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View Full Version : Whats your Airtran experience?


Eyore4Ever149
07-10-2007, 08:33 AM
I am researching our upcoming Oct trip and I have no experience with Airtran (never heard of them) we used to fly Spirit or JetBlue. But they are offering the best rates and reasonable departure times to and from.

I have read alot of negative reviews on other sites.

*cramped/narrow seats
*flight schedule changes (although since this is a smaller airport, maybe less likely?)
*no e ticket
*no ability to select seats unless you pay $5 pr person and even then you are not always allowed to purchase seats that are marked "open" online.
*no food (does this mean no beverage cart?)

If you have had a different experience please post.

Bob P
07-10-2007, 08:57 AM
Here's a thread from last week that might help you:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1504686&referrerid=&highlight=airtran

iloveokw
07-10-2007, 10:00 AM
Everything you listed plus a dirty airplane with seats that are falling apart!

JanB
07-10-2007, 10:36 AM
I fly Airtran on occasion -- always out of Atlanta, which is a hub. If I'm not mistaken, Orlando is also an Airtran hub.

*cramped/narrow seats
I don't find this to be any more problematic than Coach seats on any other airline.

*flight schedule changes (although since this is a smaller airport, maybe less likely?)It's never happened to me. Like I said, I fly out of Atlanta. I don't know how the size of the airport would affect that.

*no e ticket
Untrue. I don't believe that they use that exact terminology. But when you book online, you receive (1) an Itinerary to print immediately and (2) an email confirmation -- both items include a ticket confirmation number. Either of those items is all that you need to check in. And once you are within 24 hours of departure, you can print your boarding pass from your computer at home. I imagine that this might be true only when you have paid the $5 to pre-select your seat. As a backnote --- when Airtran first came into existence, there were never any pre-assigned seats even when you got your boarding pass. Totally first-come-first-serve, so the line to board the plane always formed early, and you had to arrive VERY early in order assure that your family could sit together. So the current policy, even if you do have to pay $5, is a definite step forward.

*no ability to select seats unless you pay $5 pr person and even then you are not always allowed to purchase seats that are marked "open" online.I did not have any problems selecting seats. All of the ones marked "open" did, indeed, seem to be open for selection.

*no food (does this mean no beverage cart?)
It means that no meals are served. They do serve beverages and pretzels/nuts. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.

I can only speak from my own experiences. Other aircraft, other routes, other personnel could be different.

RE: Negative Reviews on other sites. Just remember that it is human nature to be vocal with negative experiences. People don't usually make a point of going to a Review Site to post their positive experiences.

I do not personally find Airtran difficult to fly with at all. I've not had a problem with dirty or unmaintained airplanes. The personnel all seem very friendly and helpful. I don't find Airtran to be any better or worse than any other airline. And they offer great fares.

kjs1976
07-10-2007, 10:50 AM
We almost exclusively fly Airtran because they always have direct flights for the best price out of MPLS.

We've always had a positive experience, no issues. We've never paid to choose our seats and have always been seated together. AT flys out of the smaller terminal in MPS so we always seem to leave early or right on time and get to our destination early. We like the other terminal because it is less crowded and easier to get through.

jobie61
07-10-2007, 10:55 AM
I prefer Airtran over Southwest. Never had a problem.

JanB
07-10-2007, 11:16 AM
I just went back and looked at my Airtran e-mail confirmation from a couple of weeks ago. This is copied from that email, and it might answer some of your concerns:


Passenger Check-In Information

Online Flight Check-In Service!
Check in for your flight online at airtran.com.

Most passengers with an electronic ticket for a domestic flight may use our online flight check-in service from 24 hours to 90 minutes before the flight's scheduled departure to obtain their boarding pass and seat assignment.

Ticket Counter Check-In Requirements
AirTran Airways recommends that passengers arrive at the airport 90 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of their flight. Due to security requirements, passengers and their baggage will not be accepted at the ticket counter less than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of their flight. Please note the minimum check-in time may be greater than 30 minutes at some airports.

Gate Check-In Requirements
Customers must present themselves at the flight departure gate no later than ten minutes prior to the scheduled departure of their flight. Failure to comply will cause the customer to lose their reservation and, if so, they will not be eligible for denied boarding compensation.

Eyore4Ever149
07-10-2007, 11:31 AM
I dont find JetBlue to be "problematic" in their space for seats- they seem wider with plenty of leg room.

Im hoping for another JetBlue in Airtran. but having to pay $5pp to get seats assigned at the time of the ticket purchase rubs me the wrong way. and as for waiting for the "24hr mark to select my seats" maaaybe Ill find time to do that on the way out, but not on the return flight.

Darn I was really hoping this wasn't true and they did assign seats (at time of ticket purchase)
guess I'll need to weigh the pro's and cons again.

CarolA
07-10-2007, 11:40 AM
And when compared to JetBlue... in the event of a winter storm it doesn't take them two weeks to figure out where the planes are.....

JanB
07-10-2007, 12:17 PM
Would it sit better with you if the ticket prices were $5 higher? If so, and if the additional $5 still makes Airtran the best deal, maybe you want to try thinking about it that way.

There is also the option of not pre-selecting your seats for the flight down (do it at the 24-hour mark), but paying the $5 to pre-select for your return flight.

I guess I just don't think of the $5 as a deal-killer in the overall picture of what a WDW vacation costs. But that's just me.

Another possible advantage to pre-selecting your seat is that you might be less likely to be bumped in the event of overbooking.

Geoff_M
07-10-2007, 02:16 PM
*cramped/narrow seatsNo worse and any other major US carrier's coach setting.
*flight schedule changes (although since this is a smaller airport, maybe less likely?)Yes, they can and do tinker. But you're at most risk if you're buying far in advance. They changed one of our flights about 3 month out... and it stayed that way. If you need to change flight due to a schedule change, they will do it for free.
*no e ticketE-ticket all of the way.
*no ability to select seats unless you pay $5 pr person and even then you are not always allowed to purchase seats that are marked "open" online.Our family of five didn't pay the $5 and we were able to sit together (on our three flights we were five across, 2 & 3 back to back, and 4 with one two rows up) when we got our assignments at the airport.
*no food (does this mean no beverage cart?)You can have all of the soft drinks and pretzels you wanted on our flights.

Everything you listed plus a dirty airplane with seats that are falling apart!No old planes, they were clean, and no partially assembled seating on the three planes we flew on.

You also forgot the free 150 channels of XM radio.

antmaril
07-10-2007, 02:50 PM
We flew Airtran for the first time in January. Our flights arrived either early or on time. We had no issues with Airtran whatsoever.

We are flying Airtran again next month.

Eyore4Ever149
07-10-2007, 03:38 PM
it sounds like a number of you have had good experiences on this airline.

Its not the 5$, it's the principal of having to pay. And reading that some have had issues.

radio- no appeal to me personally, but I would hope this thread will benefit others wanting to know about Airtran and they might like it.

I may end up going with Airtran, but will have to convince DH who prefers airlines he's familiar with. It's stepping outside the comfort zone. But it may be worth it.
I see the pros as
price
location (airport is closer to home)
flight times are more appealing that other airlines.

so my next question- I heard on the voice msg of Airtran you can "save the
5$ booking fee pp if you book online- when booking online can you opt to select seats for the $5?

and when I look at the Airtran site I see two prices under the discount coach $99 and $144- does anyone know what the difference is?

CleveRocks
07-10-2007, 06:43 PM
*cramped/narrow seatsI flew AirTran for the first time last November, round trip. It didn't seem like a "discount" airline to me because nothing seemed different from any other airline experience I've had this century.

Seats? Seemed the same size and quality as everyone else out there.
*flight schedule changes (although since this is a smaller airport, maybe less likely?)I've read complaints about AirTran doing this, also. We bought our tickets 6 months in advance, and I nervously checked every few days because I had read so much about AirTran's tinkering. I think each of my flights (going and coming) moved about 15 or 20 minutes ONCE in between May and November.
*no e ticketNo truth there. They do electronic tickets. However, if you use the Walt Disney Travel Company as your travel agent (for your flights), you will be issued an actual paper ticket, the likes of which I hadn't seen since the Reagan administration.
*no ability to select seats unless you pay $5 pr person and even then you are not always allowed to purchase seats that are marked "open" online.I flew before the $5 thing, so I have no idea. All I know is that, with paper tickets in hand, I called AirTran directly (rather than going through my travel agent, the WDTC) to try to confirm or deny the policy that I couldn't (at that time) choose seats until 24 hours in advance. The customer service rep did something I think she wasn't permitted to do -- she assigned seats for my family for both flights during that phone call, which took place about one month before our trip.
*no food (does this mean no beverage cart?)We got drinks and some small foil packages of something. Same as almost every other airline. Not sure who serves meals anymore, even during cross-country flights.
and when I look at the Airtran site I see two prices under the discount coach $99 and $144- does anyone know what the difference is?[$45.

Seriously.

That's the ONLY difference. Grab the cheapest fare you can.

JanB
07-10-2007, 08:26 PM
so my next question- I heard on the voice msg of Airtran you can "save the
5$ booking fee pp if you book online- when booking online can you opt to select seats for the $5?

and when I look at the Airtran site I see two prices under the discount coach $99 and $144- does anyone know what the difference is?

Yes, when booking online, you can opt to select the seats for the $5. That's what I did.

Not sure about the cost difference. Airtrain does have Business Class, but I believe that the cost difference is more than $45. I'd guess that the $99 is for "advance booking" (at least 21 or 14 days ahead -- not sure which) and that $144 is for booking less than 21 or 14 days ahead. Just a guess.

CleveRocks
07-10-2007, 09:13 PM
I forgot to add that our flight from PHL took off and landed right on time.

On our way home from MCO, they announced that it was a full flight. We were not at all rushed, but since it was a full flight and we boarded very efficiently, we left 20 minutes early and landed back at PHL 25 minutes ahead of schedule.

S.S.Oceanlover
07-11-2007, 12:46 AM
We either fly Southwest or AirTran from Philly. We are flying AirTran to Orlando in September. Paid $103.00 R/T. Always a nice clean plane with fresh air in cabin.
Our flight times just changed and for the worse but I called and they gave us much better times.

Bill