Trip Report: Atlanta Anniversary 2014 (part 1) AirTran MKE-ATL

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AirTran Milwaukee (MKE)-Atlanta (ATL)
W Atlanta Buckhead
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AirTran Milwaukee (MKE)-Atlanta (ATL)

With our anniversary coming up and our Southwest Companion Pass expiring we decided to get out of town for the weekend.  We had to make this a quick weekend trip as we are out of vacation days for the remainder of the year.  We hadn’t taken our annual visit to Atlanta to see our friends this year (2014) so we decided-Lets do it!

A Friday after work outbound and a late Sunday night inbound on AirTran was our plans.  We packed our carryons Thursday night and brought them to work with us on Friday.  After work we stopped at one of the MKE airport park and rides ($7 a night).  We were then dropped of at the departures area and at the Southwest checkin counter quickly.  Our seats weren’t together which can often be the case when redeeming Southwest points on AirTran operated flights. So we went to the counter in hopes of getting two seats together. The checkin agent was great and asked if we wanted the exit row, YES!  With two exit row boarding passes we were on our way through security with little lines. We found our gate and waited. I grabbed some Aunt Annies pretzels for us while waiting.

We had zone one for boarding so we were one of the first on our plane, a Boeing 727 or 717 (I forget).  I love the exit rows on AirTran partly because there is a lot of leg room and partially because the normal economy seats have so little leg room (we were stuck in regular economy seating on the way back).  The captain came on the board once the doors were closed and tried to add a bit of comedy to the regular announcements.  Introducing the cabin crew as StarWars characters and made a lot of other StarWars references.  Kind of silly but maybe the kids on the plane got a kick out of it!

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AirTran cabin

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AirTran economy seating

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Plenty of legroom for us in the exit row

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Views over Chicago

The flight was smooth and uneventful.  When the plane leveled out the flight attendants came around to hand out beverages and snacks.  I had a ginger ale and pretzels to hold me over.

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AirTran complimentary snack-ginger ale and pretzles

We touched down in Atlanta a few minutes early which is always nice.  I will admit its nice to have the two seats on one side of the plane if you are a couple traveling together. I know Southwest will be getting rid of these planes (selling them to Delta I think) as they only operate Boeing 737’s which is 3 by 3 seating.

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

We still have a decent amount of Southwest Rapid Rewards points after this flight but our companion pass (in which my spouse flies free) expires 12/31/14.  There are several Chase cards that offer Rapid Rewards points either directly or able to be transferred in by Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points.

We redeemed 17,190 Rapid Rewards points which is a bit more than I like to spend for this Itinerary but we booked this about 10 days out so the price was slightly higher. It is such a huge perk to be able to travel for next to nothing for a weekend getaway!!  Rapid Rewards points are worth 1.43 cents per point. Thus if my math is correct this flight would have cost $245 roundtrip plus my wife’s ticket would have been another $245. You can see from the screenshots below we paid $11.20 each way for both our tickets! I then used my JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton card and used part of the $300 annual airline reimbursement credit to cancel out that charge completely.

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Cost of our flights one way- $11.20!

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Our itinerary on AirTran

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Email confirmation showing we redeemed 17,190 Rapid Rewards points

Let me know if you have any questions!

-pointspinnacle


 

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