We booked a flight on Airtran for our immediate family to fly to Orlando for the Kidz in Motion conference in August. We later discovered that some relatives would be in the Sarasota area at the same time, so we re-arranged our schedule. I found a return flight on Airtran that was non-stop from Sarasota to Chicago on the desired day. Of course, there were change fees involved, but at least the new fare was a little lower so that softened the blow a little bit.
Two weeks after making the change, I get an email that the new return flight has been cancelled! The alternate was a connecting flight through Atlanta with a much longer duration. Non-stop is pretty much a requirement of mine with our kids. Airtran’s other options didn’t work well for us. The last option was that I could get a full refund of the one-way fare. I made arrangements on another airline (American, but I had to fly back from Tampa as no one else had a Sarasota nonstop). When I called Airtran back, they were happy to credit my original fare, but what I wasn’t told was that the change fees would not be refunded. I persisted and was told that would require supervisor approval. I explained that the availability of non-stop flight at the right time of day was the only reason we opted to make the change in the first place, which was true. Fortunately, the supervisor approved it and the refund was processed and quickly credited to my card.
I understand that flights get cancelled, but I do appreciate the consideration for the time and expenses involved in making a change that should all be refunded. So, thank you, Airtran! An honorable mention to American Airlines. When I booked our return flight, they allowed me an exception to use the credit for my cancelled flight to Phoenix for Lifesavers and apply the leftover amount from my ticket toward the tickets for my family. In the end, I only had to pay just over $100 to get all five of us back to Chicago and got over $900 back from Airtran!
See you all in Orlando!