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Old Aug 16, 12, 12:15 pm   #1
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First flight on Air Tran (717) - some questions

I've never flown Air Tran before.

A friend gifted me an airline ticket to attend an event she's hosting in Maryland this weekend. Flying GRR-BWI non-stop on a 717 tomorrow & back on Mon.

She 'bought' it using her Amex points. I would have thought that was an award ticket, but it shows a $$ amount & then a cost in points to her to cover the $$ amount. So I'm a bit confused on whether this is a revenue or award ticket.

I ask for a couple of reasons - if it's award presumably I couldn't upgrade to biz class. Also, if there's irrops, does being on award make it more complicated for re-booking?

My understanding is the 717 is an RJ. Does that mean I can gate-check carry-on & thus not pay a baggage fee, or am I required to just check. I haven't looked at the AT site to see what baggage fee is yet.

Also, is it worth paying $$ to get a pre-assigned economy seat or just go w/ the flow since it's a 90-minute flight. I guess the same would apply to biz class - since the flight is so short, it's probably not worth upgrading (if I'm even allowed to given the nature of the ticket). But if I did, is there any food/drink involved?

Is there any advantage to doing on-line check-in, or should I just check in at the airport. GRR is small, although obviously BWI is larger.

Any helpful hints greatly appreciated.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 12:40 pm   #2
 
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the 717 is not an RJ. It's a full size aircraft, but not as large as the 737. If you visit the AirTran site you can learn more about it. The bins are large enough for a reasonable carry-on, and if you can't get it overhead, you can gate-check it for free.

Seating is 2-3.

Perfectly comfortable plane for a short trip. Minimum Biz upgrade is now $69, and I think that is steep unless you are checking a couple of bags and will drink your share, plus the more comfortable seat, priority boarding, etc. No meals, just nicer bags of chips and cookies, vs. pretzels. I recommend checking-in online at T-24 to get the best possible seat. There is an advantage at BWI to being able to jump a sometimes very long security queue.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 12:54 pm   #3
 
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Yeah, you shouldn't need to buy a seat ahead of time - with a 2-3 configuration, if you check in at ~24hrs in advance, you should be able to select a non-middle seat no problem. Airtran doesn't block off all the non-middle seats for members with status or those who pay a fee like some airlines sometimes do.

You should be able to upgrade it if you like, although I would not think the value would be worth it. It isn't an "award" flight - so none of that matters - when you buy something with external points, to the airline its all the same - its a revenue generating flight. They don't care if it is your credit card or AMEX rewards travel's credit card.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 1:13 pm   #4
 
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Ski - If you want to send me a PM I can see to it that you get a good seat tomorrow.

Quote:
I ask for a couple of reasons - if it's award presumably I couldn't upgrade to biz class. Also, if there's irrops, does being on award make it more complicated for re-booking?
It doesnt affect IRROPS nor does it affect upgrades.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 1:17 pm   #5
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Thanks for the info! Much appreciated.

I now feel better about the plane thanks to you all. I've flown 3MM miles, but I'm still a basket case when it comes to RJs. So good to know it's more like a full-size plane.

I won't bother with the upgrade, as the flight is so short. PA42, I'll send you a PM. I'm within 24 window for tomorrow, but haven't checked in yet online as I wanted input from you all first.

Since it's a weekend trip I'll do carry-on & gate check if I need to.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 1:19 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
I won't bother with the upgrade, as the flight is so short. PA42, I'll send you a PM. I'm within 24 window for tomorrow, but haven't checked in yet online as I wanted input from you all first.
Do that

Last edited by PA42; Aug 16, 12 at 1:32 pm.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 1:51 pm   #7
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Thanks to those who answered my questions & to PA42 for help w/ seat assignment.

I'll do a 'trip report' after my flights. These will be the first non-UA flights I've taken (other than int'l) in years!

Cheers.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 2:03 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
Thanks to those who answered my questions & to PA42 for help w/ seat assignment.

I'll do a 'trip report' after my flights. These will be the first non-UA flights I've taken (other than int'l) in years!

Cheers.
Are you based out of gr?
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Old Aug 16, 12, 3:28 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlaiseBOS View Post
Minimum Biz upgrade is now $49
Looks like they'll occasionally knock it down to $69 at the kiosk, but if you have an empty seat next to you, I wouldn't pay the fee on GRR-BWI.

Last edited by abefroman329; Aug 17, 12 at 9:37 am.
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Old Aug 16, 12, 4:49 pm   #10
 
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Misquoting me?

Gee, abefroman, how did you manage to "quote" me and yet change what I posted? I never put that $49 figure in my post.

I believe that the current minimum is $69, which is what I posted.

See: http://www.airtran.com/business_class.aspx
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Old Aug 17, 12, 6:28 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalen500 View Post
Are you based out of gr?
GRR is my new home airport after many years being based out of LAX. Tstorms & blizzards make it more interesting when flying

Was just on the AirTran site to check flight status, and realize they fly out of the same concourse as United does, which is my main airline. Just a few gates past UA. I also noticed that there are 3 flights/day GRR-BWI & am thankful my friend didn't book me on the 5:50am!

Cheers.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 9:36 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlaiseBOS View Post
Gee, abefroman, how did you manage to "quote" me and yet change what I posted? I never put that $49 figure in my post.

I believe that the current minimum is $69, which is what I posted.

See: http://www.airtran.com/business_class.aspx
Accidentally deleted part of your post and had a brain fart when I tried to reconstruct it - apologies. I'll correct my post. Still don't think $49 (or $69 for that matter) is worth it on GRR-BWI.
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Old Aug 17, 12, 10:43 am   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abefroman329
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlaiseBOS View Post
Gee, abefroman, how did you manage to "quote" me and yet change what I posted? I never put that $49 figure in my post.

I believe that the current minimum is $69, which is what I posted.

See: http://www.airtran.com/business_class.aspx
Accidentally deleted part of your post and had a brain fart when I tried to reconstruct it - apologies. I'll correct my post. Still don't think $49 (or $69 for that matter) is worth it on GRR-BWI.
just boarded. So far i'm impressed susan @ grr is a great employee. United could take some lessons on frienliness and boarding announcements!
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Old Aug 18, 12, 5:14 pm   #14
 
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Hey Sharon!

Sorry I missed your OP. By now you have experienced why I have been a fan of AirTran for the past several years - good people, fairly priced upgrades, and no RJs!
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Old Aug 19, 12, 12:41 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
GRR is my new home airport after many years being based out of LAX. Tstorms & blizzards make it more interesting when flying

Was just on the AirTran site to check flight status, and realize they fly out of the same concourse as United does, which is my main airline. Just a few gates past UA. I also noticed that there are 3 flights/day GRR-BWI & am thankful my friend didn't book me on the 5:50am!

Cheers.
Welcome to Michigan. I love gr
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