View Full Version : TRIP REPORT: FL 359 25 April LGA/ATL, FL 546 ATL/SAV

Art at ISP
2008-04-25, 07:08 PM
As I indicated elsewhere, I had occasion to try Airtran today, which was my first time (and probably the last). I had lowered expectations, but on the first leg, at least, they performed even lower...

After getting home last evening from SEA, I had a brief respite, got to unpack/repack, and woke up at 3:45AM to start off to LGA for my 6AM flight. Realizing that my boarding pass (seat 12C) said zone 7, I believed that by the time I got to board, the overhead space might be gone, so on a whim, I checked at the ticket counter, and they offered me an "upgrade" to Business Class for $60. I took it on the first leg, but not the second.

Through LGA security, which was not too bad this morning on the B finger, I went down to the end of the terminal, B8, and they were just beginning to board...45 minutes prior to departure. I got on board, and was greeted by two young ladies who appeared to have last worked at Terminal F in PHL (no offense), found my seat, and got settled in. At NO time did anyone offer to hang a jacket, but eventually one did come through and asked bruskly if we would like a predeparture beverage (the more accurate wording was something like "Y'all wanna drink before we go?"). OK, a little rough but not terrible--for Bob's sake at least we did get a predeparture beverage.
The door was closed and we pushed back 10 minutes prior to scheduled departure.....even faster than US. Since it was before 6AM, we taxied out, and were number 1 by the time we got to the runway. A minute later, we were climbing out over New Jersey on a beautiful morning. Now there is a point in the LGA departure, that we almost always level off at 12000 feet somewhere near Newark airport, and today was no exception....EXCEPT that a few miles later, we began to climb again, then the engines went almost to idle, and we actually descened a few hundred feet--my guess being they were about to blow through an altitude restriction.

Once we reached a cruising altitude, at the point where the beverage service should have begun (well it did for about half the biz cabin), the two toddlers in the front cabin started screaming. It appears that beverages were offered to the right side of the airplane, but then they forgot about my side and just went in the back to do the coach service. AND when they came back forward, all three gathered in the galley and couldn't be bothered to offer refills, although they did bring a snack basket to 3 or 4 of 12 passengers in the front.

I did everything short of ringing the F/A call button in an attempt to get a cup of coffee, but was unable to do so. Finally I gave up and shut my eyes for a while. And when they did finally come to our row, they ignored my seatmate and me and cleared the trash.

We landed about 1/2 hour early, and got to the gate, and I just kept my mouth shut, got off the plane and went to the next gate.

After 40 minutes or so, the inbound making the connection arrived, and they did turn it in about 25 minutes. We got on board, with me in row 27 this time, settled in, and I prepared to enjoy my first ride on a 717. Unfortunately being so far back I was 2 rows ahead of the engine itself, and it was L O U D back there. That however turned out to be the worst of it for this flight.

Once aloft, THIS crew proceeded to to what amounted to a full beverage service--I was finally able to get my coffee, and mini biscoffs (as opposed to NOTHING to eat or drink on the preceeding flight), and watched the scenery for the brief 40 minute flight to SAV.
Another early arrival and an announcement from the F/A that we should applaud as this was the co pilot's first landing (smartly said AFTER we were on the ground). To the gate for another early arrival, and the jetway driver MIA again, but he showed eventually.

After thinking about this experience on my hour drive to Hilton Head, I decided it was worth a call to Airtran Customer Relations. I got through with minimal wait, explained the situation to an agent, who asked me to hold while he created a report, then came on and thanked me for bringing the matter to their attention (no offer was made for anything but then again I didn't act like I was looking for something).

On the bright side, all flights were early, and I had to call back to Res to change my return from Sunday morning to tomorrow evening, and THAT experience went MUCH better than expected. It was easy, the agent was helpful, and because I had to buy the Business Class fare again they waived the change fee (which made it cost neutral :) ).

The return shall follow.....but it's interesting-better service in coach than in Biz Class, and I achieved the impossible-I found a premium class of service actually worse than that offered by US Airways......

2008-04-29, 09:00 AM
Good read--how are FL's biz class seats?

Art at ISP
2008-04-29, 11:11 AM
They are very cheap-simlar to first class seats in size, but smaller cushions. No flip out beverage holders in the armrest, and tray tables in the seatback rather than in the armrest.

XM radio didn't work on ANY of the 4 flights--stuck on channel 71.

Also on the last flight on what looked like a brand new airplane, the armrest was already taped together-the front piece was broken.

2008-04-29, 11:34 AM
There's a reason itís called Air Trash Art. I flew Air Tran once and it wasn't all too bad. They seem to be some kind of hybrid full serve carrier slash Southwest style carrier. I haven't flown them since being I haven't found their fares to be very attractive.

2008-04-29, 12:04 PM
XM radio didn't work on ANY of the 4 flights--stuck on channel 71.

Happened to me on flight from LGA to CAK...stuck on Watercolors for whole flight.

Art at ISP
2008-04-29, 12:42 PM
I agree--I tried it, and didn't like it. I had lowered expectations, and they performed under THOSE.

This is probably the model US Airways aspires to (no such word as despires). Operationally, however, they appear to be significantly better than US.

2008-04-29, 03:43 PM
Well there is always AA ;)