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FL 880: 02/AUG/06: EWR-MDW: Y Cabin (pics)  
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5090 posts, RR: 55
Posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 19739 times:

Trip Report: 002
Date: 02-Aug-06
Dep./Arr.Time: 0954/1130/02:36hrs (Ontime)
Flight: AIR TRAN, FL 880
Routing: EWR-MDW
Aircraft: 717
Seat: Economy, 18A

I > Background:

I am in NYC for work and never having flown FL or the 717, decided to do a quick day return to Chicago to break my virginity on both.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport: Booking was easy using FL's online site at www.airtran.com. I made a mistake online and their toll-free support was helpful and quick in getting my basic problem fixed.

b) At Airport: Checkin at EWR was pretty straightforward using FL's kiosks ... though, these can ONLY be used if you dont have any checked baggage. As the pictures would show, their operations at EWR is skimpy and this is reflected on the limited ground support. What really bugged me about their check-in process is that once you have selected a seat (either online or at the kiosk), you cannot change it without speaking to an agent. EWR security was brisk and soon I found myself at the Concourse A gate. Concourse A at EWR is pretty spartan and there are limited eating and drinking options.

Agent at the check-in was good and soon I made my way to my first FL and my first 717.

Upon entering the plane, I was greeted by 2 friendly FL agents. I was surprised at how small the 717 felt. I dont know if its 717s in general or FL's configuration, but it felt very cramped. Making my way to the back of the plane, I was seated next to a young Jewish-American returning from 2 months in Israel. I was impressed by his maturity in our conversation regarding current Israeli offensive in the region.

Check-In:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0004.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0005.jpg
Airport:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0006.jpg
(wonder how many people buy stuff from this...)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/2d57def1.jpg

In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions: Push back was on time, and soon we were on to the WINDY CITY (and, where I had spent 4 years doing a damn PhD.). There were no safety demonstration videos and it was good to see the crew make the announcements. In my over 2 million miles of flying, I have never figured out why they mention how to buckle a seat belt after the aircraft has started taxing out. I mean, aren¡¦t seat belts supposed to be work before. I digress. After initial pushback, we were number 35 to take off ... which resulted in a 36 minute hold, and enabled the flight to reach on schedule ... 2:36 was the padded flight time. After cruising altitude, crew came to distribute free headphones for listening to XM and to take home. Crew came soon afterwords with the drinks trolley and I was served a pretzel bag (which had these fun FL cheesy jokes) and a can of Diet Coke. The crew were surprisingly jovial and smiled throughout it all. The male purser even asked if I wanted the can. On U.S. carriers, small friendly gestures such as the same, left me with a smile. Soon thereafter, I reclined my seat and let my iPod take me away to a different world.

b) Aircraft + Seats: Air Tran's 717s were clean and the blue interiors were soothing to the eye. However, I found seating to be on the cramped side.

Aircraft:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0014.jpg

Seat Leg-Room:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0024.jpg

Seat Recline + Angle View:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0025.jpg
Cabin:
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0011.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0028.jpg

c) Meal:

It¡¦s a domestic American flight, so no real meal presentation.
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0027.jpg

d) Inflight Entertainment:

The 717s are equipped with XM Satellite radio and the choice of channels was impressive. Sound using the provided earbuds was above average. Air Tran's inflight magazine (GO) is informative and contains the basic information.

(See Meal Service For Inflight-Magazine Picture)

e) Crew:

FL¡¦s crew truly left me impressed. They were all smiles and joked with the passengers and seem to genuinely be happy doing their job. The return crew was the same.

Post-Flight:

Chicago Midway continues to be convenient ¡K but not the best in terms of airport planning. Air Tran uses the remote gates A4B and this is FAR from the baggage reclaim area. Security lines on the return flight were long and if the flight had not been delayed, I would have surely missed it. Shopping options have expanded at MDW, and the food court is the generic mall-type food you will find in most of the U.S.

Chicago/MDW Airport:
(Arrival Gate):
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0012.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0015.jpg
(Food Court):
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0017.jpg
(Aircraft Display):
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0016.jpg
(MDW From Outside):
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0019.jpg

Impressions + Scores:

My first 2 flights on Air Tran have left me impressed. Of course, I cannot judge FL globally, but within the U.S., their service seems to have been a notch above the average. Their crew definitely stood out with the genuine warmth of service. Along with punctual service, it satisfied my need to be transported from point A to B without stress. I do wish their online and kiosks were better equipped and could do basic things such a as seat change. I would fly them again without hesitation.

Reservation: 7.0
Check-In: 5.0
Lounge: N/A
Boarding: 8.0
Seat: 6.0
IFE: 6.5
Crew Service: 8.5
Food: 5.0 (standard default score, when served only peanuts)
Beverages: 5.0 (standard default score, when served only beverage)
Amenity Kits + Others Freebies: 5.0 (standard default score)
Disembarkation: 8.0
On-Time Record: 10.0
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6.73

(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service ¡V No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

Other Non-Trip Pictures:
(Scene at MDW):
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0020.jpg
(Scene at EWR/VS to LHR):
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/9e30de5a.jpg

(Scene at EWR/AI to BOM via CDG):
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/b3439406.jpg

(Other EWR):
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0029.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/CIMG0035.jpg

[Edited 2006-08-05 03:16:24]

[Edited 2006-08-05 03:18:27]


Live, and let live.
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTmarch291 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 147 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 19705 times:

Good report,

It's nice to hear a report once in a while about AirTran, the airline that everyone gets confused with ATA. (I admit, before I was an aviation buff, I confused them too) From your report AirTran seems like a good airline, they got the job done and they had good crew service too.

Now I have a few questions...

How much did you pay for your ticket?

and, Did you notice if they served food on their J class?

Tim


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5090 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 19689 times:

Quoting Tmarch291 (Reply 1):
How much did you pay for your ticket?

= USD 117.00 round trip inclusive of all taxes.

Quoting Tmarch291 (Reply 1):
and, Did you notice if they served food on their J class?

= Sorry, did not pay attention. Perhaps a FL crew member or someone more familiar and can help.

Cheers,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineMbmiles88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 7 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 19662 times:

First of all, AirTran does not serve any food in business class. All you get is bigger seats, more snacks and free alcohol. Second, to the OP, AirTran does not fly out of the US so their is no "global" service to rate.

User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5090 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19604 times:

Quoting Mbmiles88 (Reply 3):
AirTran does not fly out of the US so their is no "global" service to rate.

= Technically, FL does go internationally ... to Bahamas  Wink. Anyways, all I meant was that when I rate an airline, I do not pay much attention to the flag.

Cheers,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19592 times:

Mi amigo, muchas gracias,

I really appreciated reading this report. I've been around a long time and this particular report made me realize the expectations of "flying" and the reality of "flying." How corporate philosophies and management styles have evolved in the 50's-80's and then 80's-today are amazing. Things can never go back, but to be creative is to look to the past for growth and inspiration.

This report shows an airline that is trying hard. With the right direction, FL has incredible potential. I've not yet studied their system, but intend to poste haste! Your report hit all the "spots" for my criteria. You're right up there with Chris and Fraser!

Tambien, muchas gracias,

Rod


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5090 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19573 times:

Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 5):
Your report hit all the "spots" for my criteria. You're right up there with Chris and Fraser!

= Thanks so much for your generous words. Look out for upcoming trip reports ... I have a lot of flying left this year and some of them will be truly exotic  Smile.

Cheers,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineJBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3179 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 19390 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report Ive had similar nice experiences on FL. The planes are a bit uncomfortable but the crews really make up for it.

JBLU


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8542 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 19174 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report & some good photo's.

The 717 is nice little plane to fly on, nice & quiet.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1937 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 19127 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very good report! Air Tran looks pretty good; I'll have to fly them soon. Nice pictures of EWR.

Looking forward to more reports!

-767747


User currently offlineFlinhion757 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 4 days ago) and read 18899 times:

I really liked that... and those pics were awsome. Who did you fly into EWR on????


319,320,332,732,733,735,737,738,744,752,763,CR7,CR9,E135,E140,E145,E175,MD82
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5090 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 18799 times:

Quoting Flinhion757 (Reply 10):
I really liked that... and those pics were awsome. Who did you fly into EWR on????

= I am on mission in NYC ... and glad you liked the pics. I am going to have some cool trip reports up soon.

-A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineVatveng From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 968 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 18596 times:

Glad you enjoyed my favorite airline. I've always felt the 5-across seating felt less cramped than 6-across on the 737, even though the seat pitch might be the same. The seats on the 717 feel a bit wider than 737 seats.


Visited VA,NC,PA,SC,FL,GA,OH,AL,TX,TN,CO,CA,UT,NV,NM,IN,KY,MD,MO,CT,MA,NH,ME.
User currently offlineUnited319 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 523 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 18545 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Legally I must first say, that my opinions in now way are related to the opinions of AirTran Airways or its affiliates...

This is the kind of stuff that us FL employees love to read, we need reinforcement like that. Thank you for choosing AirTran Airways, and well be glad to see you again on another flight. Yes the 717 is an amazing plane, it always smells nice, its the quietesed mainline jet ive ever been on in my life, and you cant feel a bump, it certainly is my favorite domestic aircraft by boeing along with the 757. AirTran made a good choice by making it the backbone of our fleet.



It's Time To Fly
User currently offlineDelta732FF From United States of America, joined May 2005, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 18533 times:

Nice report and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 16000 times:

Thanks for the TR, Ill be flying FL soon and Ill be doing a trip report on FL soon! I hope I'll be able to go to the HQ of FL when I'm in Orlando  crossfingers 


Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 15728 times:

Cool report...I just flew AirTran last weekend and was very happy with them. And I've shopped at the "Jersey" store! Forgot to pack a pen for one flight and got a cow-motif "Moo Jersey" pen there - still have it!

And I prefer the 717 (a/k/a the MD-95 to us grumpy gits  Silly ) to AirTran's 737s...


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 15531 times:

Good report and great pictures.

The seat pitch on Air Tran DOES look quite tight, but being 5'5 myself I should be ok if I ever take a flight on them.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineTu154 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 375 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 13541 times:

Great report.

Regarding the demonstration of seatbelts, the FAA requires the demonstration of seatbelts on all flights.


I believe this is required worldwide , no?



FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
User currently offlineTu154 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 375 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 13534 times:

IN REFERENCE TO ABOVE POST......CORRECTION.






ok.....just reread the post, should have done that before i posted, sorry.


yeah, seatbelts should be fastened before pushback so why demonstrate after?



FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5090 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 13357 times:



Quoting Tu154 (Reply 18):
Great report.

Regarding the demonstration of seatbelts, the FAA requires the demonstration of seatbelts on all flights.


I believe this is required worldwide , no?



Quoting Tu154 (Reply 19):
IN REFERENCE TO ABOVE POST......CORRECTION.






ok.....just reread the post, should have done that before i posted, sorry.


yeah, seatbelts should be fastened before pushback so why demonstrate after?

= Jaja. No worries. It was a trip down memory lane to re-read my first ever TR  Smile. So, thank you  Smile.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
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