777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2440 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (12 years 3 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 935 times:
AirTran is the airline formerly known as Valujet. They are based of Atlanta and fly all over the east, midwest and south.
Right now the fly the DC9, 732 and the new 717. I believe they are phasing out the first two in favor of the 717.
The have a business class upgrade for $25 a segment. I have flown them several times from my regional airport (Bloomington Il) to Atlanta and beyond.
Their DC9s are old, but the ones I have been on have been in apparent good conditon. They do offer very competative fares. I am flying my family (5 total)to Ft. Myers Fl in January and will be coming in under $1000.
This is just my opinion, but it seems like they are still trying to recover from the Valujet 592 crash in 1996. Sometimes there is just a stigma attached to an airline, especially a low fare one, that once they crash, no one wants to fly them.
I have heard nothing about a merger with Vanguard. Might make sense as it would open up the west to AirTran.
BA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11150 posts, RR: 60 Reply 4, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 888 times:
In 1999 they signed a contract with Colorado Springs, to begin a secondary hub in COS in the next few years.
However, that doesn't look like it will happen. It seems like they have decided to stick with ATL. We may in the future see western cities served, but competition will be a big issue.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
MCOtoATL From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 474 posts, RR: 4 Reply 5, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 887 times:
I have flown them a couple of times, and I love their 717's. I live in Orlando, which is where they are based, and I just moved down form Atlanta, which is their primary hub, and most people in those two cities do not attach the Valujet name with Airtran. Even some forum posts would argue against the notion that Airtran is simply Valujet reincarnated.
They just posted solid earnings for the past quarter and they seem to be doing well. They have a fairly solid management team and if they can keep their growth steady while bringing on more efficient 717's, they should do ok.
In my limited experience with them, the cabin crews were extremely friendly (but I did pay the $25 extra to upgrade to business class.) They have a reputation for having some rude ground personnel, but these days, who doesn't?
I hope they do well and continue to offer good fares to the cities they serve. Like SWA, they do help drive down fares in the markets they serve.
777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2440 posts, RR: 3 Reply 6, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 876 times:
That is great to hear. Up here in the midwest, I still hear that all they are is the old valujet!
From my flights, I always upgrade to business class, I have never had bad service! The DC9s are old, but are usually kept up good. I have had a couple of questionable 737-200s on connecting flights, but still great service!
I agree with the low fares. Just booked a midweek coach ticket from BMI to ATL for Oct 2-4 for $178!
I was won over by their service. I was almost exclusively an American Airlines flyer, but Airtran has won me over!
BonanzaFunjet From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 127 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 865 times:
The 732's are GONE! Last revenue flight was this weekend. Three (count them 3) DC-9's leave by this January when they will have thirty (count them 30) 717's! Great management - they will outlast the bad economy and survive the fare wars. Might even show a profit for the year. Imagine that.
Airtran is for real! Let's just drop the VJ stuff.
Srbmod From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 17266 posts, RR: 51 Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 848 times:
Rumors of a merger with Vanguard have been around since I worked as a ramper for AirTran from 1999-2000. Vanguard had previous made it known that they wanted Frontier to buy them (especially since at the time Vanguard's president had left Frontier to run Vanguard). Nothing ever came of it, at least as of yet. I don't see Vanguard attempting any merger overtures for a few years, Pegasus (sp?) Leasing has made a significant investment in the airline (how else was Vanguard going to be able to upgrade their fleet), and would probably want to see some returns on that investment. A merger with AirTran does make sense in some reasons, route structures are not really similar (at one time they were, but AirTran's entry into several markets that NJ served from ATL ended that quickly), even though AirTran's no longer flying the 737-200s, the MD-80s would fit nicely into the AirTran fleet, and the west coast flights that Vanguard has would give AirTran access to the west quickly.
DIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 29 Reply 9, posted (12 years 3 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 839 times:
Wow, Ijust last week I saw a couple of Airtran 737-200s at the gates in ATL. . .sad to see them go.
A merger with Vanguard would not be a bad idea. Vanguard is phasing out all their 737-200s as well and going with MD-80s, as Srbmod pointed out. A national fleet of all Boeing/MDC A/C; that is nice. Atlanta and K.C. as hubs would also work out I think, but this will probably never happen and I would probably not want to see another airline erased anyway.
I don't think COS would be a good choice for a hub for Airtran, let alone any airline at this time.
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
Travatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7 Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 812 times:
Am curious...WHERE OH WHERE did you here that AirTran had signed a "contract" with the city of COS to start service there? I've been with AirTran since 1995, and although many rumors of western cities have sprung up from time to time (DEN, COS, PHX, LAX, LAS), nothing like a "contractual" agreement has ever been spoken of. Additionally, no such contracts have ever been referred to in the annual reports.
P.S....as for a merger with Vanguard...highly unlikely. AirTran is concentrated on maintaining profitable quarters. (Right now, it's only us, Southwest, and Continental doing so). A merger with Vanguard (albeit welcomed by the AirTran family) would probably inhibit the airline's ability to post profits for at least a year.