Email To AirTran

I sent this email to AirTran’s president, Joe Leonard, about 25 minutes before my folks told me they had broken down and spent an extra few hundred dollars purchasing tickets to Vegas on Saturday (thereby avoiding Hurricane Wilma’s fury).

Dear Mr. Leonard,

I am writing to ask you to revisit AirTran’s current policy regarding Hurricane Wilma rebooking. I am a meteorologist with 25 years experience.

Your website’s weather update page gives latitude to Florida travelers on Monday, but the storm is not forecast to leave Florida’s East Coast until very late Monday or early Tuesday – meaning you will have planes out of position for Tuesday’s flights.

This is from the National Hurricane Center’s latest technical discussion (meteorologist-to-meteorologist):




Won’t you consider allowing Tuesday passengers (like my parents, on their way to Las Vegas for my dad’s 80th birthday) to rebook without additional charge? Think of your passengers… and your gate and counter employees, who will be dealing with people who were denied rebooking and then face canceled flights!


Geoff Fox

The point is probably moot now. I’m curious if I’ll get an answer.

Happy Birthday Harold – Hope You Can Join Us

Next week is a milestone for my dad. He will be 80. This is not a number to take lightly.

I’ve asked him in the past to contrast his age with his expectations of what that age was going to be like. He couldn’t. Long ago he passed any age he had expected to see.

This is not to say my father thought he’d be gone by now. It’s just no one thinks of what life will be like at 80… until you’re late into your 79th year.

I think I speak for him when I say, these are the best times of his life. He and my mom live a wonderful life in Florida. Their condo complex is socially active, which suits them fine.

My mom has become more active in governing the condo complex, something I never would have expected. My dad has become a computer maven to his fellow senior citizens who see him as a latter day Bill Gates.

So, what do you do for an 80th birthday? My folks thought it would be fun to take Helaine and me, along with my sister Trudi and brother-in-law Jeff, to Las Vegas for a family oriented celebration. My cousins Michael and Melissa will be joining us.

What says happy birthday more than Las Vegas?

My folks don’t gamble, but they are great explorers. Vegas has so much to explore. We plan on seeing some excellent shows, taking in the sights and eating as if cholesterol hadn’t been discovered. I will also attempt to play poker 23 hours a day or until I can no longer afford Steffie’s college tuition.

My folks are due to leave Florida Tuesday. Well, they are now. I suppose it’s all Hurricane Wilma dependent.

If you look at the tracking maps, the current projections bring Wilma right over their place. It’s not a reassuring outlook. The one saving grace is, Wilma won’t be a particularly strong hurricane by then.

Earlier today I asked if they would call the airline, AirTran, and see if they could move their flight. Lots of other airlines were accommodating passengers in this manner. not AirTran… or at least not in a way that was meaningful.