I had booked my AirTran flights using 19,200 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. Since most airlines charge 17,500 miles to the Caribbean, I realized flying business class for almost the same mileage (and the rather fixed value Rapid Rewards Points) was a great deal.
AirTran does not make big promises about its Business Class but I felt they undersell their product a bit. There is no lounge access and no catering for you during the flight. That's unusual for this travel class.
However, there are unlimited 'Premium Drinks' and AirTran had a number of great beers on board for this flight. Also, who needs catering for a red-eye leaving the West Coast at midnight? Lounge access would have been great but the terminal they fly from in San Francisco just closed its last lounge (the Alaska Boardroom) last month.
I really liked the seat – it's spacious and as good as domestic first class seats come. The aircraft was pretty old for both legs with plushy economy class seats. AirTran (now part of Southwest) is the successor of ValuJet which was known to fly ultra-old equipment. This 737 was really old!
The first class seat was all leather. There is no private TV on these airplanes.
Service was friendly and attentive – much like you'd expect on a Southwest flight.
Considering that these 'First Class' flights were just half what United or American Airlines charge, these were two great flights. I think AirTran should add lounge access for business class customers. I understand they won't start catering which is okay – I can live without food.
Punta Cana has a huge number of arrivals in the early afternoon and I was staring at hundreds of people in the immigration queue. It has no priority system so flying business class does not give you anything there. The lines moved quickly, though, and I was out in 45 minutes.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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