11:36AM Departure - Ontime
1:15PM Arrival - Ontime
100% Load Factor
I was very excited about this business trip, as this is my first time on AirTran Airways, and my first time on a Boeing 717. When I booked the trip a few months ago, I was told to select my seats at check-in, as they did not offer pre-assigned seats. However, I read that recently, for $5 each way, you could pre-select your seat. I logged on 3 days prior and was able to select my seat. I chose 16A, the first window seat in coach. My travelling companion was in 16C. Found it quite odd that there was no Row B on the 717. Maybe other airlines do that as well, I just never noticed it. Most of my flying is on WN
. Security was a breeze-throught in about 5 minutes. Not too bad for a Friday. Boarding must have begun REALLY early, as the entire plane was loaded when I got to Gate 106 at 11:10AM, after having a couple beers at Johnny Rivers. The taxi seemed to take forever. REALLY slow (read: safe) driver.
Once again, used to WN
! (read: safe, but fast!) We took the taxi over the airport entrance road and blasted off southward on one of the western runways. Inflight service on the way to MKE
was really great. Three male flight attendants that were very attentive. As the beginning of our trip was for pleasure, we decided to have a couple more drinks on the way up. I was surprised that FL
doesn't accept cash! I had to give up my credit card, which the FA
took to the back. I had 2 Bloody Mary's and my companion had 2 Coronas. Cost = $20. We hit some pretty good bumps over SDF
, but for the most part the flight was uneventful. The XM
Radio was a really nice feature. Not too bad for my first leg on AirTran.
Did the business thing in MKE
. Saw Kathy Griffin on Friday, Chaka Khan on Saturday, Joan Jett on Sunday. Drank LOTS of Miller Lite. Nice business trip, huh?
2:59PM Departure - Ontime
6:30PM Arrival - Ontime
100% Load Factor
Note for Spotters: MKE
doesn't offer much in the way of variety! I didn't see 1 single non-RJ aircraft that had engines under the wings! Nothing but 717's (FL and YX
) and MD
's 80's (YX). I didn't see any mainline NW
. All RJ
's. I do like the Fairchild 328's that YX
Connect flies. Also, there was an Albatross taxiing around the airport. I never saw him take off.
After a great, profitable trip we decided to upgrade on the ride home. We got the last 2 seats in Business Class - Seats 1D and 1F for $60 each. With the lack of Row B and Row E in Business Class, we deduced that their reservation system must recognize window, aisle, and middle seats by row letters. So, maybe that explains the lack of Row B in coach?? I don't know, maybe one of you know. Business had a nice comfy seat. That was pretty much the only good thing about it. The inbound flight seemed to wipe out the 717 of everything! I wanted to sleep and listen to XM
on the way, so I ordered a chardonnay. Nope...out. My companion ordered a Bailey's. Nope...out. I opted for another Bloody Mary. No mix. So...we had water! I know it's not the flight crew's fault, but maybe they should keep some provisions in MKE
for flights that come in empty. The flight was pretty very smooth. We seemed to have taken a more westerly route on the way home. We flew over SDF
, then pretty far out over the Gulf of Mexico, then crossed in over Tampa. We flew northeast towards Orlando, and landed northerly on the new runway.
For my first experience with AirTran, I was quite impressed. The flight crews and gate agents were very friendly. The 717 offers a nice ride. It was, however, louder than I expected in the front row. The lack of provisions was pretty pathetic and totally unnessesary, but like I said, not the crew's fault. I will definitely fly AirTran again.
The safest place to be in an airplane crash is on the ground.