Our flight was to leave at 10:26 a.m. and we left plenty early because of all the snow and ice we got through the night. No problems getting to Dayton, however, so we stopped close to the airport and had a nice breakfast. We parked, checked in, and waited to board. Our flight was scheduled to be on time, and we were happy!!! Until we boarded. All was well until they kept telling us we would be taking off in about 10 minutes. They said that twice. Then we had a mechanical difficulty. Then we had to be de-iced, which I'm tellin' you took 30 minutes. Finally, we were in line to take off. We hit Atlanta an hour late, and came awfully close to missing our connection...but we made it.
Jump ahead to Tuesday morning. We got up and headed to the airport early enough, and when the cab driver dropped us off and we walked in to the AirTran check-in, we were smack in the middle of chaos. The line was ridiculously long, and it was not moving. AT. ALL. What the hell? So, being the nice people we are, we just stood and waited, not making a scene (like some other people). Still not moving. And to boot, there were 2 customer service people helping each passenger get checked in, which was weird. WHATEVER. So, after a while, a lady that was farther up in the line walked by and started talking to us. Apparently, they had cancelled our entire flight due to some kind of mechanical difficulties on the plane that was supposed to be coming for us. It was still in Atlanta, and they had no spare planes. Well, great, right?
We were still not upset or freaking out, just started to think through our options. We heard that they were offering to bus all of us to Atlanta, or we could stay at the Savannah airport and wait for the next flight to Dayton, which was at 3:17 pm. YUCK. It was only 9:15, for goodness sake! If we hadn't had people staying here with the kids, we probably just would've taken a cab back into the city and stayed another night...but we had to get home! So, we decided that we would ask them to rent us a car and we would just drive to Atlanta and try to catch our connection. All would be well.
Not quite. When we finally got up to the ticket counter, she explained the situation and told us our options, which were the same as the lady told us. We could take the bus to Atlanta or wait for the next flight. And oh yeah, no dice on the car rental. Surprise, surprise...all of the rental cars were gone. What could we do? So we opted for the bus to Atlanta. Sounded good in theory anyway. The motorcoach company that they used had no buses left....so they had to call ANOTHER company in South Carolina to send a bus for us. That bus did not get to us until after 12:00!! Keep in mind that the flight they booked us on out of Atlanta was to leave at 5:00. Atlanta was a 4 hour drive away. A little close for comfort, seeing as how things were going so far...but again, what else could we do? We decided to just have a fun bus ride!
Well, the bus driver missed the exit to the airport. Don't know how! He had this huge-ass GPS that was turned up so loud we all knew the exit was coming up...and we all watched it go by! So, we had to turn that big ol' bus around and go back the way we came. UGH. By this time I was definitely ready to get off my butt, I had been sitting so long! We got to the airport and waited in line to check in AGAIN. Finally we were on our way to the gate. We grabbed something to eat with the $20 in airport vouchers they had given us (thank you very much, although in the airport, it doesn't get you much) and sat down to wait to board. And wait we did. Our plane was late. And then when we got on, we waited again. Now there was a de-icing valve that wasn't functioning or something. It would take another half hour to fix and test. By the time we left Atlanta we were over an hour late. I was never so glad for my feet to hit the ground in Dayton, Ohio. We grabbed our bags, and practically ran to the truck. The weather in Ohio was not good, but we had the truck and had no problems. We got home at 9:00 p.m. We should have been home at 4:30 or so.
Yeah, AirTran gave each of us free round-trip tickets to anywhere they fly (they have to be used within 1 year) and each of us a $25 voucher toward future air travel with them. I don't know, though. Sitting in the airport and on the planes, all we heard were horror stories about AirTran and how they screw up ALL. THE. TIME. Well, from our experience, that much is true. I'll let you know how it goes next time...on our "free trip"!
Everyone makes a mistake now and then.