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America Trans Air question

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:50 pm
by Veigar
Hello all,

All I want to ask here. Has anyone flown on them, and how was the service? Seats? Etc. I remembered seeing them at LAS a few times before randomly disappearing altogether and recently did some research (even went on their website with a waybackmachine..) so I was wondering what the firsthand experience was.

What I do know is that their assets and brand are now owned by WN (So is it incorrect to say at one point WN owned L1011s and 757s???)

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 7:24 pm
by bluestreak
I had several flights with ATA. I will say they were a good carrier, at least with my experiences. I flew on their 727’s, 757,s, and 737-800’s. I did not like the MDW hub though, it Was tiny, and crowded. Plus those 727’s came scarily close to the fence when taking off on a summer day!

My last trip on ATA was in 2007 to HNL. That was one of the best flights I have ever taken. The service was very good, the crew was excellent, and the plane was spotless. I miss ATA, they were a good carrier, and although they were a LCC, they didn’t charge for snacks, seat selection, or bags.

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 9:16 pm
by stlgph
All my ATA experiences were great. You could definitely tell a different "vibe" among the more "senior" crews in terms of working together and just a little bit more overall friendliness - probably attributed to spending many years on the job together and probably starting at the beginning or shortly thereafter for ATA and sticking with them for many years. And the check-in counter staff was always just as friendly and nice.

A few things that stick out for me is things they did that you would rarely find on a carrier today. For one, the mystery flights they would offer in the fall when the schedules were a bit slow. Always a lot of fun showing up at the airport and jetting off to a city for the day.

One time going to Florida we were severely delayed by a wreck on 465 going to IND. We knew we had missed our departure time but we figured we would go to the airport anyway and see what our options were, if any. ATA, knowing traffic was backed up and people were coming in late from the delay, held the plane for an hour until everyone showed up.

Another time flying out of LGA I believe in January 2004 going nonstop back to IND, the incoming plane went tech in IND. So they put us on an already delayed flight to MDW - saying we'd go to MDW first for Chicago bound and connecting passengers to make their flights, which were being held for their arrival. Then we would continue on to IND. I figured they would move us to Chicago Express ...but nope, it was the same 757. After a 25 minute stop we were on our way. And they gave us free alcohol for our troubles.

A good airline with a good spirit. Definitely miss them and their unique liveries.

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 11:48 pm
by phatfarmlines
My only experience was in the late 1990s MCO-SJU-MCO on the 727-200, one of the directions in the then-old brown and teal cheatline livery, the other direction in the "Vacations" livery. The entire aircraft was in coach configuration only. TZ flew out of Airside 1 at MCO and had a decent operation out of there at the time, which depending on the season also saw use of the L10, using gates 20-22 facing the main terminal. In SJU, they operated out of Terminal B at the far end of the pier, their gate next to Tower Air's 747 flights.

The flight was typical LCC service of the time, but included a deli snack service both directions, served in a small plastic bag. It's direct competitor in MCO-SJU at the time, AA would have still been offering a hot meal service in this market during meal times, and deli snack service during non-meal times. No entertainment was onboard the aircraft, typical of 727 fleets. .


Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Fri May 15, 2020 5:25 am
by aeromoe
phatfarmlines wrote:
then-old brown and teal cheatline livery
I interpret that as blue and gold.

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 5:19 am
by Blloydtbird
I flew ATA regularly early in my career, back in 2004. I was working in Los Angeles while living in Tampa. I’d fly ATA on the weeks that I had to foot the bill to fly home, roundtrip LAX-PIE-LAX could be had for about $150. The interior was very southwest like. I don’t recall the service at all, the flights were red eyes, I always slept throughout. Good times!

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Wed May 20, 2020 2:31 am
by sprxUSA
Flew them PHX-OGG-PHX in 2006ish on 757-300. nothing sticks out as unique. Redeye back was usual. Interior was typical for the time 757 layout.
As for WN, IIRC, they just rec'd some ATA assets, not a/c or the like.

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 2:23 am
by vegasplanes
My only experience was a round-trip charter DTW-ACA in 1988/1989 on the L1011.

The flight was good, on-time departure, movie on-board via the center pull-down screen (Crocodile Dundee II on the way down and Married to the Mob on the way back), meal service was served, nothing special as was airline food. FAs and Crew seemed professional as any other carrier. The L1011 was a nice, smooth ride.

ACA boarding was via airstairs, TZ used the Barry Terminal at DTW (International Terminal). Saturday early-morning departure, next to the L1011 was a Company 727 going to CUN and parked on the other side was a PA 722 going to JFK.

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 2:27 am
by vegasplanes
Veigar wrote:
Hello all,

All I want to ask here. Has anyone flown on them, and how was the service? Seats? Etc. I remembered seeing them at LAS a few times before randomly disappearing altogether and recently did some research (even went on their website with a waybackmachine..) so I was wondering what the firsthand experience was.

What I do know is that their assets and brand are now owned by WN (So is it incorrect to say at one point WN owned L1011s and 757s???)


Yes, that is incorrect. WN purchased the (rights) to the gate leases at MDW and the intangibles. WN did not assume any of the leases or ownership of the aircraft.

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:12 pm
by klm617
I flew American Transair on a Boeing 757 from DTW to FRA and the return was via YQX. Was a great flight all the way around with great seat back IFE loved the flight.

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:47 am
by dennypayne
bluestreak wrote:
I did not like the MDW hub though, it Was tiny, and crowded.

I flew one round trip DFW-MDW-SEA back around 2002 or 2003, and this was my impression as well. MDW was a real dump with no good food and nowhere to sit.

I don't remember anything too remarkable about the product on board the 727s and 757s, but the service was friendly. Unfortunately on the 757 from MDW-SEA, there was a problem with the aft lavatories that caused a really bad smell in the rear of the aircraft. The captain came on and apologized but said that we essentially had 2 choices: a 3-4 hour delay to fix it or to just press on and deal with it, and they chose the latter. For those of us in the rear, the flight attendants then handed us full bags of coffee grounds to hold up to our noses to kill the smell.

I *think* I might have also flown one of their 727's on a military charter from PHL-KEF via Gander back in 1990, but I didn't record the operator so I can't be sure. I do recall that the all-economy configuration was pretty tight though.

Re: America Trans Air question

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:33 pm
by Cubsrule
dennypayne wrote:
bluestreak wrote:
I did not like the MDW hub though, it Was tiny, and crowded.

I flew one round trip DFW-MDW-SEA back around 2002 or 2003, and this was my impression as well. MDW was a real dump with no good food and nowhere to sit.


Once the new terminal opened, it was a pretty nice experience other than the downstairs bus gate (A10?) for the C8 flights. They had most of A other than the international gates and the NW gates, which DL now uses (A5 and A7).