Moving on from Airtran is gonna be tough

 
Old Sep 27, 13, 3:04 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Programs: Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 619
Moving on from Airtran is gonna be tough

I have been so used to doing business with Airtran that I am really dreading the day I gotta move on. Just looking at how some airlines operate, I am beginning to realize why even Southwest got its following.
Take US Airways. What a garbage airline. My sis is gold preferred over there. Yesterday, I gave her advice that I regret giving her.

She booked a ticket for a future Saturday flight for a lot of miles (43K roundtrip). Still despite all that , she can't even travel standby on an earlier flight unless that flight is SOLD OUT!!!! So your chances of getting standby dramatically go down. They have even restrictions that the number of stops should be the same. So even if you booked oin a direct flight, going to one stop flight is considered unacceptable. WHat kind of idiocy is that? You pretty much have to pay up the costly change fee and whatever the fare difference is.

So the only option is a Move Up where they will let you go on a prior flight for free if there are seats. Problem is the onerous restricitons - 6 hour window and not a minute more. Here is the kicker - same number of stops, not even same more more number of stops on the new flight.

And if an award ticket opens up for that flight you want to change to, you still gotta pay the 150 change fee. And from what I hear, US Air reps have even less discretion than Airtran agents.

Even Delta doesn't sound as bad US Air. Still, I will miss the old school standby that Airtran still alllows for.

Not to mention how some legacies force you to use award points on only roundtrip flights.
saneman is offline  
Old Sep 27, 13, 5:40 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,218
I have never understood the severely restrictive standby policies. The old idea was that once an empty seat leaves it is gone forever. It was only available if there was an empty seat.

If you move that empty seat to a later flight you might be able to sell it, you might be able to avoid the paying someone to take a later flight.
rsteinmetz70112 is offline  
Old Sep 27, 13, 11:02 am
  #3  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,677
saneman, you've been reading my mail, brother. I loved Airtran. Sure it had a few bumps here and there but for the most part the biz class was better than "good" and I considered the airline to be a good deal, in general. Now that it slowly declines into ruin, I have started using both the airlines you mention. Delta does seem easier to fly (but I hate their website). Also easy to upgrade on Delta whereas sometimes it is tricky with US Air. And US Air you have to keep giving up miles for each "segment" of upgrade. Just a little more annoying...
BillyBaloney is offline  
Old Sep 28, 13, 10:25 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: HH Gold, AA Gold
Posts: 9,946
Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I have never understood the severely restrictive standby policies. The old idea was that once an empty seat leaves it is gone forever. It was only available if there was an empty seat.

If you move that empty seat to a later flight you might be able to sell it, you might be able to avoid the paying someone to take a later flight.
Here's why standby policies are onerous: the airlines charge more for desirable peak flights (supply vs demand). So, savvy travelers used to book the next "off-peak" flight at a much lower fare and "standby" free for the earlier flight. As a result, airline loses difference between the higher fare and the lower fare.

That's why there are strict standby rules. BTW, WN has the MOST strict standby rules. If your flight isn't showing a significant delay, you can't standby without paying the fare difference. Using your logic, if US is a garbage airline, then WN is a flying garbage dump.
formeraa is offline  
Old Sep 28, 13, 6:23 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,218
Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
Here's why standby policies are onerous: the airlines charge more for desirable peak flights (supply vs demand). So, savvy travelers used to book the next "off-peak" flight at a much lower fare and "standby" free for the earlier flight. As a result, airline loses difference between the higher fare and the lower fare.
I don't generally see a big difference between fares throughout the day. In any event a passenger booking the the cheaper flight is taking a risk that the more popular flight will be full and they will waste a lot of time or be left in the wrong place. I agree that Southwest's policy is the most onerous I know of. On most of my flights I can buy a ticket on DL for the same price and get more flexibility, but give up other things which may or may not matter.
rsteinmetz70112 is offline  
Old Sep 30, 13, 1:06 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Programs: Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 619
Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
Here's why standby policies are onerous: the airlines charge more for desirable peak flights (supply vs demand). So, savvy travelers used to book the next "off-peak" flight at a much lower fare and "standby" free for the earlier flight. As a result, airline loses difference between the higher fare and the lower fare.

That's why there are strict standby rules. BTW, WN has the MOST strict standby rules. If your flight isn't showing a significant delay, you can't standby without paying the fare difference. Using your logic, if US is a garbage airline, then WN is a flying garbage dump.
I understand why they are onerous. So ifthat is such a concern, they can easily have some logic which checks for SIGNIFICANT differential in demand /price levels between flights and maybe tack on a standby charge the amount which can vary according to the differential.

Here is also a counterpoint. if ,more people start doing that, guess what, more people who do so are at the risk of getting stranded and will have to wait hours at the airport. So there is already a deterrant for more people deciding to book a cheaper flight and then trying to go standby. That number is so small as evident on airtran. I have no problem with a nominal standby fee with it being free for elite members.

As far as the comparison of US Air to Southwest, I dont base my assessment of an airline being garbage based on one factor. At least Southwest will let you can cancel without penalty and you apply that money to a future flight. And if you look at US Air's move up policy, it is asinine. I can understand them reluctant to move up someone from a one stop to a direct flight, but they have a problem wit hthe opposite too?
saneman is offline  
Old Oct 16, 13, 9:01 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ATL
Programs: Delta Gold, WN A-List Preferred, Marriott LT Titanium, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 225
Love how WN keeps bragging about their increased nonstops out of ATL. Guess they aren't counting the fact that every former nonstop on Air Tran from ATL-LAX now includes a stop (except for the 9 p.m. outbound and late evening inbound, which is zero help if you're traveling on business).
At least that is the case in January, when I am looking to book a biz trip.

Oh, and even more amusing...those FL/WN flights with a stop - thus making a five-hour flight close to eight - are at least $15 higher than Delta, which has about two dozen nonstops throughout the day.

I will miss you, Air Tran biz class. But between these ridiculous flight schedules and the fact that WN refuses to get on board with TSA Pre-Check, my shift to all-Delta-all-the-time is nearly complete.

I suspect I am not alone.

Oh, and while waiting to fly standby on a flight from MCO-ATL earlier this week, I overheard a WN GA telling a passenger that the "small fee" to bump up to boarding A1-A15 is $40!!! There was a time when $9 more got you a biz class seat on FL! And what happens if you pay the $40 and the inbound flight is making one of its bus stops and there are already 50 people on the plane who aren't getting off? What does A1-A15 get you then?
melissaru is offline  
Old Oct 17, 13, 6:37 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Programs: Avis Preferred Plus
Posts: 619
Yeah melissa. it's amazing how many threads are in the WN venting over boarding position. WN needs to realize that it had a good system when travelers did nothave online tools to get seat assignments. Now travelers have sites like seatguru to know what seats they want. At this point, those $20-30 seat assignment fees for non elites are looking good oin the legacy airlines compared to this ridiculous $40 fee on WN.

Oh, and did you notice how flustered these WN employees get with Airtran's rules now that you see more WN employees manning the stations. I dont see them greet me any better than the former airtran employees when it comes to informing me of my upgrade chances. They seem like it is a burden to do that. So much for that WN friendliness we keep hearing about. They are just like any other airline except for that stupid jokey shtick they do on the airline.

One passenger (I am guessing WN based) booked on the WN site her tickets on Airtran. She got free bags. But I am guessing she did not get free seat assignment. She started shouting at the Gate Agent why her family was not seated together and DEMANDED that she board early so she can find seats together. The GA had to explain to her why seat assignments were already done for other passengers. in all that confustion, the WN Gate Agent got so flustered he started telling people who got in at the end just to sit somewhere which made one lady just sit in BC when she had economy. THen a guy who had that BC seat came in at the very end and she had to move. But someone was sitting in her seat. Meanwhile, the domino effect caused by that rude lady wanting to have the entire family seated together created other problems including some extra passenger from a later flight sneaking onto the flight somehow. So we ended up with one extra passenger. We all had to deplane thanks to the WN gate agent getting flustered and board again since that extra passenger never fessed up when on board. I suggested they just go row to row and check all our boarding passes and make those without one reboard. Others in the plane agreed and pulled out their passes, but the GA refused. What a mess that flight was.
saneman is offline  
Old Oct 17, 13, 8:08 pm
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,963
US carriers are among the few which even permit SB anymore. But, they continue it while protecting their fully refundable/flexible (and more expensive) brand. Who in their right mind would pay for flexible fares if they could purchase non-flex and still get flex?
Often1 is offline  
Old Oct 18, 13, 7:16 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Programs: DL DM & 5MM, WN A List
Posts: 1,303
Just wrapping up Diamond requal on DL for next year and now trying to get Elite again on AirTran. Haven't been on them for months after giving them 60% plus of my business for several years; the merger literally made me a diamond on DL.

I hope it all works out for SWA, but it is clear they care nothing about ATL or their premium customers. All the talk about AirTran's fleet, all sorts of synergies, etc. was a lot of chatter overwhelmed by the glacial pace of a mess of a merger. They can't figure out how to have a common luggage policy or refund policy after years of merged operations?
Justin026 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread