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AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:57 pm
by JBLUA320
Hey all

I will most likely be flying AirTran on the LGA-CAK and CAK-LGA route in September...

Ive been hearing some negative things about AirTran and wanted your input... Im also conidering paying the $35 upgrade into Business class, so any feedback would be helpful


RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:11 pm
by WMUPilot
I think you will have a good flight. The have the new 717 and a good onboard service. I would pay the $35 and move forward if I was you. I've non-reved on them a few times and loved every minute of it. Good crew and cabin staff

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:34 pm
by JBLUA320
Thanks a lot!
Anyone else?


RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 2:44 pm
by WNfan
I flew FL from MDW-ATL in summer 2001, and it was delightful. Had a fare of $168 r/t, and at Hartsfield on my way home I flirted with an agent at the Customer Service counter, telling her it was my first AirTran flight. She typed a few keystrokes and told me I was in first class gratis. The return flight was even more enjoyable than the outbound.

Enjoy your trip, and good luck to AirTran. If I lived in eastern Ohio, I'd be thrilled that FL was serving CAK, that's for sure.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 3:35 pm
by aviatortj
Last December I flew AirTran for the first time...MSP-RSW. I talked to the gate agent in ATL and upgraded to business class to RSW. When I decided to stay in Ft. Myers a day longer, I stopped at the airport and talked to the ticket desk and they were nice enough to change my ticket around for free. In addition to that, I snatched another business class upgrade. The customer service on the ground, at the gate, and in flight was top notch all around. They are definitely my airline of choice when flying to the South.


RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:40 pm
by Fly_ATA
I have always had good non- rev experiences on FL.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 9:57 pm
by capt078
i just flew airtran yesterday fll-atl-bos. i booked the ticket three days ago, and it was only $148. when i got to the airport, i did the upgrade (normally $40 per flight, but $70 for both flights if you upgrade all at once). anyway, i was aboard new 717s that are unbelievably quiet, and the flights were great. both planes were very clean, seats very comfortable. drinks were free and they give you an assortment of snack chips. you have to love how you can fly business class on airtran's brand new planes for the cost (and often for less than the cost) of coach on a major's ten-year-old plane.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 10:07 pm
by Guest
Airtran is a good choice. There inflight crews are friendly and professional, and their A/C are clean and new (Love that 717). Business class is spacious and comfortable, so in my opinion is it's worth the 35 dollar upgrade. The only thing I don't like about FL is that some of there airport ops agents can be rude at times, but that ends once you get airborne.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 10:43 pm
by MD80Nut
I'll be flying AirTran in October for the first time from FLL to Baltimore and it's good to see the positive feedback. I'm looking forward to my first ever flight on a 717.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 10:56 pm
by atrude777
I wish I could comment. I live in the STL area, so we do not get AirTran. How very real can I expect AirTran to start coming into STL?? Well, I realize this is off topic but as soon as they coem to STL(Maybe..) I will most definetly try them out.


RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:11 pm
by ruslan
I've flown Air Tran a few times..All flights were pretty much routine with the best service being on the ATL-MCO leg with the DC-9 (the most drama was some killer turbulence for the first 5 minutes of ascent that had people screaming). The cabin crew were very friendly, especially Ali..the flights on the 717s were pretty routine and filled and I love that type of aircraft..My only bad experience was MCO-ATL where I was stuck in the second-to last row of the DC-9 with a window view of the engine and one cabin attendant was sort of when we in the back were practically shouting our beverage requests over the noise of the engine, she was getting annoyed and saying that she couldn't hear us..I'd think she'd be used to that by now.

Otherwise, the onboard service is pretty decent, but the ground staff at Hartsfield can be very incompetent..I've heard lots of griping and swearing in the check-in lines for example. My most negative experience was when I'd arrived for curb-side check-in and was told that I was too early..I accepted that and was glad to stand around the counter almost under the departure path. When it was time to check in they then told me that my flight was cancelled so I'd have to go to the inside counter where there were long lines of griping passengers..Then, they couldn't find my name on the flight I'd booked so after half-hour then they realized that the system automatically bumped me up to another earlier flight (I was thinking that at least we should be notified of this beforehand in case someone arrived too late for their rescheduled flight, but I guess last-minute equipment withdrawals etc. can happen).After much negotiation about two flights being merged into one and after a long time of accepting stand-by passengers, we finally left..

But overall, I'd say that if you can get through the bureaucracy of the ground staff for any airline, I might add, you'd have a good experience overall on FL.


RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:20 pm
by WNfan
Regarding FL at STL, everyone in the industry knows that AA is halving their service, and several airlines have already announced increased STL service beginning in November. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if FL begins ATL-STL service late fall or early next year.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:32 pm
by atrude777
WNfan??? What airlines have increased service NOV 1?? I honestly haven't heard ANYTHING. ALl I have heard is Frontier coming to STL mainline, and WN will add flights. Can you name some airlines that have mentioned this? if the frontier and WN thing was all you were thinking about as well, then I would hardly call it "several airlines have already announced increased STL service"


RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:42 pm
by WNfan
An August 8, 2003 article by Cynthia Wilson in the St Louis Post-Dispatch:

About three weeks after American Airlines said it will cancel half the flights it offers at Lambert Field, five airlines have committed to expanding service in St. Louis. And others have pledged to do the same, an airport spokesman said.

Last week, Delta Connection added one daily nonstop flight to its hub in Atlanta and a nonstop flight to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. United Express and Air Canada will begin offering new flights next month. Northwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines have committed to new flights, as well.

The combined 14 daily nonstop flights still are a long way from replacing the 210 flights American will cancel Nov. 1. But city officials say the new flights signal that St. Louis is still an attractive market for airlines.

While declining to be specific, Brian Kinsey, Lambert's business market manager, said other airlines have committed to adding service here. He said that could happen in the first or second quarter next year.

"We just have to be patient until they are able to enter the market," he said.

Aviation consultant George Hamlin called the flight additions "quick" and "a positive sign" that St. Louis is a survivor.

"It's possible American (could have) cut back and nobody did anything," said Hamlin, senior vice president of Global Aviation Associates, a commercial aviation consulting firm in Washington.

"I would have found that unusual, but things are tough now. They might not have" added flights.

Although most of the flights city officials announced recently qualify as new or added service, Air Canada's three daily nonstops to Toronto will replace flights suspended in June when travel to Canada suffered because of fears about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.

Most of the 14 flights, including those offered by Air Canada, will be on regional jets flown by the airlines' affiliates.

Industry analysts say regional jets are the future for the industry, which is struggling to recoup billions of dollars in losses. The smaller jets can fly 1,000 miles or more and can help airlines boost profits if they are filled with more higher-paying passengers.

While the additional flights at Lambert will provide business travelers with more options when American cuts back, leisure travelers won't be as lucky.

"If you're a leisure traveler, (regional jets) are probably not going to create more deep discount seats for your next weekend getaway," Hamlin said. The airlines "are not looking for additional low-fare backpackers."

City officials courting airlines to replace service at Lambert won't get the kind of response that will return St. Louis to its glory days as a major hub, said Richard Aboulafia, senior aerospace analyst with the Teal Group in Fairfax, Va. But "it will be better than just a regular spoke city," he said.

The future could depend greatly on Southwest's intentions, experts say.

Hamlin and Aboulafia said Southwest is in an expansion mode, and St. Louis could reap some of the benefits.

When American announced plans to cuts flights at Lambert, Southwest Chairman Herb Kelleher said Southwest had a "strong interest in expanding nonstop service in St. Louis." The discount carrier said recently that it will take delivery of 42 new 737-300 aircraft next year. Some will replace retiring jets. But Southwest will have 25 net new airplanes, said Christine Turneabe-Connelly, a Southwest spokeswoman.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, Southwest has canceled 18 flights at Lambert because of falling demand. It now offers 67 nonstops to 19 cities.

But things have obviously changed, Turneabe-Connelly said. "We could expand depending on our analysis of American's reductions."

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:48 pm
by atrude777
Thank you VERY much for that article. I always read the STL pst distypacth so I don't know how I missed that.

Can we discuss this via AIM?? My screen name is atrude777 you??


RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 11:53 pm
by Guest
I've flown on AirTran on two round trips. Once in Business, the other in coach. After flying American for the majority of my travel, coach legroom was horrendous. One bonus was they did a full drink service, where Delta just does the "lemonade/water" FastBreak on the same route. In Business, the seats were bigger, but on one with leather seats, the seats were filthy and beat up. All aircraft I flew on were DC-9, and had clearly seen better days. Watching all three flight attendants struggle together to stow the forward cart for landing was quite the experience, especially when it finally moved and flung one against the forward jumpseat, leading to an immediate call from the flight deck.

Ground personnel at Jacksonville were great when I traveled, and those in Atlanta were reasonable. My only bad experience with AirTran ground agents was one time working as travelers assist at JAX, late at night, and the AirTran flight was extremely late. The only AirTran personnel were down at the gate, and refused to provide any information to those waiting for passengers or come out and talk to them. I quote "They don't pay me enough to deal with that mob."

AirTran's gates in Atlanta leave a bit to be desired.

Good enough airline. Given the choice on this route again, I'll take Delta's B767 over AirTran's DC-9 if I have to sit in coach. You get what you pay for, and their frequent flyer program finally is worth something.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:01 am
by srbmod
AirTran's gate agents @ ATL have been a problem for years. Some of their rudeness is because of the rude passengers they deal with everyday. One can only take so much of being yelled at, cussed at, spit at, and threatened before it affects their job performance. Others agents just don't have good people skills when it come to dealing with the public. As an ex-AirTran ramper, I saw some of this first-hand. I would be upstairs at one of the gates getting the bag screen for my next inbound, and would get bombarded by customers spewing complaints on why their flight was already gone, and wanting to be transferring to the next flight to XYZ. I would have to explain that I was not a gate agent, and that they would have talk to a gate agent or go to the customer service counter to take care of the issue they had. One thing that has helped AirTran greatly is the 717. The 717s had some teething problems (like all new a/c) but once they got them in great enough numbers, the number of delayed or cancelled flights due to MX reasons fell (mainly because the 737s and DC-9s were leaving the fleet as the 717s came in).

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:46 am
by ssides
I had a friend who upgraded to Business Class on a BOS-DFW trip recently. He said the business class on AirTran was comparable to AA's MRTC, maybe a bit more leg room.

Is this accurate?

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 1:00 am
by Chgoan
I flew Airtran from ATL to MDW and ended up paying the extra $35 for the upgrade and my co-worker and I were happy we did. I mean it was Airtran business class, so nothing too special....just a bit more comfy than everyday coach.

I'd fly Airtran again....the 717 was nice.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 1:34 am
by jjbiv

How did y'all manage to keep AirTran's baggage numbers so good?


RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 1:51 am
by JBLUA320
Thanks for all the replies
I look foward to flying AirTran!!!!


PS- Its only a 1h10m flight, but I assume upgrade anyway- what the hell, right?!

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 6:55 am
by srbmod
I worked for them from 1999-2000, when the baggage numbers stunk. The last month I worked there, I worked in the baggage transfer point, and it was not uncommon on night shift to get 10+ calls from outstations about bags. And we'd get 50+ calls from baggage service on an average day. IROPS were a nightmare for bags, as huge numbers of bags would pile up in the transfer point (either the bags misconnected or the bag runner was too lazy to run the bag to the flight because it was a close connection). What helped AirTran's baggage numbers is the positive bag match that is now required. Back when I worked there, bags would go on the wrong flight all the time. With several MCO flights going out in a 2 hour period during the early evening push, most bag runners would just send all of the bags onto the first MCO flight. Now the right bags are making the right flights. Of course they didn't label the bag carts for each flight, so a lot of bags just got put on the wrong flight. AirTran does a much better job of making sure the right bags get on the right flight.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 7:35 am
by BR715-A1-30
I look foward to flying AirTran!!!!

I've flown AirTran a dozen different times. All flights were wonderful. I've even had the pleasure of sitting in business class. I would pay the extra $35.00 and would have paid anyway if the upgd had not been free. There are some agents who are rude, but only because they deal with so much B.S. it is ridiculous. I even had the pleasure of cheering one up in ATL when I was there on 7/21. She was muttering at how she hated people or something or another and I went up to her and actually made her smile when I told her I loved flying AirTran. You will definetely enjoy flying them.

RE: AirTran: Good? Bad?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 10:16 am
by wedgetail737
I flew Air Tran from ICT - ATL roundtrip. The 717's were very nice, as usual. They are one hell of a rocketship...quite a bit of power behind them. I flew coach to ATL and Business Class on the return flight. The upgrade cost me $35.

But I'm spoiled. National Airlines had a similar deal. I did their First Class upgrades all the time while they were around. They had a LOT of legroom, decent meals and desserts, and large, leather seats. No IFE though.

I probably wouldn't spend the money for the upgrade, but that's my opinion. I would be curious to see what their 737-700/800 business class section will look like.

Anybody try their transcon service yet? How about JetConnect?