Should I make an effort to reach Elite+?

 
Old Aug 4, 04, 8:36 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,017
Should I make an effort to reach Elite+?

So, I've checked online, and my regular travel habits on AirTran earn me at least half the credits needed to reach elite. I could schedule, say, four extra roundtrips in the next 90 days and get there, to Elite+. I have residences in two cities connected by a direct AirTran route, and it would be somewhat reasonable but somewhat more expensive than my normal travel schedule to pump up my numbers and reach Elite in the new few months.

Does anybody have advice about whether I should try? What are the benefits that you find most important about being Elite? Business class would be nice for me for preboarding, but I"m small so the legroom in a normal seat is no big deal. I don't drink, so no big whoop about free alcohol in business class. But choosing my seat early even on the super-cheap fares sounds like a great perk. Transferability of credits to Mr. GradGirl's account would help us get more free flights.

My number one priority, though is the waiver of change and cancellation fees. Because I have a house and a life in both cities, it's difficult at times to plan as much in advance as I need to with airline tickets. I have probably changed or cancelled at least six times in the past year, which cost me $300. But AirTran only says that change and cancellation fees are waived on "on select fares". Does anyone know how restrictive that would be? Would I still be out another $300 by this time next year, or would I save money and gain flexibility with this perk? If it were free to change my tickets, I'd probably do so much more than I already do.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!
GradGirl is offline  
Old Aug 4, 04, 9:41 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DCA
Programs: CO-GLD;HH-GLD;UA-1P;F9 QuickAscent;FL Courtesy Elite
Posts: 90
I did the "comp elite" deal last fall so I am a pseudo-elite. Especially since I've never received my elite card.

The waived change fees (and refundability benefit) is a nice perk--I've used it a few times. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially if you are "forced" to use a corporate travel agent by your company (you have to force them to book it on Airtran's website for you, not through Sabre or other travel agent system).

But assuming you are always using the Airtran Website, you should have no problems (although you usually have to call them to process the refund or ticket change--at least that's been my experience.)

The no-change-fee fares and refundable fares are Y, B, and M class tickets. In other words, not the cheapest, sale fares. When you are elite and you log onto their website, it lists all the fares available for a given site (with all their fare classes) instead of just the standard cheapest coach and cheapest business class fare. (Y and B are also the "free upgrade" fares).

All fares include the pre-assigned seats, and (despite what the website says) you can do it on-line right when you book (but only if you've logged in as elite)

There seems to be marked inconsistency across the stations as far as allowing pre-boarding, quick security lines, etc.

I don't fly them enough to earn full elite next year. It's nice, but for me, they don't fly to enough places I need to go to be my first choice (although they are the best choice for a few of the places I need to go).

Your situation might qualify you for a comp--it sounds like you are exactly the market they want to target (especially if they can squeeze higher yield out of you by buying the changeable YBH fares when elite). No harm in calling them up and asking for a comp to elite now--then you can give them your business the rest of the year and try them out. Call up the Aplus number and see.

Let us know what happens...
borisbear is offline  
Old Aug 4, 04, 9:59 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA - AirTran Elite #1 FF * Delta Diamond Medallion * Starwood Platinum * PriorityClub Gold * Hilton Diamond
Posts: 672
Originally Posted by GradGirl
So, I've checked online, and my regular travel habits on AirTran earn me at least half the credits needed to reach elite. I could schedule, say, four extra roundtrips in the next 90 days and get there, to Elite+. I have residences in two cities connected by a direct AirTran route, and it would be somewhat reasonable but somewhat more expensive than my normal travel schedule to pump up my numbers and reach Elite in the new few months.

Does anybody have advice about whether I should try? What are the benefits that you find most important about being Elite? Business class would be nice for me for preboarding, but I"m small so the legroom in a normal seat is no big deal. I don't drink, so no big whoop about free alcohol in business class. But choosing my seat early even on the super-cheap fares sounds like a great perk. Transferability of credits to Mr. GradGirl's account would help us get more free flights.

My number one priority, though is the waiver of change and cancellation fees. Because I have a house and a life in both cities, it's difficult at times to plan as much in advance as I need to with airline tickets. I have probably changed or cancelled at least six times in the past year, which cost me $300. But AirTran only says that change and cancellation fees are waived on "on select fares". Does anyone know how restrictive that would be? Would I still be out another $300 by this time next year, or would I save money and gain flexibility with this perk? If it were free to change my tickets, I'd probably do so much more than I already do.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!
M class coach or higher and you get waived change fees. Also, you're upgraded to business class for free from B class or higher ($60-$70 less than paid business class).

You get to call 24 hours in advance to book business class upgrades from ANY fare via the Elite line.

You get to pick your seat as soon as you book your ticket -- even on-line.

They're growing and it's absolutely worth it. They're my favorite airline by far and I'm a Delta Platinum Medallion from international travel.
JoeFlyer is offline  
Old Aug 5, 04, 5:57 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: WI
Programs: SPG PLAT, AA PLAT, DL DM
Posts: 522
With AirTran's growth it is worth becoming an Elite member.
jimcoddington is offline  
Old Aug 12, 04, 7:08 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lawrenceville, GA USA
Programs: SPG Plat, Marriott LT Plat, Delta Flying Colonel, Hyatt Plat, H-Inn Gold
Posts: 8
Airtran elite

Well worth it!

Pre-boarding alone! Comp upgrades at the gate on all fare classes much of the time (you have to request). 1 day before upgrades on certificates (A+ phone number). Some elite checkin lines. I am out of ATL weekly and was a very loyal Delta guy for many years (my FF number begins with 0000). Don't have a lot of experiece with changes, but on several occasions they have waived the change fee even on fare classes that don't qualify (you usually have to ask for a manager).

I am also corporate, so between the two, I get treated very well

Between SPG Plat and Airtran elite, life on the road is most of the time pretty OK
RCMENNEG is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread