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View Full Version : What can you tell a new flyer about Airtran?


MickeyMom2Boys
12-30-2008, 01:09 PM
I have only flown 1 time in my life (and that was to Disney World, of course!). We want to fly on our next trip in May and Airtran has very cheap prices right now for non stop flights ($54 before fees) from BWI to MCO. Can anyone tell me about Airtran?

cbrfan
12-30-2008, 01:31 PM
We've been flying with AirTran for years and have always been very happy with them. But you should be aware that they do tend to change flight times and change non-stops to connecting or direct flights on occasion. I haven't had this happen to me, but other posters have. Perhaps someone who flies out of BWI will post their personal experience with AirTran. If you book a flight and it changes they are extremely easy to work with. You will be allowed to choose from any available flight you wish, including flights that are more expensive, or depart a day earlier or later than originally scheduled at no charge. Also, if the price of a flight you booked goes down you can call them and request a credit toward a future flight for the difference. Sometimes they charge a phone fee for this and sometimes they don't. It just depends on the agent you get. But you don't have to pay the $75 change fee listed on their website.

UtzigTravel
12-30-2008, 01:35 PM
I have flown Airtran numerous times out of BWI. While they have made some minor changes to times, I have never had a Non-stop switched etc..

I have also used them numerous times for my clients as well, never a problem.

We are flying them in 2 weeks to WDW.

They do have a Travel Agent Sign in, that allows me to hold fares for a day, and make seat assignments without a fee.

budbeerlady
12-30-2008, 02:25 PM
We love airtran and have flown them for our last 4 trips. They do sometimes change times, keep an eye on it, you can call to change it if it doesnt work in your favor.

The planes are always clean, the staff is very nice, we have only had positives with them.

OhMari
12-30-2008, 08:26 PM
Wow, grab the $54.
If you give them your e-mail address, they will also take $25 off the price of your flight.

SiClone
12-31-2008, 12:56 AM
Not much leg (actually knee) room as compared to Northwest, but free XM radio is sweet!

aubriee
12-31-2008, 03:05 AM
We love Air Tran and have flown them multiple times. Pay the six bucks to choose your seat though. If you choose not to, then please don't get upset when someone who did pay the fee to choose their seat, refuses to change seats with you so you can sit by your traveling companions. I've seen that on my last two Air Tran flights. Most people who pay for their seats are not going to be willing to change seats. People who choose not to pay the fee will probably be stuck scattered around the plane.

cg1200
12-31-2008, 07:28 PM
We've been flying with AirTran for years and have always been very happy with them. But you should be aware that they do tend to change flight times and change non-stops to connecting or direct flights on occasion.

I've flown AirTran twice from Westchester NY with no issues. This time around my flight in January was changed from a direct to a connecting one out of Atlanta. Very upset. I had to cancel and switch to JetBlue. Thankfully they still have a direct flight but it's going to cost me $350 more for the 5 of us. No idea why they changed it. No explanation offered. They did refund my money without a problem.

tam626
01-02-2009, 12:52 PM
We flew Airtran in Oct. from BWI & had no flight changes. I liked them but this was my first time flying so I have nothing to compare it to.

danielle.st
01-03-2009, 10:19 PM
I could be wrong, but I think BWI is considered a hub, so it's not likely to be changed from a nonstop to a connecting.
Definitely pay the $6 to choose your seats. It's worth knowing you are going to sit with your travel companions.
Also, I was in a similar boat as you before our trip and I wish I had realized that when I chose my seat I should have gone for whatever I could get closest to the front (still in coach though). When we got to MCO, all I wanted to do was get off that plane and start my vacation! However, we were stuck behind a lot of people who took absolutely forever to get off the plane. :sad2: Everyone had big carry ons to manuever out.. the guy across the aisle from me jumped up before I did and since he couldn't go anywhere yet and was apparently helping his elderly mother get up, etc, his rear end was basically in my face for 10 minutes. :lmao:
If I had been closer to the front I only would have had to wait for the business class people (there aren't many) and then I could have been free!

Oh, one other piece of advice is to not book any meals that require a credit card guarantee. You will stress if your flight times start changing. Just ry to be a little flexible on that and Airtran is great!

dburg30
01-04-2009, 05:22 AM
I've flown AirTran twice from Westchester NY with no issues. This time around my flight in January was changed from a direct to a connecting one out of Atlanta. Very upset. I had to cancel and switch to JetBlue. Thankfully they still have a direct flight but it's going to cost me $350 more for the 5 of us. No idea why they changed it. No explanation offered. They did refund my money without a problem.

Just curious why did you HAVE to cancel? Just the timing didnt work? Did you check to see if they had any other flights that would've worked better timing wise and switched to them?

kellia
01-04-2009, 06:49 AM
If you order as one group, can they split up your seats? I thought that they had to keep you together? There are 5 of us, I don't care where we sit, but we have 3 kids, they certainly can't sit by themselves!

cbrfan
01-04-2009, 07:08 AM
If you order as one group, can they split up your seats? I thought that they had to keep you together? There are 5 of us, I don't care where we sit, but we have 3 kids, they certainly can't sit by themselves!

While airlines usually do their best to keep you together, there's never any guarantee that it's going to happen - even with reserved seats. And chances are very slim that passengers who've paid for seats will give them up for someone who didn't. You didn't say how old your children are, but if you decide against paying for seat assignments I would prepare them for the possibility of being separated.

danielle.st
01-04-2009, 11:56 AM
If you order as one group, can they split up your seats? I thought that they had to keep you together? There are 5 of us, I don't care where we sit, but we have 3 kids, they certainly can't sit by themselves!

No, they don't have to. They will if they can, but if most of the other passengers paid to select a seat and all that is left is seats that are split up all over the plane, that is what you'll get assigned. It just didn't seem worth the possibility of being split up to me, especially as Airtran is a fairly cheap airline to start with.

crashbb
01-04-2009, 12:04 PM
If you order as one group, can they split up your seats? I thought that they had to keep you together? There are 5 of us, I don't care where we sit, but we have 3 kids, they certainly can't sit by themselves!

As others have already said, no, they don't have to keep you together. The computer (it isn't an actual person, just an automated system) will try, but if a lot of seats have been pre-selected, there is only so much it can do. Also, the system has no idea of the age of the travelers (unless you bought a special child ticket, which rarely exists these days) so it has no idea that it is putting a child by themselves.

Given that children can fly unaccompanied at the age of 5, the airline definitely has no issue with children of this age being separated from their parents, and can only do so much for younger children.

If you definitely want each child by an adult, I'd pay to select your seats.

kellia
01-04-2009, 12:16 PM
How do you choose your seats? Can you only do it when you check in? I don't see any option to do it when I go online, our flights aren't listed under our account, only when you look up under your confirmation number.

cbrfan
01-04-2009, 12:37 PM
How do you choose your seats? Can you only do it when you check in? I don't see any option to do it when I go online, our flights aren't listed under our account, only when you look up under your confirmation number.

After you pull up your itinerary look to the right of the screen. There's a place to choose/change seats. Just click on that. It will show you all the seats on your flight that are available for advance assignments. Once you've made your seat selection for your party it will take you to the payment page so you can complete your reservation. I would suggest checking out www.seatguru.com so you can be aware of any potential problem seats. AirTran only uses two types of aircraft - 717's and 737's. 717's have 2 seats on the left side, 3 on the right. 737's are 3 and 3.

Misty89
01-04-2009, 01:12 PM
do alot of people pre-purcahse thier seats?

i did not, and do not really want to ....we are a family of 4. the odds of us being apart are pretty good right?
how does it work if we did not choose our seats......are we the last ones to board the plane?
also what are the cahnces of a free upgrade to business class?
i see my flight down has 5 seats left in "commoners" section, but business class is all open, not a seat booked !:)
do they give our free upgrades???? :wizard:
( i can dream right!)

cbrfan
01-04-2009, 01:21 PM
do alot of people pre-purcahse thier seats?

i did not, and do not really want to ....we are a family of 4. the odds of us being apart are pretty good right?
how does it work if we did not choose our seats......are we the last ones to board the plane?
also what are the cahnces of a free upgrade to business class?
i see my flight down has 5 seats left in "commoners" section, but business class is all open, not a seat booked !:)
do they give our free upgrades???? :wizard:
( i can dream right!)

If you do not prepurchase seats your best bet is to check in online 24 hours before flight time. They will open up previously blocked seats and you can choose your seats at no charge. You will be assigned seats at check-in either online or at the airport. If you're among the last to check-in you will most likely be scattered all over the plane and probably all be in middle seats.
The odds of being upgraded to business class for free are about nonexistant. But you can purchase on upgrade at a reasonable price when you check in.
The number of passengers prepurchasing seats varies with each flight, but flights to and from MCO usually have quite a few children onboard and, I assume, a larger number of prepurchased seats. You can tell by looking at available seating for your flight. Any seats blocked (with the exception of the B seats) behind Row 14 showing unavailable have already been purchased.

Coach P
01-04-2009, 02:14 PM
We purchased our seats because I wanted the exit row for the extra leg room. To me its worth it if your in a large group and want to stay together or if you want a certain seat, otherwise its not.

The other thing is make sure you suitcase is not over size. We thought we were ok and then we get to the airport and they say it 1 inch to big and had to pay $39 fee. :(

halld6479
01-04-2009, 05:22 PM
when I called Airtran my first time flying about not paying for seats I was told unless you prepay and select them on line you will get seats assigned when you checkin at 24 hours or till you check in at airport. That when you make a reservation has nothing to do with seating unless you pay and pick then. And I have noticed very few people give up their seats to people who ask them to. As far as up grade to business they announce before boarding if there is any business seats open, I have upgraded several times for $49.00 this is only for that flight not connecting ones. And usually it is only one seat here and there not usually together.

Badgerfan
01-04-2009, 06:24 PM
This may be a dumb question, but I am an air tran newbie....... What is the difference between the different prices in coach? I just looked them up on the website, and there is a web special price, then two other higher discounted coach prices. One is "L" class, one is "T" class and the other one they wouldn't show. Also, are your odds greater to get "bumped" if you have the cheapest fare, and can that be avoided if you pay to select your seat?

One other quick question, how is the leg room compared with Midwest?

Sorry about all the questions, but we have never flown anyone but Midwest, and now they don't fly to Orlando in the summer.:sad1: Booking used to be easy, so I'm not used to all this nickel and diming stuff....... fee to pick a seat, maybe we'll bump you, good chance your flight will be changed or will add stops, fee if your normal sized bag is 1/2 inch to big, Etc. Not trying to sound too negative, just bummed about losing my favorite airline and not knowing what to expect with this one. Anyone who can help with these questions or anything else I should be aware of, would be greatly appriciated.

TIA

cbrfan
01-04-2009, 07:15 PM
This may be a dumb question, but I am an air tran newbie....... What is the difference between the different prices in coach? I just looked them up on the website, and there is a web special price, then two other higher discounted coach prices. One is "L" class, one is "T" class and the other one they wouldn't show. Also, are your odds greater to get "bumped" if you have the cheapest fare, and can that be avoided if you pay to select your seat?

One other quick question, how is the leg room compared with Midwest?

Sorry about all the questions, but we have never flown anyone but Midwest, and now they don't fly to Orlando in the summer.:sad1: Booking used to be easy, so I'm not used to all this nickel and diming stuff....... fee to pick a seat, maybe we'll bump you, good chance your flight will be changed or will add stops, fee if your normal sized bag is 1/2 inch to big, Etc. Not trying to sound too negative, just bummed about losing my favorite airline and not knowing what to expect with this one. Anyone who can help with these questions or anything else I should be aware of, would be greatly appriciated.

TIA


The only difference is the price, with the exception of the highest priced coach fares. With those, no coach seats are blocked so you can select any coach seat. I've always been able to do the same things (credit for drop in price, etc.) with the cheapest flights as I have with higher priced fares. As far as getting bumped, that's done according to the time you checked in. Last ones checked in are the first to get bumped. They do ask for volunteers first. An involuntary bump isn't really all that common. There are usually enough volunteers willing to take the bump in exchange for compensation. All airlines change flights and schedules. It isn't exclusive to AirTran. On any airline, you're only buying transportation from Point A to Point B. Nothing more. If you book a certain flight and time and you end up actually getting it, consider yourself lucky. We're fortunate enough not to have experienced the change issues with AirTran that others have posted, but we're always ready with a back-up plan, just in case. Wish I could say the same for a few other airlines we've flown with. I always consider the fees when comparing fares. No one likes paying for something that was previously free, but it beats having fares go up across the board, IMHO.

maciec
01-04-2009, 10:45 PM
I have flown Airtran numerous times on Airtran out of BWI. The only places that we ever fly to are Maine and Florida. We have never had a flight change.

I will suggest that you pre purchase your seats. Lately every time that I have been on an Airtran flight they have all been full. I don't like to take my chances that we will be split. Plus it's only $6 per ticket.

I will also suggest that you bring your own head set to plug in to the XM if you want to listen. They do provide free ones, but sometimes they forget and don't do it until later on in the flight.

Depending on what kind of plane your get, you may get some hard seats. That's just an FYI. The flight to MCO from BWI isn't that long so we don't really mind.

dudspizza
01-04-2009, 11:20 PM
I am another that highly suggests that if you want to sit together that you purchase them ahead of time. As stated above, you will have the chance to get your seats when you check in starting at the 24 hour mark, BUT, you get what is left and they may not be together. A PP stated that they assign them to you when you check in, but you can change them if available.

Have a great trip.

Duds

kellia
01-05-2009, 06:47 AM
If you are flying to MCO and have a layover, that is technically 2 flights so we'd have to pay $6 to reserve seats for both flights? Geez, you guys got me worried about that now! But with 5 of us, we have layovers of 30 minutes there and back, so that would be $120. Darn, not sure what to do!

Of course, making someone else sit by our 5 yo sons would have it's advantages. LOL!! ;)

danielle.st
01-05-2009, 07:08 AM
If you are flying to MCO and have a layover, that is technically 2 flights so we'd have to pay $6 to reserve seats for both flights? Geez, you guys got me worried about that now! But with 5 of us, we have layovers of 30 minutes there and back, so that would be $120. Darn, not sure what to do!

Of course, making someone else sit by our 5 yo sons would have it's advantages. LOL!! ;)

No, I think you only have to pay once to get from point A to point B, even if there is a layover.

danielle.st
01-05-2009, 07:13 AM
No, I think you only have to pay once to get from point A to point B, even if there is a layover.

I am right:
http://www.airtran.com/help_seat_assignments.aspx

Regular Seating. Customers traveling in Business Class or on Regular coach fares (Y, B or M class) may select their seat assignment at the time of booking with no fee. All Discount or Sale coach fares have the option to purchase seat assignments at the time of booking or anytime prior to check-in for $6.00 per passenger per one-way trip (nonstop or connecting).

UtzigTravel
01-05-2009, 09:31 AM
As far as seats go...

Airtran does have a travel agent log in. I can go in, hold a reservation for a day and select seats without fees.

I do this for all my clients when they are flying. That way they all know that they are seating together.

Tim

Misty89
01-05-2009, 10:23 AM
If you are flying to MCO and have a layover, that is technically 2 flights so we'd have to pay $6 to reserve seats for both flights? Geez, you guys got me worried about that now! But with 5 of us, we have layovers of 30 minutes there and back, so that would be $120. Darn, not sure what to do!

Of course, making someone else sit by our 5 yo sons would have it's advantages. LOL!! ;)

exactly why i am not paying to pick seats. I will wait unitl the 24 hour mark and try online. i would rather save that $50 for food or sovies. my DD17 had to sit alone at 12 and she was fine, thats why they bring distractions like Gameboys/ipods/etc.

plutolovr
01-05-2009, 10:49 AM
As far as seats go...

Airtran does have a travel agent log in. I can go in, hold a reservation for a day and select seats without fees.

I do this for all my clients when they are flying. That way they all know that they are seating together.

Tim

Me too, me too!!

MouseTrip07
01-05-2009, 12:15 PM
To repeat & confirm what has already been mentioned a couple of times, we flew Airtran to MCO out of CAK this past December. Our travel agent booked a discount fare in July and chose our seats...we did not pay the extra $6pp.

So, if you are already booking through AAA or another travel agent, you might consider asking him/her to book your Airtran flight to choose your seats and avoid the $6 fee.

Also, when the fare went down further, our agent called and had the difference credited to our account.

Jennifer

cg1200
01-05-2009, 08:17 PM
If you order as one group, can they split up your seats? I thought that they had to keep you together? There are 5 of us, I don't care where we sit, but we have 3 kids, they certainly can't sit by themselves!

In my experiece you will usually find a kind soul or two willing to give up their seat so a parent can sit with their kids. I know I've done this more than once (given up my seat for a family when I was flying on business). Still, do you want to rely on this? Your call.

crashbb
01-05-2009, 08:19 PM
In my experiece you will usually find a kind soul or two willing to give up their seat so a parent can sit with their kids. I know I've done this more than once (given up my seat for a family when I was flying on business). Still, do you want to rely on this? Your call.

Were you on an airline where you had to pay for your seat? If so, did you just suck up the money you'd now lost?

I think people are much more willing to change seats when they didn't have to pay to choose their seats (and where the parent didn't choose to not pay for their seat).

cg1200
01-05-2009, 08:21 PM
Just curious why did you HAVE to cancel? Just the timing didnt work? Did you check to see if they had any other flights that would've worked better timing wise and switched to them?

Couple of reasons: the new connecting flight got us in several hours later so we would essentially miss most of our first day; and I hate flying on small puddle jumper planes. I pretty much hate all planes so the less planes I have to board, the better.

They had two direct flights later in the day but the noon flight was full so the only one left was like 6:00pm. Total waste of the first day. I guess I would have dealt with the connection if i had no other choice but I chose to spend the extra money for the convenience of a direct flight.