNT-LAS they were clean, I dont think it's the bellies of the aircraft.

Dirty baggage carts in ATL, or whatever they use to process the baggage...?? I'm not sure.

Their pilots are great too. Openly talked to an FL 737 pilot after landing in LAX (young guy, mid-late 20's) last year as he stood in the jetway. I commented to him when I saw him in the jetway, 'How bout that Paradise 4 arrival' (I obtained this from Flightaware, noticing that this flight was using PDZ4 STAR into LAX 90% of the time). He openly said 'Was great, we locked the ILS for 24R, coming in a little bit hot and high on the glideslope, propped the speed brakes, slowed her down' I was astonished at his response because most pilots just blow me off, or dont say much (almost like i'm not qualified to talk to them)

He talked to me like any normal person (almost like I was a pilot) about the approach into LAX, then asked me if I was interested in aviation, then I explained to him I was going to college, etc. We talked for about 5mins and that was it (we wer still in the jetway near the door after the FA's had just about left, all pax were long gone). Was great though.

Had a similar experience with a nice UAX OO pilot on PHX-LAX back in August 05 too. YX pilots are also very nice and open for discussion

[Edited 2007-09-22 03:44:31]

[Edited 2007-09-22 03:47:05]
Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
 
CitrusCritter
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 10:36 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:52 am

Quoting Warszawa (Reply 6):
Their pilots are great too. Openly talked to an FL 737 pilot after landing in LAX (young guy, mid-late 20's) last year as he stood in the jetway. I commented to him when I saw him in the jetway, 'How bout that Paradise 4 arrival' (I obtained this from Flightaware, noticing that this flight was using PDZ4 STAR into LAX 90% of the time). He openly said 'Was great, we locked the ILS for 24R, coming in a little bit hot and high on the glideslope, propped the speed brakes, slowed her down' I was astonished at his response because most pilots just blow me off, or dont say much (almost like i'm not qualified to talk to them)

I had a similar experience two or three times with FL pilots. Chatted one up at DCA about the River Visual. And back in July, they let me sit in the cockpit and ask questions for a good 10 or 12 minutes, listen to ATC etc. Great time...really great crew on that flight.

The best FL pilot though is one that I got on a late-night ATL-MCO on a 717. The guy started playing "Bad to the Bone" on his harmonica over the cabin speakers. That was freakin hilarious...he had a whole spiel he went through about how he and his F/O had so many years in the air, etc. etc. Totally awesome! Any of the FL employees know who this guy is?
- CitrusCritter
Long Live the 717!
XNA
 
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SANFan
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:58 am

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 1):
Does anyone have details on the performance of MCO-SAN?

I would love to know the answer to your question as well, 'flyboy.

I can tell you that FL's current winter schedule (open thru 5/05/08 and of course subject to change) shows the SAN-MCO flight disappearing between 9/05 and 11/07, then returning for the rest of the open schedule. (That implies to me that things must be going ok; I would love to see the frequency increased but at least for now, it's holding steady.)

ATL service is reduced for the winter to 2x daily n/s (instead of the 3 we had during the summer.) But considering FL originally announced San Diego service as "seasonal" (which sent me thru the roof  embarrassed  ) I'm happy they have seen the error of their way and are apparently holding their own against the Delta-monster!

I see additional opportunities for AirTran at Lindbergh and I hope we will see some new routes opened by them; IND and MKE come first to mind. (After all, they pretty much have gate 26 to themselves right now, allowing for more flights; in the future, they may have to fight for space as things continue to get more crowded at SAN.)

bb
 
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malaysia
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:35 am

Air Tran is good, just miss having TVs cause XM is useless to me (I cannot hear)

But one time on a LAS-ATL flight, the kid in front of me spillled an entire can of cherry coke on my feet, while I was sleeping... and my shoes and pants and bag under my seat were all sticky..
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
CitrusCritter
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 10:36 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:39 am

Quoting Malaysia (Reply 9):
But one time on a LAS-ATL flight, the kid in front of me spillled an entire can of cherry coke on my feet, while I was sleeping... and my shoes and pants and bag under my seat were all sticky..

Ugh, that sucks. I remember one time...either on DL or US, I forget which, the person in front of me whipped their chair-back up real quick and my own soda went flying off my tray table into my lap. An unpleasant remainder of the flight.  Sad
- CitrusCritter
Long Live the 717!
XNA
 
floridaflyboy
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Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:46 pm

Quoting CitrusCritter (Reply 10):
Ugh, that sucks. I remember one time...either on DL or US, I forget which, the person in front of me whipped their chair-back up real quick and my own soda went flying off my tray table into my lap. An unpleasant remainder of the flight.

I had that EXACT same thing happen on UA on a flight from BIL-DEN. Fortunately, it was a short flight, so I was able to change once we landed in Denver. At the time, I usually didn't carry a change of clothes in my carry-on, but I had limited room in my checked bag that trip and had put one set of clothes in my carry-on. Thank god. Since then, I've always carried a change of clothes in my backpack.

Quoting SANFan (Reply 8):
I would love to know the answer to your question as well, 'flyboy.

I can tell you that FL's current winter schedule (open thru 5/05/08 and of course subject to change) shows the SAN-MCO flight disappearing between 9/05 and 11/07, then returning for the rest of the open schedule. (That implies to me that things must be going ok; I would love to see the frequency increased but at least for now, it's holding steady.)

I would imagine it's doing quite well. I always felt MCO-SAN was a natural route, and was LONG overdue. Good to see that they're bringing it back so early. That's a pretty short vacant period. Hope to see this route last for the foreseeable future. I would also love to see a frequency increase. Would be nice to have two round-trips for both Orlando and San Diego's sake.
Good goes around!
 
socalfive
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 5:37 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:57 pm

Quoting Malaysia (Reply 9):
Air Tran is good, just miss having TVs cause XM is useless to me (I cannot hear)

But you CAN read, can you not?


I just flew FL through ATL to BWI and back to SAN. Great trip as well. I have no complaint, great people, service, communication, I was impressed and would fly them over DL on any given day.
 
citrus1
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:50 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:10 pm

Quoting CitrusCritter (Reply 7):
Any of the FL employees know who this guy is?

YES, He's the topic of many stories around the crew lounge.
 
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SANFan
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 3:28 pm

Quoting Floridaflyboy (Reply 11):
Hope to see this route last for the foreseeable future. I would also love to see a frequency increase. Would be nice to have two round-trips for both Orlando and San Diego's sake.

My gut feeling is that someone else is about to give SAN another r/t to MCO. (Can you say, "Bluuuuue", and "daily". There are many rumors flying around about B6's announcement in a couple of weeks and many believe MCO will be a big part of it and I think SAN will also be involved...)

With an O&D count of 470 pax/day (per DOT 1Q07) MCO is certainly SAN's largest market without daily n/s service! And, despite its low-yield nature, I also think the route could easily support 2 daily n/s flights by LCCs; I've been puzzled for a long time why neither WN nor B6 has jumped on it.

At least FL is trying and I think once they are better known in SAN and have a base of customers, their MCO flight will be daily without question. (Unless they're blown away by somebody else before that happens...)

bb
 
JayDub
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:14 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:53 pm

Quoting CitrusCritter (Reply 7):
The best FL pilot though is one that I got on a late-night ATL-MCO on a 717. The guy started playing "Bad to the Bone" on his harmonica over the cabin speakers. That was freakin hilarious...he had a whole spiel he went through about how he and his F/O had so many years in the air, etc. etc. Totally awesome! Any of the FL employees know who this guy is?

I believe that would be Mad Dog (I think it was MD that did the harmonica thing). Really senior guy...great captain. I remember 2 great Mad Dog stories from when I worked for FL in DFW.

When we had LAX-DFW service (continuing to ATL), it seemed like every week he flew a couple of these flights. If the flight was running even slightly late, you could expect to take a full TGI Fridays lunch order over company radio on the in-range call to ops for his entire crew and all UM's on board...

Another time, we were waiting for paperwork prior to door close. I was sitting on the pushback tug with the headset on and I could see him up there playing his harmonica...doing his "welcome aboard" announcements. I looked to my left to see one of my rampers dancing around out of boredom. I joked around with captain that, if the pax wanted some entertainment while we wait for that new paperwork, they could look out the right side of the plane and see a goofy ramper dancing. Sure enough, he made the announcement...and everyone on board is pointing at my ramper and laughing. The ramper walked away...embarrassed...and I had to find a new wingwalker. He never lived it down.

Some of those AirTran captains were a blast. Great senses of humour and always willing to help...one of the few things I miss about my days at FL.
"Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." - Paul Theroux
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:07 pm

AirTran crews are usually top notch, and the service is pretty consistent in terms of what other airlines are offering in coach class. It'd be nice to see them offer some sort of buy on board for ATL-LAS/LAX/SFO/SEA/SAN flights and a few other long ones. Say any flight over three hours for kicks. One thing, though, I don't think FL's coach seating is anywhere near as comfortable as DL's. To me, the seats really don't have enough padding. On the 717's it feels like you are sitting on just a metal bar after awhile. Also, the seat backs are pretty low. The 73G's are better, but not decidedly so. I guess they are about the same as NW's seats in my opinion. AirTran is always priced fairly competitevely here in ATL, but if I have to go somewhere (like New York tonight) and the price is comparable, I'll stick to a legacy carrier, or take Amtrak.
 
UAL-Fan
Topic Author
Posts: 345
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:49 am

If I had to guess, I would say the SAN - ATL flight was about 75% full and the ride back ATL - SAN was 90%. Also, for those that are thankful Delta was forced to lower fares when Airtran came in should really thank Airtran by giving them some business.

Airtran will only stay if they fill thier planes and make money......if they leave Delta will punish us even more than they did before with Airfares through the roof. We need Airtran to stay here so why not try them out.
 
N77014
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:41 pm

Quoting SANFan (Reply 14):
With an O&D count of 470 pax/day (per DOT 1Q07) MCO is certainly SAN's largest market without daily n/s service! And, despite its low-yield nature, I also think the route could easily support 2 daily n/s flights by LCCs; I've been puzzled for a long time why neither WN nor B6 has jumped on it.

Because said carriers are finding it more profitable on year round business/leisure destinations such as BOS, SLC, IAD, JFK.
A new life awaits you in the Off-World Colonies...
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:29 pm

Quoting CitrusCritter (Reply 7):
The best FL pilot though is one that I got on a late-night ATL-MCO on a 717. The guy started playing "Bad to the Bone" on his harmonica over the cabin speakers. That was freakin hilarious...he had a whole spiel he went through about how he and his F/O had so many years in the air, etc. etc. Totally awesome! Any of the FL employees know who this guy is?

He flies in and out of BWI on a regular basis. He's cool and a great guy to have around especially if there is a delay situation which as most of you know have been frequent this past summer. I'm bad with names but, I've heard his harmonica performance many a time. Most of our inflight crew are great and do not hesitate to pitch in when things get busy. Many will haul wheelchairs, help us with aisle chairs, help deal with passenger questions etc. Many of my fellow crewmembers have helped me with the jeepers creepers another weeper passenger; Some of the weepers are tougher to deal with than the angry ones. The weepers make delivering bad news much harder. Imagine a hottie bawling with an ugly cute pug, chihuahua or kitty in her arms!

For the A-Net member from FNT I believe you are going to get a direct FNT to MIA flight soon.  Smile
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
dragonflyer
Posts: 44
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:47 am

Nice to see FL flying out of San Diego! Seems like everybody that has flown them is pleased. Personally, I prefer flying Delta's widebody 767s, and the 757s with the seatback entertainment are totally great! Delta's new uniforms look top notch as well! Lower fares are probably the only reason to me to book FL. Great to see more competition though!
We earn our wings every day...Comments/opinions are my own and do not reflect my employer.
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:59 am

Quoting CitrusCritter (Reply 10):
Ugh, that sucks. I remember one time...either on DL or US, I forget which, the person in front of me whipped their chair-back up real quick and my own soda went flying off my tray table into my lap. An unpleasant remainder of the flight.

That sucks. Some airlines (like CO and WN) don't have the traytable attached to the seatback, but the seat instead. So someone leaning back will not move your traytable, and your incident won't happen.
I love ASO!
 
Crewchief
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 2:32 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:48 pm

I've had some great trips on FL also, and one notable trip where a couple pax apparently caused a security incident on the way to IAD. The crew handled the matter very discreetly and professionally.

The one notable exception to their consistent service was when I was checking in a CLT. Realizing that a couple bored CSAs were waiting on zero passengers and staring at the ceiling, and that I'd need to go to them anyway to check my bag, I bypassed the ticket machines and went to the check-in desk. They refused to check me in, and directed me to a machine. When I pleasantly persisted, they raised their eyes to the ceiling and refused to acknowledge my presence.

Either that was a new low in FL customer service, or something *very* interesting was on the ceiling.

I suppose that even with 99.99% consistency, any passenger can experience the .01% of problems...
 
CitrusCritter
Posts: 796
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RE: Airtran @ SAN

Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:55 pm

Quoting Crewchief (Reply 22):

At DCA the kioks are actually at the ticket counter. When you go up, they ask you to use the kiosk unless you have some sort of special need situation. Upgrades and seat changes can both be processed through the kiosk, so the agent is there essentially just to check your ID and check the bag. Sounds like those agents just weren't as professional in going about it.
- CitrusCritter
Long Live the 717!
XNA
 
JayDub
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:14 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:02 pm

Quoting Crewchief (Reply 22):
They refused to check me in, and directed me to a machine. When I pleasantly persisted, they raised their eyes to the ceiling and refused to acknowledge my presence.

FL's corporate office puts such ridiculous goals on kiosk usage...and station managers are borderline Nazis in trying to obtain the numbers expected from those on high. Thus the reason for being sent tot he kiosk. (No excuse for the lack of professionalism...but I won't go there.)
"Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." - Paul Theroux
 
CitrusCritter
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 10:36 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:09 pm

Quoting JayDub (Reply 24):
FL's corporate office puts such ridiculous goals on kiosk usage

I have no idea what sort of corporate directive there is on that, but I definitely agree. They want you to use the kiosk 99% of the time. But at least they're not SX...you still have an agent you can turn to when the kiosk crashes.  Wink
- CitrusCritter
Long Live the 717!
XNA
 
Crewchief
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 2:32 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:12 am

Quoting JayDub (Reply 24):
FL's corporate office puts such ridiculous goals on kiosk usage...and station managers are borderline Nazis in trying to obtain the numbers expected from those on high.

Wow...so when the CSRs have nothing to do, corporate goals and culture forbid them from acceding to reasonable customer requests for service.

That speaks volumes about FL.
 
JayDub
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:14 am

RE: Airtran @ SAN

Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:36 am

Quoting Crewchief (Reply 26):
Wow...so when the CSRs have nothing to do, corporate goals and culture forbid them from acceding to reasonable customer requests for service.

From my experience when I worked there...I think this hits it on the head.
"Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." - Paul Theroux

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