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by Babbie De Derian


Before my recent AirTran flight from New York to San Francisco, with a quick change of planes in Atlanta (their hub), I was under the misconception that this economically priced carrier only offered service between New York and 10 Florida cities. Wrong!  AirTran flies to 56 cities in the United States and Puerto Rico.

I had hesitations about flying coast to coast, other than nonstop; this was a first and an interesting trip to critique. Check-in and boarding at LaGuardia was stress- less and efficient; departure was on time, and before I knew it we landed in Atlanta, conveniently next to the departure gate for my flight to San Francisco. The flight from Atlanta to San Francisco, confirmed I had made a wise decision in giving AirTran a chance to prove itself. I was able to upgrade to Business class for $80; seats were more comfortable than many other domestic and International carriers; service was non stop friendly and accommodating, and the pilot kept us busy announcing points of interest as we crossed the country. Their no frills/ snacks only policy gives them the leverage to keep fares low and standards high; the flow of complimentary alcoholic drinks more than compensates for the lack of a meal.



My return, via Atlanta was a happy surprise. Due to bad weather on the East coast, all non stops flights into New York airports had been canceled, or indefinitely delayed. My flight to Atlanta left San Francisco on time; once again I was able to upgrade to business for the nominal charge of $80.

I settled into my comfortable leather seat, took advantage of the complimentary alcoholic beverages and enjoyed the picnic meal I had wisely purchased before boarding. We touched down exactly three and a half hours later, the shortest coast- to- coast flight I have ever experienced. With another quick change of planes, my flights from San Francisco to New York were as relaxing on the inbound as they were on the outbound. I am looking forward to my next AirTran take-off and landing.

AirTran Airways, designed for business travelers, offers a mix of low fares, an affordable Business Class, XM Satellite Radio, excellent customer service, an accommodating frequent flier program … and one of the world's youngest all-Boeing fleets. Dedicated to providing the best on the ground and in-flight experiences to smart travelers, they certainly get my vote for having succeeded.
If you haven’t put AirTran to the test, I highly recommend you take advantage “of all they have to offer”, you won’t be disappointed! And as an extra perk, economy tickets to all 56 cities can be upgraded to business, when seats are available, for the amazing low prices of $ 49 to $ 89, each way.

For Reservations and more info: 1-800- airtran or visit their web site: