US First vs AirTran Business

 
Old Mar 17, 10, 10:59 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
Programs: AA Plat, Sixt Platinum, Hilton Gold, Hyatt Platinum, Avis First, Caesars TR Diamond, Mlife Gold
Posts: 4,836
Smile US First vs AirTran Business

This weekend I did RT First Class MCO-Charlotte and here are some observations, compared with my many recent AirTran Business class experiences. Both flight crews were very nice, East going and West coming back. The seats were more comfortable (extra seat padding) on the East planes; though the West neck things were great. I loved the pomegranate martinis, having two doubles on each flight. The basket of goodies was fine for an offering. Also, the express line through security was a great benefit, as was the express luggage.

AirTran Business Class is very similar to the above with a few differences. One is, that you get pre-takeoff cocktails, which US Airways does not provide. Second, the goody basket, seems to have more to offer. I like the seats; however they are about the same. The flight attendants are about the same, as is the ground operation.

In summary, I think that US Airways is equal to the services provided by AirTran with its premium product. The added benefit of *A earning is something that AirTran does not offer. This being said, US First is not a true domestic First, such as United, Continental, Alaska, or Delta. Not offering meals for under a 3.5 hour flight, plastic cups, no pre-flight drinks, no US Airways skycaps and a staff that never addresses you by name: is not what one sees in the other majors First Class products.

I did like my flights overall, however the US product is not equal to the First product that either United or Continental offer. It seems to me, that US needs to improve its offering to be competitive within its alliance. While it does (more or less) equal AirTran the main benefit over AirTran is it's alliance benefits. So in the end, I will look into moving my flights (MCO based) to US Airways to take advantage of the great earning benefits on BMI. I should look into, more paid First tickets, at 3x mileage [email protected]:-)@:-):-:
gkbiiii is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 11:50 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: CMH and BWI
Programs: SPG- Nothing currently Grr.
Posts: 39
just a few points-

1. I've been addressed by name before, and sometimes I have not been. I would rather a stranger not know my name in this day and age.

2. Out of the last 12 F segments I've flown I got a preflight drink on 11 of them. In fact, I've been cut off more times than I've not been offered a preflight drink.

Last edited by Frebis; Mar 17, 10 at 12:24 pm
Frebis is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 11:56 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: BWIADCA
Programs: UA DL HH
Posts: 1,693
I don't know about MCO but US cannot serve alcoholic beverages at TPA when the aircraft is on the ground.
Other than that US serves pre flight drinks on all other flights (minus NM).
bwiadca is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 12:00 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 426
I'll give you the no meals under 3.5 hours (though I recently was served one on ORD-PHX) and the infamous plastic cups, but I agree with the previous poster on the whole "calling by name" issue. Doesn't bother me in the least, and given the choice, I'd rather not have them address me by name.
ramblers63 is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 12:05 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Homebase: CAE - Formerly, YUL
Programs: US CP, UA, HH Gold, Marriott Plat, DL, AA, CO, ++
Posts: 2,182
That's the biggest stretch I've seen in a long time. Pre-departure drinks are hit or miss on US East. Much more "hit" on US West.

HTSC
Originally Posted by bwiadca View Post
I don't know about MCO but US cannot serve alcoholic beverages at TPA when the aircraft is on the ground.
Other than that US serves pre flight drinks on all other flights (minus NM).
HereAndThereSC is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 12:07 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: US-CP, UA, Marriott Rewards, HHonors, Avis,
Posts: 4,549
There's some weird Alcoholic Beverage Commission rule at MCO-- not sure if it is county or state--- they can't serve pre-flight cocktails there. They used to, maybe 3-4 years ago; not entirely sure when they stopped and TBH occasionally they slip up and "forget" but when I've forgotten where I am, and asked for a drink, I'm always gently reminded that they can't serve on the ground in MCO.

I've never been all that impressed with AirTran. The planes are OK, no real difference in Coach (never had an AirTran business class seat though) but my real hangups with them are: Very limited destinations served from DCA when compared with US, especially for the nonstops, and very limited equipment; if you get stuck with a broken-down plane on US in a hub or a focus city, you've got a decent chance that the spare part or a spare plane is there or closeby; you're not totally done for. AirTran doesn't seem to have the same resources.

Also AirTran doesn't partner with anyone "big" that I know of, just Frontier and I don't consider them too big, so in irrops you're not going to get walked over to another airline. For me that's a biggie. I could give lots of examples but I think the best is trying to beat the St Patricks Day Ice Storm back east about 2 years ago, flying US from SAT-DCA connecting somewhere in between. The connection into DCA had been cancelled and no other routes into DCA from SAT on US so they put me on a UA nonstop that got me to IAD just in time to beat the ice storm. If I'd been on Air Tran (or WN for that matter) I might have been in Texas for a couple extra days. No fun.

I like being called by name although it annoys me when it's overdone. You don't have to address me by name every time I ask for something. But I think it is a classy touch and shows respect when greeted by name for the first contact.

And I really don't have an issue with plasticware. I could care less if my cocktail comes in glass, plastic or a handmade terra cotta coconut with tiki dancers on top.
dcpatti is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 12:14 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: CAE,AGS
Programs: AAExP, Hyatt Globalist, HHonors Gold, ICHPlat, MarriottR, SPG Gold
Posts: 3,115
Although the Tiki dancers are kind of cute, eh?
miffSC is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 12:29 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
Programs: DL PM, WN A-List, HH Dia, Hyatt Plat, National ECE, Hertz PC
Posts: 15,390
Last time I flew AirTran in business they absolutely refused to serve a second pre-departure beer. My last flight on US my seat opponent polished off three pre-departure beers with nary a protest from the F/A (I was honestly surprised that he got a third, never mind a second).
Beckles is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 12:36 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: USA
Programs: AA2, DL2, Amtrak2, US2, SPG1, MAR2
Posts: 2,541
Lounges make a huge difference for me.
DrivingRain is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 12:53 pm
  #10  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 851
AirTran has wifi on all flights, does it not? End of story for me. Wifi makes AirTran the best FC/BC out there, even if there is a charge.
masonuc is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 12:56 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: HH Gold, AA Gold
Posts: 10,122
Originally Posted by dcpatti View Post
I might have been in Texas for a couple extra days. No fun.
I'll take two extra days in SAT over DCA anytime!
formeraa is offline  
Old Mar 17, 10, 7:41 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Stuck Between the Moon and CLD or SAN, Your local Taco Bell
Programs: AA EXP/LT PLT, DL PM, UA Silver, SPG Plat, Marriott Plat, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 3,504
Originally Posted by masonuc View Post
AirTran has wifi on all flights, does it not? End of story for me. Wifi makes AirTran the best FC/BC out there, even if there is a charge.
Lack of power ports kills that. As does the regular undercatering of adult beverages in FL's J.
McFlyPHL is offline  
Old Mar 18, 10, 2:01 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Juneau, Alaska & Fort Lauderdale, Fl
Programs: Alaska MVP, AirTran Elite, Hertz Gold, Radisson Gold Elite
Posts: 83
AirTran's Sirius-XM radio & the GoGo wifi is a great distraction, in my mind, over US.

Every airline is starting to look the same, more and more... its coming down to network & flights for the most part.
HeleFlyer is offline  
Old Mar 18, 10, 7:40 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: US Chairman, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 189
I have also flown Airtran Business before and it is about on par with the US First offering. I do also hope that US does bring power and wifi to their airplanes, that would be quite nice. I have had to relegate my movie watching to an ipod due to battery issues with the laptop.

-- Mia
miakayuuki is offline  
Old Mar 18, 10, 10:42 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Concord, NC
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 173
Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
My last flight on US my seat opponent ...
A little insight into what traveling has become .

I know what you meant, but it made me chuckle when I read it. Now that I think of it, I have had some real opponents in coach for the armrest elbow wars.
EDnearJQF is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: