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Joined: Fri May 17, 2002 1:59 pm

AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 1:09 am

My FA friend has asked to me read and respond to some of these posts from an AirTran Pilot's prospective.

First, some facts:
AirTran Pilots are paid higher wages then our counterparts flying 737s and MD-80s and UA, AA, US and soon DL. Our current conctract, which I helped write and is amendable in Spring 05, has some industry leading features like a 12 hour duty day, highest paying reserve rules, company paid retirement (that isnt bankrupt) and paid stock options to name a few.

Our companies success is based on simple rules: Fly fuel-friendly planes that we acquire when the market allows us to bargin; spread our yields amoung our cites rather then placing 80% of our revenues in 5% of your cities like the majors, making us much less vulunarable; hedge fuel; and yes, keep labor costs managable. The company is content with high turnover rates on the ATL ramp because of low wages for example.

Don't blame the current failures of other carriers on AirTran, and the "LCCs". We cannot be faulted for their poor managment and our forward thinking.

As far as being a GREAT place to work, what do you think? Imagine being at an airline where you never worry that the paycheck will be bad, but rather wonder what new route or city will be announced this week. An airline whose oldest airplane is a model year 1999. An airline that brought RJs online when the markets would not support mainline, and the GOT RID OF THEM when the markets rebounded. An airline that will grow 25-35% for the next 6 years min, thus doubling in size over the next 4. An airline that still has that "family" since of sprit so often lost in mergers and growth, and with it comes our battle-hardened, can-do attitude that will bring us 9 more profitable quarters to follow the last 9.

We are here to stay, so get used to it.. If the industry has to trim some fat to survive, so be it.. Nobody at AirTran wants to see other carriers fail, putting more people on the street, but our product is the way things will be now, and others will either have to start taking notes, or, well you know..

Thank you for reading my perspective..

Captain P
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 5:22 am

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 1:13 am

Good luck to ya AirTran!!!

Some good words about the AirTran folks:

I was helping to get some prizes for a fundraiser golf tournament, and on a whim gave the AirTran folks a call. Not only did they send us a pair of round-trip vouchers, they made sure to get them here before the tournament (unlike some other carriers I know of).

Thanks AirTran, and I can't wait to see you in OMA!
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RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 1:17 am

I could not agree more. Bset of luck to Airtran, you are helping all of the general public by reducing fares to a value where they should be and not ripping us off like the majors.

Best of luck
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RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 1:26 am

I hope to see AirTran succeed. Even though I flew them yesterday and wasn't pleased with the service. Actually it was Ryan International but I don't think service should be so different from the REAL AirTran and the subcontracted AirTran. I can't wait to see their 737s!
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 10:53 pm

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 1:52 am

It's good to be an AirTran FA as well....

Reserve lasts months, not years!

Steady growth means a fast climb up the seniority list (after less than three years I'm almost in the top third)!

Lines comparable to the big guys (12 to 21 days off a month)!

Unlimited, free nonrev flights (no service charges)!

Many opportunities for professional growth in management, training, etc!

With only one base we can't get bumped back on reserve!
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 11:59 am

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 3:28 am

Great post!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy I agree with you swaluvfa. The LCC's are here to stay. I wish you all at AirTran and your company the best. I like FL's clean and simple image, it's just fresh. Nothing seems to be overrated like at some other carriers (I'll refrain from specifying names!)  Laugh out loud

Isn't it great working for a small yet rapidly growing company in an industry where the sky's the limit? I feel the same. I work at F9 and our FA's are only on reserve for a few months (2 months last time I checked) and it's realllllllly easy to move up within the company because we are still growing. It's an awesome experience. The opportunities are limitless. I can't wait until your 737's come on the line. It's always cool to see airlines take on new A/C.

Happy flying!

Travis  Big thumbs up
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 7:13 pm

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 3:51 am

GO AirTran GO !!!
Last year I`ve been on one of your 717s in business-class.It was a very relaxing flight which I enjoyed very much.Hope to fly AirTran again when I come back to the US next time.

Many happy landings...  Big thumbs up
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 2:32 pm

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 5:36 am

It is great to see success-story start-ups like Frontier and AirTran take on the legacy carriers at fortress hubs. It will be interesting to see what kind of expansion AirTran will initiate with the arrival of the -700s. It will certainly give them the opportunity to tap into markets west of the Mississippi, like, Salt Lake! Nah, I would never wish that upon poor 'ole Delta.  Big grin
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
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Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:38 pm

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 5:42 am

Well written and to the point-This is how the capitalist system is supposed to work. The legacies must adapt both in management and labor or die.

Sure I'd prefer the days in the sixties when flying was more of a positive experience but they are gone.
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sat May 29, 2004 9:50 am

This IS how the free enterprise system works. Survival of the fittest. If you can't make it, you don't survive. Unfortunately, that sometimes means a loss of jobs... and those people are generally innocent of wrongdoing. The ex-TWA staff at American that is completely on furlough did nothing wrong- they worked on sub-par wages for years.

BUT- hopefully, with time, the laid-off employees find jobs with the stronger, leaner, more efficient companies.

Long live the American way, and may our government stay out of it!

Posts: 550
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:18 am

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sun May 30, 2004 12:22 am

As much as I like the legacy carriers, I must agree that start-ups like FL and F9 are a breath of fresh air. Not only do they provide employment opportunities with an excellent possibility of advancement in the company, but they also keep the legacy carriers on their toes.

The legacies have been getting way too inefficient over the last ten years, and it is good to see them have competition forcing them to become efficient again. There have been casualties along the way (TW, EA, PA), and their will be more (possibly US or UA), and that is unfortunate for everyone, but the LCC phenomena is a good phenomina in a cut-throat industry. I hope these latest LCC survive as well as the legacies.
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 9:25 am

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sun May 30, 2004 6:39 am

I hope AirTran comes to MSN, I'd go apply in an instant. I doubt they would come here though, being that they are already in MKE.
Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 6:41 am

RE: AirTran Facts (in Response To 737-700 Posts)

Sun May 30, 2004 7:00 pm

I wouldn't compare Frontier to AirTran. Frontier is roughly half the size and continues to lose money, albeit a relatively small amount for the industry.

Best of luck to AirTran!
Keepin' it real.

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