AirTran Airways: America’s Low Cost Leader in Air Travel
With the economy tanking and unemployment at record highs, many travelers are searching for ways to take vacations without breaking the bank. While air travel has declined since the economic downturn, there is still great demand for flights. Many commuters and vacationers are taking advantage on deeply discounted airfare and budget airlines for their travel needs.
AirTran Airways is one of the premier discount travel airlines operating today. With over 700 daily flights operating from their hub at Atlanta’s bustling Hartsfield-Jackson international airport, AirTran has made its mark on discount air travel.
In 1992, ValuJet, one of the country’s first true discount airlines was founded in Atlanta, Georgia. ValuJet became an instant sensation, and quickly turned a profit and became the industry leader in air travel. ValuJet’s instant success led to major growth, and eventually enabled the neophyte company to acquire several other airlines. With its explosive growth, the company moved its headquarters to a larger operation in Orlando, Florida. Capitalizing off of the region’s magnetic lure to tourists, ValuJet started offering deeply discounted fares to Orlando and other Florida vacation destinations.
In 1997, ValuJet officially changed its name and began operating as AirTran Airways. By 2001, AirTran Airways had grown to include flights to over 56 cities across the country. The rapidly growing airline offered more than 700 flights a day and operated with a crew of over 9,000 employees and full time staff. By the end of 2001, AirTran was serving over 20 million passengers coast to coast.
AirTran prides itself on its corporate responsibility and dedication to charity. AirTran makes donation to several worthy causes, including the Fairy Godmother Foundation which grants wishes to terminally ill adults, the Partnership Against Domestic Violence, Samaritan House, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which works to raise money for breast cancer research. In addition, AirTran has donated free airline tickets to families with loved ones serving overseas in Iraq.
AirTran also reaches out to the Atlanta, Georgia community that houses its main hub. AirTran lends its support to the Atlanta Business League, The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Hands on Atlanta and Central Atlanta Progress.
AirTran has set itself apart from its competitors by offering premium amenities and services that make air travel more convenient and comfortable for its passengers. AirTran Airways flights offer over 100 channels of XM Satellite radio as well as entertainment for both its business class and coach passengers. In addition, passengers can elect to pay a small additional fee for the convenience of a window seat or a roomier emergency exit row seat.
AirTran Airways is also one of the few airlines that offers free Wi-Fi access on all of its flights, providing an added value to its loyal customers. In addition, families flying with infants can appreciate the airline’s convenient baby changing stations, located on every flight. EasyFit overhead bins make shoving your delicate carry-on into crammed bins a thing of the past.
In early 2009, AirTran instituted a new marketing campaign that offered a chance to win a free ticket on every one of its flights if participants answered the question “What do you want on every flight” on the company’s webpage. The campaign was wildly successful, and lead to the company’s decision to offer wireless in-flight internet access by the end of that year.
Deals and Specials
AirTran’s low every day fares are enough to get any bargain hunter daydreaming about their next fun in the sun getaway. AirTran doesn’t stop there, however. The discount airline offers incredible web deals every week, luring in new customers with deep discounts on one-way travel. The greatest discounts often go to travelers looking to purchase last-minute fares. To fill these flights, the airline offers bargain basement fares to hundreds of destinations. AirTran has long been known for offering fares as low as $29 each way to selected destinations.
To keep up to date on AirTran’s web specials and low fare deals, sign up for Net Escapes on their website. This service will email you when low fares are available, and give access to flight deals before they’re available to the general public. Set an alert that will notify you when fares fall below a certain price. Be the first to know about upgrades and special weekend deals.
For those looking for deals offline, there’s a well-kept secret in the airline industry and with AirTran in particular. A quick call to the airline’s customer service hotline will connect you with a knowledgeable sales rep who can search unpublished deals and offer deeper discounts than what is offered on the airline’s website. They can negotiate deals such as better seats, upgrades to business class and seats on standby flights. In addition, they can connect you to discounts with car rental agencies, hotels and other tourist services. Ask about special discounts for amusement parks, restaurants and attractions.
Interested in booking a vacation package? AirTran Airways offers vacation planning services directly from their website. Book your hotel and flight together for the best savings. Add on a Hertz rental car for a low fee. AirTran has partnerships with several hotel and car rental vendors to offer the deepest discounts. AirTran will not only fly you there, but also arrange for ground transportation to the hotel of your choice when you arrive.
Looking to take a cruise vacation? Choose from discounted tickets with the top cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian, Celebrity, Princess and Disney Cruise lines. Book your flight and cruise together and enjoy the lowest fares available. AirTran’s friendly travel consultants can assist you with cabin selection, shore excursions, onboard credits and upgrades.
Frequent flyers will find a huge benefit in AirTran’s A+ rewards program. Fliers can earn points by flying on any airline and redeeming the points for flights on AirTran’s fleet. Fliers enjoy perks such as business class upgrades, free companion tickets and reward flights on competing airlines. Points can be earned with AirTran or with any of its partners. Earn points by renting with Hertz, shopping with Sky Mall or with you wireless phone service.
Sign up for the A+ Visa and earn points when you make everyday purchases. Place your bid at the A+ rewards auction for custom AirTran memorabilia and specialty electronics from various vendors. AirTran also offers thousands of products at is A+ rewards mall.
Are you between the ages of 18-22? Check out AirTran U, the specialty service geared toward college-age travelers. Fliers can travel standby at deeply discounted fares. Fares in this category range from $49-$99 per segment. Book carefully–the best times to fly are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Standby flights can also be used to earn A+ rewards points.
AirTran Airways has made a name for itself in the arena of discount travel. By offering low fare flights, ongoing web deals, travel planning and packages, a first rate frequent flyer program and a signature credit card, AirTran has positioned itself as the industry leader in luxury discount air travel. Passengers choose AirTran for their commitment to customer service and low cost travel. Travelers enjoy first class amenities and don’t worry about being hit with outrageous fees. AirTran is the premier source for budget air travel.