Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dear AirTran,

For three years I have been asking, no, begging, my sister, Heather, to allow her daughter to fly to see me. After extended and continuous pleading, Heather finally said yes and allowed my dear niece, Megan, to fly as an unaccompanied minor from Atlanta to Flint to spend five fun-filled days with me, her uncle and three cousins.

My niece had an uneventful flight up from Atlanta (thank you for that). However, on the flight back, you caused undue alarm to not only my niece but my sister, my mother, six other mothers of unaccompanied minors and me.

There were thunderstorms in Atlanta which led someone on the plane to announce to the passengers that they were being diverted to Knoxville, Tennessee. The same announcement was also made to the mothers of the seven unaccompanied minors waiting at the gate in Atlanta. My sister called to let me know what was going on; I was not happy. But not nearly as not happy as the seven mothers in the gate area.

For the fifteen minutes we all thought the plane was being sent to Knoxville. One of the other unaccompanied minors had a cell phone and her mom agreed to let all the other moms call that number to check on everyone. My sister had a friend in Knoxville ready to head to the airport in case the plane was there longer than three hours, at which point the passengers would be allowed off the plane.

And then, all of a sudden, someone at the gate announced the plane had landed. In Atlanta.

AirTran, I am, of course, pleased that the plane didn’t go to Knoxville. But don’t you think it would have been just a teeny, tiny bit wiser to wait until the actual, final decision about the plane's destination was made before announcing it was being diverted?

I am still trying to convince my sister to let her son fly up to see me. This little episode didn’t help my cause.

Thank you for getting my niece to and from Atlanta safely. But next time, could you please wait until you really, really know where the plane is going before making such an announcement?