AirTran Airways A+ Rewards - Airtran Elite Status
Dec 4, 11, 11:57 pm
Without having to try it seems Airtran was my most used airline this year (8 personal trips on this carrier itself!!). It seems that I have come close to their elite status but can't find too much information so shooting my questions here. Please excuse the newbie questions...
Currently I have as many as 6credit since Sept 16 and if I can get 4more using a MR, I will hold elite status with them. So the questions(s) are...
- How often to Airtran elites get upgrades?
- Is their Business class comparable to other major airlines such as AA? Service, meals etc.
- Having read their FAQS and program, I am assuming there is nothing like soft landing such as AA Advantage?
What would be the cheapest way to get those 4credits in next couple of weeks or so? If I take an flight with connection, does that still get me one credit or 2 credits?
I think you would have to book the connecting flights separately to get the extra credit. Airtran business class doesn't serve meals but they do have much better food than coach. Basically they have a snack basket with different types of cookies and chips but you can have as much as you want. You also get preflight drinks and free alcohol if that is your thing. As far as how often you get upgrades, out of Atlanta it is almost never but my return flights are usually about 50% successful. Even if not you get free exit row seats which is nice for the extra leg room for me.
Dec 6, 11, 8:07 pm
Hi carsnoceans - welcome to our corner of FT!
To get elite status, you will need 4 more paid & flown one way tickets (or 2 round trips). 4 segments won't qualify (unless each segment is on a separate ticket). The cheapest way depends on where you are starting from. If you are in ATL, maybe a ATL-PHF-LGA-PHF-ATL would be easiest. Note that 90 days from Sept. 16th is Dec. 15th, so you need to act quickly.
Whether you should do this or not depends on both how much your extra flights cost and how much use you will get out of being A+ Elite. If you are probably going to fly no more than 4 flights on AirTran before they disappear, then it may not be worthwhile. If you want some help analyzing your situation, feel free to post your location and probable AirTran trips - several of us here would be more than happy to help!
Dec 11, 11, 3:47 am
Upgrade likelihood depends on the ticket you purchase. I frequently pay the extra $$ on the coach ticket to make it upgradable, and then get the upgrade at booking. You get upgraded virtually 100% of the time when you do that. Comp upgrades from a discount seat are rare though, certainly out of ATL.
Think hard about whether or not its worth doing a MR for Airtran status. Southwest starts operating at ATL in February. I don't think they're saying much about the schedule for migrating routes from Airtran to Southwest, but they do say they will gradually dismantle Airtran's hub and spoke route map which may mean fewer nonstop destinations for ATL based travelers.
Personally I've mostly switched back to Delta (I'm ATL based) to work my way back up the Skymiles ladder. My Airtran Elite status is good until February 2013 but I expect it will become increasingly meaningless as Southwest starts making their planned changes.
As said above, the Airtrain elite line at ATL security is often slower than the regular lines. It's not monitored at all and is just marked as an "Expert" line. If you check bags (I almost always do) then Elite checkin is helpful, usually not many people in line and almost always monitored.
OK. I'm bitter. I was a very loyal Airtran customer (over 500 credits) and have no interest in flying Southwest. Business class seating made flying easier to take (I fly somewhere almost every week). Free flights have no appeal to me. The last thing I want to do with my free time is fly more.
So I'm not sure I'd spend extra money to make it to Elite. It may not mean anything by next spring although your status should transfer to Southwest, for what that's worth. You don't say where you're based. That makes a big difference. From ATL, there are lots of possibilities but nothing seems to be on sale right now from ATL. SAT-MEX or CUN is $119 each way. You could buy a lot of upgrades for $480.