ITYT Travel Forums  

Go Back   ITYT Travel Forums > Travel Companies & Programs > Airlines & Frequent Flier Programs > AirTran Airways (FL)
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-30-2004, 10:13 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5
afraid to fly AirTran

Hello,

I will probably get reprimanded for this post...yet it's true, I am afraid to fly with AirTran. Not knowing anything about AirTran, I purchased a ticket last November which I couldn't use..so I paid $50 to cancel it and use it within the year. I was planning to use the ticket from Minneapolis to Boston or New York at the end of October. However, recently I've been looking into AirTran and have been finding disturbing info...about the ValueJet connection/1996 incident (I remember when that happened)...and numerous other plane safey hazards and problems (fires?!).

My friend just asked his brother about the true reputation of AirTran now, since his brother is a pilot for Southwest and knows the "inside info" on all the airlines, apparently. He said AirTran has really become overly precautious and that they are a good airline now after the ValueJet crash, name change, etc. So...is this true?? How safe IS AirTran? I just read a disturbing account of a recent flight where all the lights went out, etc. If they are so safe now, why is there all of this bad stuff about them? And info about incidents AFTER the ValueJet incident??

I really am nervous about flying with AirTran...but I don't want to waste $300 ticket.

what do I do??
__________________

spange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2004, 06:49 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Atlanta Hartsfield Int. Airport
Posts: 170
You'll just have to read ALL OF THE DISCUSSIONS that we've had here to defend AirTrans name. If your still scared after that then maybe you should fly Southwest or Delta or another airline that never has there planes break. I personnally work on all the AirTran aircraft along with approx 350 other technicians who strive to give the safest product we can. We have approx 80 717's and 5 737's with 1 being delivered ever month. Our planes fly thousands of people everyday with no problems at all. Hope you dont waste your $300.
__________________

jetmech717 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2004, 08:36 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5
what do you do for AirTran exactly??
spange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2004, 03:02 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: ATL
Posts: 99
Myself and jetmech717 are both AirTran Mechanics. I have worked here for 10 yrs. If anyone knows the inside about this airline it is us not the southwest pilot. All I can tell you is that there is not one plane we have that i would not put my family on for a flight. You will believe what you want to. I think you are nervous about flying no matter what airline it's on.
B717mech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2004, 03:21 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5
if AirTran is so safe, then what is all of this info I've read about regarding fires on AirTran planes...total electrical failures...loss of hydraulic system..etc..etc??


I'm really not afraid of flying. I'm just nervous flying on "cheap" airlines because I was told that the pilots who fly for them accept lower wages and therefore are not the "best in the biz" if you know what I mean. They're desperate and willing to take lower-paying jobs, such as with cheap airlines. I don't know if that's true, but it's what I was told from the Southwest pilot.

I don't mean to be insulting. I'm just concerned for my own safety.
thanks for your time and input
spange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2004, 04:19 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: ATL
Posts: 99
spange said:

Quote:
I'm really not afraid of flying. I'm just nervous flying on "cheap" airlines because I was told that the pilots who fly for them accept lower wages and therefore are not the "best in the biz" if you know what I mean. They're desperate and willing to take lower-paying jobs, such as with cheap airlines. I don't know if that's true, but it's what I was told from the Southwest pilot.
Give me a break. We are not a "cheap" airline as you call it. We are a low cost carrier, Just like southwest, but smaller. We don't pay our pilots as much as the majors do because we are not a Major carrier. If you have read the news lately just about every major airline is tryng to cut pilot pay. our pilots are the best in the biz, if we did pay our pilots and all the other employees top dollar we to would be filing for backruptcy and poissibly going out of business. We have pilots from just about all the major airlines that laid off. If you would rather fly on an airline that is in bankruptcy or is very close to it go ahead but just keep in mind that those airline have disgruntled employees that do not know if the will have a job the next day and hate coming to work.

Quote:
if AirTran is so safe, then what is all of this info I've read about regarding fires on AirTran planes...total electrical failures...loss of hydraulic system..etc..etc??
As jetmech717 has told you airplanes will break. you can go to the NTSB website and see thes thing happen to all airlines. The guys that run this website hate AirTran and want to do anything to spread the word. Read everything that has been posted here and you will see for yourself how SAFE AirTran is. We fly the most advance airplanes in the world and our fleet is one of the youngest in the world average about 3 yrs old. Our oldest airplane is 5 yrs and newest is 2 weeks.
B717mech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2004, 04:27 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5
Why is there this so-called hatred against AirTran? If not for lack of safety reasons?
spange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2004, 04:47 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: ATL
Posts: 99
baker sums it up the best he posted this a few months ago sorry it so long


Quote:
Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 11:40 am Post subject: As I've Said, This Is What the Dbakers Fear Most

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For those of you who've tried to figure out what makes dbaker tick, what's his major malfunction, what motivates his propaganda, this should shed some light on the situation. Three "genuine" industry experts chime in on what's wrong with the entrenched legacy business model and why that dinosaur is doomed. And that frightens dbaker to his core. A few excerpts from the article:

Quote:
Piecing Delta back together

By RUSSELL GRANTHAM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/24/04


Next month, Delta Air Lines' executives are expected to put the finishing touches on a strategic review of the ailing carrier.

A lot is riding on their months-long effort. Delta's losses have mounted to a staggering $5.6 billion since 2000, and the Atlanta carrier is still seeking deep pilot pay cuts it says are needed to avoid bankruptcy. Even if last week's sweetened offer from pilots leads to a deal, the airline won't be out of the woods, analysts say.

Creditors that have supplied Delta with aircraft, capital and other needs will be watching, too, for a viable exit strategy from the morass...

...With that in mind, the Journal-Constitution asked three longtime airline-watchers what they think Delta's strategic plans should include.


Kevin Mitchell

Chairman of the Business Travel Coalition, an advocacy group for airlines' corporate travel customers


...Much as Wal-Mart has trained a nation of bargain-hunters, the ease of fare shopping on the Internet and buying cheap tickets from discount carriers has taught air travelers to expect everyday low prices, he said.

What that means for Delta is "absolutely the most gut-wrenching of restructurings that you can imagine," he said.

His prescription for Delta is bitter: more job, pay and benefit cuts; shedding unprofitable routes and assets; and rethinking many jobs and operations.

"I think [Delta's] biggest problem is its own understanding of the current marketplace and where the marketplace is going," said Mitchell, who admits that his own thinking also has evolved in the face of discount carriers' rising market power.

In the past, he dismissed Song, Delta's 16-month-old discount unit based in New York, as a "gigantic management attention-diverter."

But now that discount carriers like Southwest, AirTran and JetBlue control about a quarter of the market and influence fares far beyond their direct route networks, he has changed his mind. Within a year or two, discounters will be flying to Europe and other international destinations, opening another battle front, he predicted.

Their market power is "at a killer level right now," he said. "Delta has got to become Song or some version of Song across its whole network, and it's got to get out of markets it's losing money in, and it has to have also an opportunity to innovate in other markets like ... international long-haul"...

..."It's a conundrum," he said. "There's no escaping the fact that it's got to include some very, very significant cutbacks, and maybe changes in the very nature of the jobs and how they're compensated and how they're rewarded over the long term"...

...He said Delta needs to cut capacity, especially in leisure-oriented markets where it has lost the battle to low-cost carriers. He cited the New Orleans-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., route, where Southwest has 69 percent of the market.

"They're in certain markets where they can't compete, and they're wasting money," Mitchell said.

..."The longer it takes, the weaker it's going to be when it gets there, and the more market share it's going to lose."


John Luth

Chairman of Seabury Group, an investment banking firm that specializes in airlines


John Luth's New York firm helped shepherd US Airways and Air Canada through recent bankruptcies and helped Continental and America West restructure outside Chapter 11.

While he declined to talk about Delta specifically, Luth's advice on how big hub-and-spoke carriers need to change in order to survive could apply to the nation's third-largest carrier...

..."You have to start with 'I have to have a competitive product,' " he said. "And then by defining where the competitiveness needs to be, and where those markets are going to be, and what the competition is likely to be, you redefine your network, how big you're going to be, whether you have the right-sized planes, and how you fly the system."

...These days, big network carriers can only count on getting about $15 more on the average one-way fare because they offer more flights, destinations and other perks than discount carriers, he said.

That's not enough to cover most traditional airlines' higher costs, Luth said. Moreover, they must match discounters' simpler, less-restrictive ticket rules someday, he said. That requires lowering costs even more...

...But there is no longer a clear link between travel spending and the economy because of the growing power of discount carriers.

The competition will only get tougher over the next few years, Luth said, because new low-cost players like Independence Air and Virgin America are popping up. The ever-growing use of the Internet raises the profile of smaller airlines, which used to be "invisible," Luth said.

Within three to five years, he predicts, discount carriers will control a third of the market and largely dictate pricing in 85 percent of the U.S. market, because they only have to have a small presence on a given route to affect fares. Low-cost carriers now hold 26 percent of the U.S. market, according to Seabury Group.

"There's going to be an excess supply vs. demand of product in the coming couple of years that ultimately will cause some shakeout," he said. Some old-line carriers will contract or fail "unless they get competitive."


Darryl Jenkins

Professor of airline management at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, former director of George Washington University's Aviation Institute


Age works against Delta, says Jenkins.

It's hard to make a fresh start when you're a 75-year-old company with billions in debt and "contracts that go so far back that none of us can remember why we even negotiated them the way we did," said Jenkins, who has done consulting work for dozens of airlines over the years.

"That's kind of a discouraging place to start," he said.

In contrast, young carriers like AirTran and JetBlue have lower costs in part because employees are younger and lower-paid, with little or no pension liabilities. Planes are newer, with lower maintenance costs. Quicker promotions boost employee morale.

"I'm doing some work with some start-ups now, and it's so much easier to start with a clean slate that it's actually fun again," said Jenkins.

So what should Delta do, given that it's already loaded with baggage?

Shed about $5 billion in annual costs. That almost certainly means at least one trip through bankruptcy, he added...

...Jenkins said old-line airlines like Delta don't need to scrap their hub-and-spoke networks, which some say are too costly to compete with discount carriers' simpler networks.

"I see hub-and-spokers making money," he said. "AirTran's a classic hub-and-spoke carrier, and these guys run a very good airline"...

...If Delta files for Chapter 11, it should consider radical surgery, said Jenkins.

"Look at the places where they make money. That's where you stay. Look at the places where you don't make money. You ditch them."

Does that mean the future Delta may consist largely of its regional carriers and its international routes, the two operations that industry analysts say are making money?

"If I had my way, that's how I would do it," said Jenkins.


It's not just Delta, it's industry wide. Continental recently reported losses in the billions, much worse than expected. The legacy model just isn't competitive anymore and as a result restructuring and deep cuts and bankruptcy looms for those carriers. Which in turn bursts the pampered and wasteful triple platium crowne elite club bubble of the dbakers of the world. AirTran and JetBlue and Southwest have stormed through the market and overturned the apple carts, so the money changers are none too pleased...

Now you get it?
B717mech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2004, 02:14 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Atlanta Hartsfield Int. Airport
Posts: 170
I guess if we have to set straight every mislead flyer (1) at a time then we will B717mech. Spange just read some of the threads on the discussions between some AirTran backers and haters. Then you decide which airline you want to fly. If you are worried about your $300 then I'm sure we could find a neighbor or someone who will pay to have it transferred to them so they can fly us. good luck with your delima.
jetmech717 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2004, 03:10 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5
I called AirTran and they said I can't transfer my ticket to anybody! IS there any way to do this?? I'd prefer to sell it to set my mind as ease. I know I'm being silly but..well, sorry. So, can I transfer it?? The reservationist/agent said no.
spange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2004, 01:36 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: ATL
Posts: 267
Who?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by B717mech
baker sums it up the best he posted this a few months ago sorry it so long
Don't you mean "haze" sums it up the best? I've got pretty broad shoulders and have been called a lot of things in my day, but I'm not going to stand by and let you call me "baker"
haze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2004, 09:25 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: ATL
Posts: 99
haze please accept my apology, I was getting upset at this guy who has no clue about airlines. I think he should just fly on another airline to put his mind at ease.


SORRY AGAIN HAZE

No spange you can't transfer it. You either use it or loose it. It will cost you more than $300 though. You still have to buy another ticket on someone else which will be much more expensive. Happy flyin'.
B717mech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2004, 11:46 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 21
spange,

I'm a captain at AirTran and let me tell you. Our training and checking standards are some of the toughest in the industry. The person who certifies our pilots after training, used to do the same for Delta and according to him our pilots have to get thru much tougher evaluations in order to be allowed to fly for AirTran. In fact we are planning to hire about 30 more pilots this year and there are over 10,000 résumés piled up in our HR office...I saw them myself. Some of our recently hired pilots include...Military pilots (one from US Air Force "Thunderbirds" demo team, and two from the squadron that flies Air Force One with President on board.) Other newly hired pilots are from legacy carriers such as USAir, Northwest, United and many others. Most in their 40's with tens of thousands of hours of flight experience.

Secondly. You probably don't know this, but when Air Force One travels around the country with president on board, it is followed by AirTran 717 carrying White House officials that don't really belong on presidential airplane. I have personally done one of those (charter) flights myself.

Now, you don't think that the White House, with all that access to tax payer's money, would put their employees on some "cheap" and unsafe airline...do you? Or do you think that dbaker has more credibility then the Secret Service?


To conclude...I have just read a letter from one of our new customers addressed to AirTran. It went something like this.

A Delta frequent flyer was booked by his business partner on AirTran and was informed of a great deal that they were able to save on a ticket. The frequent flyer...was very hesitant to try out AirTran, questioning the relationship between low fares and safety of the airline. However after taking his first flight with AirTran he was writing his latter, in which he was ecstatic about our new planes, professional service and overall excellent experience. He finished the letter by saying that he will always book on AirTran on all flights that Delta overlaps with us in and out of Atlanta.


You can do what you want with your ticket, but I suggest that you do some research outside of this website (places like USA Today, WSJ, and many wall street investment firms would be a good start), and give AirTran a try...I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Just look at our terminal in Atlanta. It is filled with people every day. Our planes are full. When I say goodbye to our passengers exiting airplane, I get at least a few of them thanking me for a great flight, saying that they couldn't imagine that they would get such a pleasant experience on a low fare airline. Those are our new customers, and they all promise to return.

Here are some facts:

http://www.prnewswire.com/airtran/20010620b.shtml

http://www.prnewswire.com/airtran/20020326a.shtml

http://www.prnewswire.com/airtran/20021111a.shtml

http://www.prnewswire.com/airtran/20021209a.shtml

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/mi...TE=Apr+1,+2004



I hope this helps.
trs717 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2004, 02:52 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: ATL
Posts: 267
My Sentiments Eggzackly

Thanks for posting all of those in one spot, trs717. I've previously posted all those articles on this site at one time or another as well, nice to see them consolidated on one page like that. You should start an entirely new AirTran thread on this site entitled "AirTran Accolades" and list all those links

I also posted a story about the pilot for an AirTran flight of mine back in the late 90's. He was an ex-Eastern captain with over 20 years experience, piloted F-4s in Vietnam, and was nearing retirement. AirTran pilots aren't lacking experience by any means
haze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2004, 03:52 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3
Fear of Flying

AirTran guys,

There is a very popular fear of flying forum run by a retired pilot who is also a psychologist. He warns everyone on his board against flying AirTran because they are non-union and therefore more dangerous.

His forum is at http://www.fearofflying.com/message.htm if you care to defend your image. Personally, I think the guy is wrong and very unethical. You can click on the "AirTran" thread and see what I mean. The man is very controlling and believes his experience as a former pilot makes him right and no one should argue with him.

Anyway, I thought some from here might want to make the debate a little more fair and balanced.
MadMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2004, 08:11 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Atlanta Hartsfield Int. Airport
Posts: 170
thanks madman...you know we'll check it out and set him straight.
jetmech717 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2004, 08:39 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3
You're very welcome. I hate to see someone blindly make accusations and pass them off as the final word. He's supposed to be helping people. People pay a lot of money for his program.

Anyway, glad you'll check it out.

Good luck.
MadMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2004, 02:45 PM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CHS/BNA
Posts: 1
Send a message via Yahoo to FlyMeToDisney
AirTran and Fear of Flying Forums

Thanks so much, Hazeman, for following up on that message board post. The owner of that site doesn't like to have his opinions challenged and often dishes out his opinion as the gospel truth.

I hope you don't mind but I copied your post and all the great info about AirTran to a similar question on our Fear of Flying group (run by a Southwest Captain and recovering Fearful Flyers and even a former AirTran first officer!).

Here is the link: http://p197.ezboard.com/ffearofflyin...picID=66.topic

Please feel free to visit that board and post as much as you like (we're nice over there!).

Thanks!
Kelley
FlyMeToDisney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2004, 07:51 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: ATL
Posts: 267
No, Thank You

...no problem! And thank you for help in spreading the truth
haze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2004, 02:32 AM   #20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 21
Just for the record...AirTran pilots belong to NPA (National Pilots Association.) it is the in-house union.
__________________

trs717 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:47 PM.



Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0