I just returned from a weekend trip in Atlanta, and have two stories to tell. Both together would be too much for one blog posting, so I decided to split it into two separate posts. The first, which I will address in this posting, is regarding the horrendous flight experience with AirTran from Atlanta to Philadelphia (as well as our trip to Atlanta), and the next (in a positive note), how the iPhone should really be used as an incredible traveler’s tool.

First, let me say that I’m not a “seasoned traveler” in the sense that I fly often as a member of the “jet set.” But each time I travel, I learn more and more about traveling abroad. Simple things like always wearing loose and comfortable shoes that you can simply slip off and on for getting through security, taking as little as possible for the trip so you don’t have to pay for additional baggage, remembering to put your shoes, belts (better yet, don’t even wear a belt), computers, cell phones, and everything electronic off your person to put through the x-ray machine, to knowing where your plane will be.

We had an excellent flight to Atlanta. We were 2 hours early to the airport (our flight was in the early afternoon), and were quickly whisked through security. There was no one in line! We were so happy! So we had extra time to find a restaurant and enjoy some shopping time.

When we booked our flights, we chose seats that were as close to the front of the plant as possible without being in business class. By doing this, we were the last on the plane, and therefore, the first off when we landed. It was a perfect flight to Atlanta.

Once in Atlanta, we knew how to get to our hotel because of the iPhone (that’s for the next blog), and had a wonderful time with friends for dinner! The following day we spent the afternoon at the Georgia Aquarium, and let me tell you, they have much to learn about how to move people through crowds!

Being the “largest Aquarium in the nation,” they really could have catered to the public more than they did. We purchased our tickets the night before so we wouldn’t have to wait in line with the riff-raff, but when we got there, there was absolutely NO SHADE to save us until we could enter the building!

Regardless, we had a wonderful time at the aquarium. It’s a beautiful aquarium and should be experienced by all – but hopefully during a time when not everyone else in Georgia is trying to get there! We’ve seen it done much better!

Coming home to Philadelphia, we got to the airport early in hopes of avoiding the crowds. That didn’t happen. But getting through the crowds, we later found out that the flight was going to depart from another gate (thank you iPhone!). But then again, the flight was ONE HOUR LATE in boarding. I can understand if the previous flight was getting in late, but they continuously announced that the plane was coming from the hangar!!! WTF??

Then, when we got on the plane, the seats were so tight I was barely able to breathe next to the guy sitting next to me. It wasn’t until half way through the flight that I could relax just a bit!

But even before that, the flight was delayed by 10 minutes, then 20, then 30. Till the plane was ready to board it was an entire hour late! I could understand if it was late coming in from another location, or if the crew needed some zen time, but they announced that the plane was coming from THE HANGAR!!

To me, that was unacceptable. There is no way they couldn’t have known they needed another plane that late, announcing it just 10 minutes late from the start. What? Did they need to stop to ask directions??

Had I been just 5 minutes late for a flight, they wouldn’t have let me board (that’s happened before when I was 30 minutes late before take off). Yet they don’t pay a penalty! Had I missed my flight because I was late, I would have suffered for the consequences! But because it was their fault, we had to just deal with it!

Then, on top of that, I had to deL with one woman who sang incessantly behind me, and seats that were so slim I felt like I was sitting on the guy next to me!

Something needs to be done about these airlines! They can’t threat us like cows and chickens when they charge these prices!

I need to pay for 1st class so I can bitch! Or I need to just bitch!! Needless to say, I don’t think we’ll be flying via AirTran ever again!

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