Chi-town
Topic Author
Posts: 893
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 1:29 am

Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 2:29 am

This December I am planning on taking a day trip to ATL. The best fare I have found so far is AirTran. $183 roundtrip, MDW-ATL and ATL-MDW. If I go, this will be my first time on AirTran. How is there service? Are they usually on time? Has anyone ever had any problems with them? What concourse does AirTran use at ATL? Are there any good places to spot? Any comments about AirTran or ATL would be great.

Thanks,
Steve
 
Chi-town
Topic Author
Posts: 893
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 1:29 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:12 am

No one here has flown AirTran??
 
m717
Posts: 540
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 1:01 pm

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:33 am

Actually, AirTran is one of the most discussed airlines on this forum. Maybe people are tired of talking about it, but I doubt it.

I'll answer a couple of your questions. AirTran is on time as much as anyone can be operating out of ATL, and they use Concourse C primarily, but also a few gates on Concourse D.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:43 am

I flew them over spring break. All flights on time, in flight service is no better or worse than any other airline, fares are great, and the 717's were very nice to fly in. We went on a cruise over spring break and our ship arrived in port two hours later than scheduled and customs delayed the deboarding. When we finally cleared customs, it was less than an hour before our flight was to leave. There were 18 in our group, so I called Airtran and asked them to please not give up our seats to standby passengers - that we were enroute to the airport. Airtran was expecting us and had two agents help us get our bags checked in and they handled the processing for just our group. We made the flight with just minutes to spare. So in that respect, I'd say that there service was exceptional.
 
Greg
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:49 am

Three times and that was enough.
I'm sure they'll work out the kinks that come with rapid expansion.
But until then, I'll pass....
 
FLIBOYZ
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 2:33 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:54 am

And not looking to do so anytime soon
 
Guest

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:54 am

The employees are great, except for those at JAX who barely speak english.

The DC-9s are filthy and uncomfortable. Legroom is horrendous in coach, with shallower seats. After flying American primarily, AirTran's legroom was a shock. Business Class is good enough with more comfortable seats (unless you get some of the old Eastern leather seats that have seen better days about two decades ago). The concourse in Atlanta has too many gates and not enough seats and smells like chicken.
 
GroundStop
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 12:48 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:09 am

"The DC-9s are filthy and uncomfortable."

By the time you fly in December, there will be no more DC-9's. In fact, all flights between MDW and ATL now are 717's.

"The concourse in Atlanta has too many gates and not enough seats and smells like chicken. "

I agree with the too many gates thing. Hopefully, we'll pick up some more gates on D once the city decides how many gates DL/CO/NW will have to give up under their new agreement. As far as smelling like chicken, you were probably in front of Popeye's. And go figure, it smells like steak in front Charley's Steakery. Who would've thought?

JP

AirTran ATL CSS
 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:12 am

I have flown AirTran many times, and loved it. I just got a letter from the VP of Planning and Sales, and he tells me the DC9 LRF will be sometime in December or January. I love flying on AirTran.
Puhdiddle
 
Greg
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:40 am

My issue is primarily with their facilities--they stink...and their employees don't seem to be very well trained...or very professional. The last time we flew them we waited about five minutes for the gate agent to get off the phone--on what was very clearly a personal call. I'd say it was an isolated incident, but on the outbound portion, we waited for the gate agent to finish their breakfast taco before he would even answer a question for us (that being 'will we be boarding on time?'.

I imagine these folks will find very short careers in the industry with this attitude.
 
jjbiv
Posts: 1203
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:58 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:47 am

The only problem I've noticed with AirTran comes up if you are using them as part of a multi-carrier itinerary. Apparently their agents can only see FL flights in their computer system, so unless you remind them (or the agent remembers to ask) your bags will end up being short-checked to the city where you change carriers. Also, even if your bags are tagged properly, we only get them in time to make your connecting flight (at MDW) ~50% of the time. Who ever said 40 mins was enough time to change airlines? They are wrong -- if you have bags. Your experience may vary.

Have a great day trip,

joe
 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:02 am

and their employees don't seem to be very well trained...or very professional.

Actually Greg, I have to disagree. Their employees are actually some of the best that I have seen. Usually always a smile on their face. They never hesitate to help you in anyway that they can. But They just get grouchy after some guy comes up to the ticket counter DEMANDING that he be let on the flight after the agent has closed the flight. It makes them even more mad when some guy comes up DEMANDING that he be let on the flight after it has departed, because he expects them to turn around and come get him. But other than that, AirTran's Employees are very well-trained. May I ask how many times (If any) you have flown AirTran?
Puhdiddle
 
acvitale
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:13 am

Greg, I am going to agree with the previous poster. Maybe you had an isolated event. But, In general they try harder as Avis says...


I like Air Tran...

Also... I have not seen an Air Tran DC-9 or 737 in over a year. It is easy to bash the 9s but, the 717-200s are sweet!

 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:30 am

It is easy to bash the 9s but, the 717-200s are sweet!

Agree on that point also.
 
mawelsh
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2001 1:01 pm

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:29 am

Flew them last month DAY to MCO, driving from Columbus to catch it. With the loss (over the past 6 years) of TWA, ValuJet, Delta Express, Midway and most of AW...CMH's fares have been rising. Nobody at Port Columbus was touching AirTran's fare...non-stop and on new 717's as a bonus.

I thought the ticket agents were friendly at both airports. The gate agent at Dayton actually wrote up gate-check tags and distributed them to all the stroller-toting parents before boarding began.

In-flight service was modest, and as expected. They did give the "full can" of soda with my half-ounce of pretzels, not just a cup that I recently got on a Northwest flight (aboard a loud DC-9-30 that was probably flying before I was born).

Coming home the aircraft was late out of ATL for weather. The gate agent kept us informed and promised a quick turnaround. They delivered.

Baggage handling was slow back in Dayton...they unloaded two planes at once before ferrying the luggage to the terminal.

I would drive the extra hour again to catch AirTran.

 
Greg
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:51 am

Well...nevertheless, it was enough to put them on our travel agencies 'no fly' list (domestically, it's HP and AirTran) so we weren't the only atty's complaining.

Like I said, I imagine these issues will resolve themselves in time.

Until then, if it's through Atlanta--it's on Delta.
 
wedgetail737
Posts: 3652
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:44 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:54 am

I just flew them from ICT to ATL on a daytrip back in June. The 717's were very nice and comfortable. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, unless you become unlucky that day.

Never base your opinions on an airline on your first flight with them, especially if the experience is less than desirable. I usually give an airline several chances to prove themselves. Now, if you have bad experiences with a particular airline consistently, then it's time to change.

I made several switches from USAir to Delta to United to AA. I fly on AA for the legroom.
 
fly_emirates
Posts: 970
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 11:22 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:55 am

flew them may 2003, booked on economy but paid $35 for a one way upgrade, however when i was checking in for the return i found out that i was upgraded on that flight too!!! but i was able to talk with the FA's as they saw the tag on my carry on that said "Crew" so i guess that was sweet
 
Midway2AirTran
Posts: 847
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:16 am

Have I ever flown AirTran?? LOL

I'm a little partial being an actual employee. I know that I myself try to make every passenger as satisfied with our service as possible and I also know that I'm not the only one. That kind of stuff comes from a great company. Luckily you'll be flying in December when the typical ATL eruption of thunderstorms period is over with. That tends to become a major problem in the route system during the summer months and can't be avoided, even for DL at ATL. Your flight should a be good experience for the sake of value and good basic service. To add to it, the B717's are great! Have a nice trip!
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
WMUPilot
Posts: 1428
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 2:48 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:21 pm

Service is good unless you are transfering on interline. Airtran is very bad at getting your baggage checked to your final destination. I am constantly dealing with baggage that was short checked by FL ATL agents. Then it's hard as hell to get ahold of their baggage staff to see if they have the bag and tell them that you need it. As Jibiv stated you would be better off having your bag checked only to MDW then pick it up and take it to your next airline. That way you know your bag will make it with you....if transfering from FL to TZ in MDW you will prolly need an hour at the least at FL baggage service is horrible.
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
Accidentally
Posts: 613
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:25 pm

You'll be fine. You'll get there and home in one peice, thats all you need.
Indianapolis, IN
 
us330
Posts: 3413
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 7:00 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 1:09 pm

What you pay is what you get. I found their gate agents to be rude and apathetic, to the point of lying, on the one time I flew them. They had still posted our departure time of 3:10 on the gate even though at 3:00 there was no plane at the gate. No announcements as to the reason for the delay, and when I asked, they responded with "we will be boarding shortly" even though the plane wasn't there. I finally get on the plane and find that my seat is coated with chewed bubblegum, so I put a blanket over it. Seats felt like they were an aluminum bench with fabric thrown over it.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 7:31 pm

HEaven help us, they "lied" by keeping the flight time at 3:10. You don't say what time you actually boarded...what was it...3:20?

And am I the only one who finds that interlining is only an issue for airline employees? Back in the 70's it wasn't uncommon to fly interlining connections (BN from DFW-ORD, then UAL to CAK), but today, you pretty much fly one airline from point A to point B.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5582
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Anyone Flown AirTran?

Mon Sep 08, 2003 10:46 pm

I flew 'em- once- and it was fine.

The ground staff at DFW (this was about two years ago) were, while pleasant - how can I put this? - amateurish? They seemed confused about what was going on. Given the modest number of flights that Airtran had from DFW at the time, my guess is that they were contract, but I don't know that to be the case. Hopefully, with their expansion at DFW, they will be able to improve on that point (and, indeed, may already have done).

Flew on a 717 which had been in service for three days, smelled like a new car. Captain took time to chat and show me around, that too was nice, and the 717 was very comfortable. Had the first row in coach and, because they do not have "hard" bulkheads, legroom was great and there was a place for underseat luggage. In flight service very prompt and pleasant. Ground service on the return was very well done.

I would certainly fly them again and, with their announced expansion at DFW, expect I will. I am unlikely, however, to take any itinerary which involves a change of plane at ATL, as I am loathe to press my luck.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...