I recently had the worst flying experience ever flying out of Charlotte to Tunica on Airtran, all on my 30th B-day! After the front desk agents told me it was ok to carry my bag on the plane w/o checking it and then making it through a full body scan at security, a gate agent singled my bag out of a crowd while I was sitting down in front of my respective gate about an hour and a half before my plane was to ***, so that he could measure the dimensions of it.
I happily obliged with no problems because I traveled with th, it was one inch to big and demanded that I pay $20 baggage fee or leave bag as an unattended bag so that the airport could throw it away. I advised the gate agent that I had just bought my ticket less than 24hrs ago as a last minute decision to spend my 30th birthday with my family and also thanksgiving and asked if there was someone else I could speak to. He refused sayin that he was the supervisor and that I would have to pay $20 or leave the bag. I tried to tied the bungee cord on top of my bag as tight as possible so I could shrink it an inch and that still didn't work for him.
He started boarding the plane, minus me and refused to let me board without meeting his conditions. I got very upset and put my boarding pass on his podium and proceeded to walk through the airplan tunnel anyway. He grabbed my bag saying that I was breaching security and noted my reservation like I was some type of terrorist which I can assure you I am not! By that time, another gate agent came over to find out what the problem was.
She measured my bag and put a yellow oversize carry on bag tag on my bag so that I could just take the bag and not check it with a fee but he refused to let me board. He told her that I was not getting on unless I paid the $20 fee. Needless to say, the only plane going to Tunica, MS that I bought my ticket for left without me on my 30th Birthday. I was distraught and upset and crying and embarrassed and humiliated.
It was the worst flying experience ever. I had to wait 4 hrs for an Operation Manager to come in and read the gate agents terrosirt notes and ask me did I try to walk on through the security door to the plane and I told him yes. He asked me in retrospect do I think that was the best thing to do in the situation and wouldn't have been easier to try and work with the gate agent? I explained that I had begged, and cried, and pleaded with him for an hour and that no it did not help the situation.
The operations manager looked at my bag and was startled to see that it already had a yellow check tag on it and that I could have boarded the plane with that but I explained the lady gate agent did this and the guy gate agent still refused to let me board. So the gate agent never apologized, the manager didn't either. He finally put me on a flight to Memphis, TN, 40 miles away from my original destination through US Airways but flew my bag on expedited service on Airtran!
Go figure!! I still can't believe I got treated like this over a $20 baggage fee and my bag being an inch over!!