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.
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT