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-   -   The Official Suggestion List For More Elite Benefits Thread! (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/airtran-airways-rewards/436531-official-suggestion-list-more-elite-benefits-thread.html)

ctownflyer May 25, 05 8:41 am

The Official Suggestion List For More Elite Benefits Thread!
 
I think its important to make a thread like this, and forward it to airtran corporate so that they know what their best flyers really want.
I'll start off here with a couple suggestions that are commenplace in other airlines elite programs...
1.Ability to pre-reserve exit/bulkhead row seats
2.Expanded rewards tickets availbility
3.Priority standby
What does everyone else feel would be nice touches to the elite program?

wahooflyer May 25, 05 4:09 pm

I agree that prereserving exit rows should be added to the list of elite perks. All the legacy carriers allow elites to do so and there's no reason why AirTran shouldn't do the same.

Row 10 can't be prereserved (per the Americans with Disabilities act, effectively) because the seats are blocked for wheelchair passengers.

FL_f/a May 25, 05 4:22 pm

Purely from the point of view of things I donít think would cost the company that much, I donít know what elites would find actually useful.

Would like to see free upgrades on any fare class... if the seat is going out empty, might as well put someone whoís keeping the company in business in it. I donít know how many elites would change their buying habits for this.

Increased checked baggage allowance, especially in light of changing from three bags to two.

Complimentary drinks/headsets in coach. Although havenít seen an elite without their own headsets.

Possibly the ability to block the middle seat next to them in coach, so it would be the last one assigned?

ctownflyer May 25, 05 5:19 pm


Originally Posted by FL_f/a
Purely from the point of view of things I donít think would cost the company that much, I donít know what elites would find actually useful.

Would like to see free upgrades on any fare class... if the seat is going out empty, might as well put someone whoís keeping the company in business in it. I donít know how many elites would change their buying habits for this.

Increased checked baggage allowance, especially in light of changing from three bags to two.

Complimentary drinks/headsets in coach. Although havenít seen an elite without their own headsets.

Possibly the ability to block the middle seat next to them in coach, so it would be the last one assigned?

all are great suggestions!

tj41 May 26, 05 8:46 am

But as elite, why would we ever need to worry about reserving an exit row seat?

:p Just kidding, I STRONGLY second that one!

wahooflyer May 26, 05 5:47 pm

Here's another idea: earned upgrade credits for X number of segments you fly as an elite (similar to AA and UA upgrades---they give 4 for every 10,000 miles flown). Make it separate from the A+ upgrade award available to all A+ members.

Elites would still have to "pay" for their upgrades through this method, but it might give them the incentive to fly AirTran more often.

cl_ May 27, 05 7:17 pm

...good suggestions above
 
My list, in order of preference, would be

1. Ability to prebook row 10 bulkhead for elites only - I know it is used for passengers with disabilities, but UAL allows seats there to be selected, so it has to be possible. I would be fine with a disclaimer that indicates I might be bumped, but if it is not used for disabilities, I would get to sit there. And, AirTrans definition of disability is very loose - people using a wheelchair - fine. Last couple of flights I have been on it has been for overweight or out of shape or older people. Fine if they don't want to walk all the way back to row 30 or something, but they could sit in row 11 just fine. This one would be the most important to me.

2. The idea of rewarding Elites with upgrade coupons is a great one. Airtran sort of already does because you can use miles for upgrades, but the 500 milers from UAL are nice. It should be for legs or miles. And it should be allowed at time of booking or check in.

3. Match status at other airlines. I've decided to fly Airtran, and hoping to make Elite within the first quarter, but it sure would be nicer if I could have matched status. Would have made the decision to fly Airtran (instead of Delta) a no brainer instead of one I mulled over for 2 weeks.

4. If Elites could sit in bulkhead, then also offer Elites snacks. No free drinks, but snacks would be nice since you can't even buy them if you want them.

FL_f/a May 27, 05 10:08 pm


Originally Posted by cl_
1. Ability to prebook row 10 bulkhead for elites only - I know it is used for passengers with disabilities, but UAL allows seats there to be selected, so it has to be possible. I would be fine with a disclaimer that indicates I might be bumped, but if it is not used for disabilities, I would get to sit there. And, AirTranís definition of disability is very loose - people using a wheelchair - fine. Last couple of flights I have been on it has been for overweight or out of shape or older people. Fine if they don't want to walk all the way back to row 30 or something, but they could sit in row 11 just fine. This one would be the most important to me.

I really don't feel this would be practical. For one thing, because our 717s don't have a closet where we can stow onboard wheelchairs, there is a place to secure them at 10AC. So I really don't think that side could ever be released to be prebooking. I think it would make more sense to release the exit rows to elites, unless they are unable to occupy them, in which case I think it would be okay to sit them in row 10.


Originally Posted by cl_
4. If Elites could sit in bulkhead, then also offer Elites snacks. No free drinks, but snacks would be nice since you can't even buy them if you want them.

As an f/a, I think this would be horribly awkward. Most people have not a clue what it means to be elite. You would have to explain every time why the person next to them is getting the "good" snacks. Whereas it is very easy just to not ask an elite member for their credit card when they order drinks.

AS Flyer May 28, 05 1:02 am


Originally Posted by cl_
1. Ability to prebook row 10 bulkhead for elites only - I know it is used for passengers with disabilities, but UAL allows seats there to be selected, so it has to be possible. I would be fine with a disclaimer that indicates I might be bumped, but if it is not used for disabilities, I would get to sit there. And, AirTrans definition of disability is very loose - people using a wheelchair - fine. Last couple of flights I have been on it has been for overweight or out of shape or older people. Fine if they don't want to walk all the way back to row 30 or something, but they could sit in row 11 just fine. This one would be the most important to me.

I, too, don't see how this could work. If an elite member were bumped by a handicapped passenger, they could potentially be bumped to a middle seat which would not make that elite member very happy. You can't just bump someone from a good seat to accomodate an elite member that was forced out of their row 10 seat.

XFed2001 May 28, 05 6:41 am

How about extending award expiration date by 3 months?
 
Currently, one only has 12 months to use flight credits earned. So, how about a bit more time?

SaveDelta May 28, 05 3:11 pm

1. Upgrades to Biz Class on any fare class 12 hours before flight.

2. Ability to put spouse or child on iten. for upgrades if available if flying with the Elite member.

3. New snacks in BIZ class!!

Justin026 May 28, 05 7:48 pm


Originally Posted by XFed2001
Currently, one only has 12 months to use flight credits earned. So, how about a bit more time?

As a companion to this benefit, eliminate the "stealth expiration" policy, whereby credits expire exactly 12 months after they are earned. Assuming AirTran wants them to expire, then it should be done after some warning and at set times of the year. Other programs have advertised when this is going to happen, some have even run special deals. One gets the feeling that AirTran wants them to just fade away, unused.

As another benefit, allow members to combine their eight credit awards into larger awards. For example, two 8 credit one-way coach awards to equal a 16 credit business class award.

As another benefit, set up a club room, starting at ATL.

wahooflyer May 28, 05 9:25 pm


Originally Posted by SaveDelta
1. Upgrades to Biz Class on any fare class 12 hours before flight.

2. Ability to put spouse or child on iten. for upgrades if available if flying with the Elite member.

Another excellent idea.

The way I understand it, elites can only get free upgrades (on Y/B fares) after the agent has tried to sell upgrades at the gate. It should be the other way around, like US Airways and Delta; offer the upgrades to elites first, for free, and then sell them at the gate once all the elites have been moved up. And certainly, offer the free upgrades on all fares and to at least one companion, but perhaps let the upgrade for Y/B fares clear earlier to give travelers an incentive to buy the higher fares.

ctownflyer May 29, 05 6:31 am

y/b fares are upgraded at time of purchase for elites.

Justin026 May 29, 05 8:25 am

A lot of suggestions are being made about faults or gaps in an "at the gate standby system." But folks! -- at best this is an ad hoc temporary practice, giving upgrades at the gate, and is more of a courtesy than a formal procedure.

What we have instead is a much better system:

1. You get Business Class by PURCHASING a Business Class ticket for a LOW price. AirTran's HIGHEST prices for Business Class are FAR below a legacy carrier's published layers of First Class prices, unless they are matching AirTran in a given market. Even then, they rulesmith the matching tickets in a way that makes the passenger feel like he is a charity case flying First as a gift.

2. To upgrade a Coach ticket as an Elite, you pull up the flights on the web. AS YOU RESERVE the flight, it lists every coach fare that is available for upgrade for that entire day of travel--if you buy one of the marked fares you will be upgraded then and there. No waitlists, no priority systems, no nonsense.

3. If you want to buy a cheaper coach seat, you still don't have to play an at-the-gate waitlist/standby/whatever. Just walk up to the ticket counter and ask--can I upgrade? If there is space, you can upon paying $35 extra. Done deal. In Atlanta they will even do this paid upgrade at the Skycap station out on the curb. YOU CAN EVEN PAY TO UPGRADE A FREE AWARD TICKET.

4. Hey! The airline doing all this actually makes money.

5. With all of this, Business Class remains fluid, available and provides a good level of amenities. Why screw it up?

It seems to me the one enhancement from the above comments that might fit in best would be to send out the occasional coupon to waive the $35 at the airport to do an upgrade. Or perhaps they could sell a booklet of 6 or 10 of those upgrades with a discounted price for using some award credits.


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