Congratulations on this business acquisition. I only hope that you are successful in pushing the Southwest culture into AirTran. We love Southwest, and for my wife in particular, it is the only airline she will fly. The main reason for that is a very bad experience with AirTran. She was travelling with a baby, and had to deal with constantly changing departure gates, a delayed plane, and rude and unhelpful employees. When she finally arrived in Boston, AirTran lost her luggage. And I don't mean "temporarily misplaced"; she never again saw her suitcase. The process of trying to keep in contact with the status of the luggage and baggage claim at Logan was excruciating. More rude and unhelpful employees, no one answering phones (she eventually resolved to just calling semi-random extensions to find people), and when AirTran eventually admitting the luggage would never be found, the claim process was supposed to involve documenting all the contacts and providing receipts (who has receipts for everything in their luggage!), all to receive some arbitrary and significaly reduced value for the contents (not nearly enough to replace the contents). She absolutely swore off AirTran as a result, and it very strongly biased towards Southwest as a result of our positive experience with Southwest, whose employees are generally very helpful.
Basically, our experience with AirTran has been the antithesis of our experience with Southwest. If Southwest can acquire AirTran and "transform" them into Southwest, the world (i.e., customers like us) will benefit. I just hope that AirTran doesn't "taint" Southwest in the process.
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