Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Comparing Southwest to Air Tran

When I came to the US 11 years, Air Tran was the first airline that I flew from DC to Savannah ,GA. At that time I carried an english novel with me so the air hostess would be sure I could speak English. The title of the novel I carried was incidentally Savannah.

Coming from India that was my first experience of the no frills kind of flying i should get used to in the US. Many years and many flights later I am comparing Southwest to Air Tran again both 2 low cost no frills airlines.

Boarding calls at Southwest seemed more orderly and the staff friendly. At Air Tran the staff actually asked people to stop talking. There was no pitch to upgrade to business class at Southwest but Air Tran was touting a $60 upgrade with free cocktails at 7 in the morning.

On the flight both airlines had friendly crew. Air Tran made 3 announcements not to use the toilet while at the gate. I thought that was excessive.

Southwest crew asks you your drink choice and writes them down. I prefer Southwest peanuts to biscoff from Air Tran.

Southwest crew came around 2 times to ask if we needed a second snack box.

Seat space may be slightly better at Air Tran.
I would rate Southwest higher than Air Tran as the crew were in the cabin when they were done talking to passengers instead of disappearing total the galley.

I am not sure why the lavatory occupied sign on Air Tran is in light green. Isn't green a signal for go ahead?

I still feel airlines in the US need to change from being a Greyhound service in the air to providea more value. Virgin America will make that change happen as it expands.

Next trip is on us air and I am not looking forward to it.

Another tip on BWI is that the express parking lot is good and there is always a coupon for that making it cheap at $9 per day for a,most a concierge type of service.

Second tip is that BWI airport is great for Southwest flights but ok for others. Southwest kind fo dominates the good terminals A , B, C.

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Written on my T Mobile Dash in airplane mode on Air Tran flight 150 to Miami.


Update :

Baggage claim : Southwest baggage claim was faster. Now I am not comparing this at the same airport so this is just my opinion.

update: 03/20/2008

On the return flight Air Tran 953 from Ft. Lauderdale to Baltimore Washington International BWI it was surprisingly different. No hard sell of cocktails and very subtle selling of upgrade purchase. No school marmish announcements ( "please stop talking "!) and the flight crew was great, asked several times for refills. Maybe the experience is inconsistent.

Baggage claim : On both Air Tran flights baggage was over 30 minutes and in both cases the belt assigned was changed without a public announcement and the display Tvs showing the wrong baggae claim belt number.

1 comment:

Sam Ismail said...

Cocktails at 7am! You have to give them points for trying :)