Have you waited anxiously for Southwest flights in Atlanta?

It may be what many Atlanta fliers have been hoping for — Southwest flights into and out of Hartsfield-Jackson.

With the announcement Monday that Southwest Airlines is buying AirTran for about $1.4 billion, the airline world is getting shaken up once again.

For years, AJC airline reporters have heard from local passengers anxious for the day that Southwest enters our market.

With AirTran’s biggest hub in Atlanta, it looks like that day could be arriving. Southwest said the deal includes “significant opportunities to and from Atlanta,” AJC staffers Rhonda Cook and Kelly Yamanouchi report.

Have you been craving for Southwest? Why or why not?

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

151 comments Add your comment

Marni

September 27th, 2010
7:56 am

Can’t wait…Can’t wait…Can’t wait…

pharris

September 27th, 2010
7:59 am

Finally, some competition for Delta! YES-YES-YES, I’m waiting

DHD

September 27th, 2010
8:02 am

My first reaction is that I don’t like it. I like AirTran just the way it is and am worried it will move the operation out of Atlanta since Southwest vowed to never be here.

delois

September 27th, 2010
8:05 am

Finally, hopefully a break on the fares to Texas and Colorado. Hallelujah. I got so excited this morning when I heard the news, I almost drove off I85. Just waiting for the Obummer administration to put the screws to the deal somehow.

Get Up Big Bird

September 27th, 2010
8:07 am

Glad to have another airline in Atlanta. They normally support sports and the arts, and I wouldn’t mind a stadium sponsorship deal for the Georgia Dome. Southwest can pick up all the sponsorships that Delta dropped when they dropped the Falcons for the Vikings after they acquired/merged with Northwest.

For Realzies

September 27th, 2010
8:07 am

While I do enjoy the luxuries that Southwest doesn’t offer, I am extremely excited for two reasons. First, Southwest isn’t afraid to go against the grain by letting bags “travel for free”, and undercutting prices. Second, this move will potentially keep all the over-priced, customer serviceless (not a word, I know) goobers in check. The key factor here is whether or not Southwest will re-brand Air Tran, or will the keep the brand in place. If they keep the brand in place, then we may not see many changes. I hope the paint Southwest on the side of everyone of those darn things.

Rustycard

September 27th, 2010
8:08 am

Great news… if the Republicans don’t find a way to derail it so they can make Obama look bad.

Mick Yaeger

September 27th, 2010
8:09 am

Hell, yes! Delta’s worst nightmare is a long-suffering Atlanta traveler’s dream. Actual customer service and low fares… hell, we won’t know how to act. I can’t wait to see the long faces on all the surly Delta gate agent faces…

Miss Q

September 27th, 2010
8:14 am

I can’t wait. What a relief to have some actual CHOICES in Atlanta. I hope they keep their “no baggage fee” policy.

cindy

September 27th, 2010
8:15 am

don’t like southwest. i’ve flown them several times. didn’t care for the cattle call, shorts, dumb jokes and only peanuts. sure, cheap fares, but wow, the jerry springer crowd comes out!!!

Roy Manry

September 27th, 2010
8:17 am

Southwest is a very decent company with great management. Though Airtran has done a great job
of providing an alternative to sometimes high priced travel here in Atlanta, what with other mergers
in the industry I think this is generally a good move. Question; Southwest like to use only 737’s
to cut back on training expenses (i.e. one type aircraft) will they keep the 717’s??

doug

September 27th, 2010
8:17 am

i like delta. they have always been good to me. i know, here comes all the fools who never fly, and they will bash delta. go ahead.. we have heard you all before…. well, i have flown southwest. i don’t like them. now, go ahead, attack!!

Amy

September 27th, 2010
8:19 am

I guessing that everyone commenting how excited they are…has never actually flown Southwest. If you think the jockeying for position on Delta’s flight is bad…practice your cattle call moves. Southwest will happily move you to the front of the line, for a an additional fee, otherwise, get to your gate two hours early and line up!
And embrace your love of flying with children and two stops vs a direct flight to get anywhere.
And you are right, Southwest doesn’t nickle and dime you with additional fees (other than pre-boarding)..they have nothing additional to offer.
I have never flown Air Tran and god willing, I will never have to fly Southwest!

Baroness

September 27th, 2010
8:19 am

Not for me…its like taking the bus.

phil

September 27th, 2010
8:20 am

who cares about 717’s???? you must be an air trash employee. give me a break,…tiny airplanes and trasy people!! nice, bring us more!

Areyoublonde?

September 27th, 2010
8:20 am

I am really glad about the Southwest deal, more options and Delta will have a strong competitor.
Now, to Rustycard, could you explain what Republicans have to do with this? Obama looks bad and would look worse in the days to come and anyway, we are talking AIRLINES.

Brad

September 27th, 2010
8:21 am

Awesome. It will keep Delta a bit more honest. “Doug” and “Cindy”: what problem do you have with choice?

tracy

September 27th, 2010
8:21 am

oh my, here come all the haters!!! get ready,, get set, go!!!! why bash delta? they have always been great and they employ more folks than any ANY company in georgia!!

mellowfella1

September 27th, 2010
8:21 am

YES, YES, YES !!!……now my bags can fly FREE !!!!

Justine

September 27th, 2010
8:21 am

gi

September 27th, 2010
8:22 am

I LOVE DELTA, ALWAYS WILL!!!!!

Bobby

September 27th, 2010
8:23 am

Delta Airlines just crapped a brick at Hartsfield. They will actually have to treat passengers like people again. I’m looking forward to not having to drive to Birmingham for decent fares to Oklahoma City. I’ve flown Southwest many times and glad to see them finally coming to Atlanta. Welcome Southwest. I’ll be flying you often.

gary

September 27th, 2010
8:24 am

Love Southwest. Delta did their best to keep them out. Delta is in name only. They are actually Northwest that’s why they moved their sponsorships. We will now have competition in Atlanta.

Justine

September 27th, 2010
8:25 am

ABOSLUTELY. I just posted yesterday a complaint that it costs more to fly directly from Atlanta to NYC on Air Tran than it does to fly them from Chicago to NYC and the plane actually stops in Atlanta. I would have boarded the plane and paid $330 while those on board had paid $65 for the same trip. Plus I am tired of this foolishness about paying for luggage. That is one of the reasons it takes so long to board. Everyone, including myself, is cramming everything into a carry on bag.

I have never understood why Atlanta, who has the #1 airport, and is a major hub, is one of the most expensive airports to fly out of.

My only concern is will they keep the same Frequent Flyer plan of Air Tran.

hdhd

September 27th, 2010
8:26 am

Not only will this bring lower fares and no bag fees to Atlanta, but it will put some competition on Delta to lower rates out of ATL.

Doug

September 27th, 2010
8:26 am

No No No No No!!! Southwest is terrible. I vowed never to fly them again and I never will. Their customer service sucks, their cattle call boarding process sucks, their gate attendants suck. Pretty much everything about Southwest sucks. The only thing that I remotely even thought was good about Southwest is how they let their flight attendents have fun with their safety announcements and greetings upon landing. Other than that, Southwest Sucks!!!

Anna

September 27th, 2010
8:27 am

Am hoping this will derail the proposed expansion of Briscoe Field on Hwy. 316 in Gwinnett County…our county commission is trying to ram this down our throats and not many people are not aware of it. The proposal would have given Southwest an airport in metro Atlanta, and hoping that others, like Delta and AirTran may follow…but this news may shake that up…Hooray! *Gwinnett Citizens…wake up!!!…our county commission is doing it again…grandiose planning that will alter our quality of life!

Passengers = Cattle on Southwest

September 27th, 2010
8:31 am

You may be frustrated with Delta, but trust me, you haven’t experienced arrogant Customer “No-Service” (as Clark Howard calls it) until you are subjected to disdain that Southwest has for their passengers. Southwest will take you to new lows for customer service.

Customers have endured Southwest’s poor treatment because of the airline’s routes to the under-served mid-size and smaller airports.

Let’s see if they will step up customer service when they finally have a little competition in the “Big Boy” market.

ATTENTION SOUTHWEST: Get rid of the “Attitudinal” problem and stop treating your passengers like cattle at your beck and call.

TravelMan

September 27th, 2010
8:31 am

Hallelujuh SOUTHWEST! I’ve waited 20 years for this day. You Delta lovers are killing me. Just keep flying Delta and accumulating those SkyMiles you can never use. When prices start to fall in Atlanta you can thank SOUTHWEST. GLORY BE!!

ken

September 27th, 2010
8:31 am

It’s about time. Look out Delta. I won’t have to drive to B’ham anymore.

PeteyNice

September 27th, 2010
8:31 am

I am surprised people are so excited. It would be one thing if Southwest was coming in to augment AirTran, but to replace it? AirTran already acts as a reasonable check on domestic Delta fares, I don’t see Southwest being any better in that regard.

Then you have to consider that ATL is a big hub for AirTran and Southwest doesn’t really do hubs. Will they keep ATL as a true hub or will they sell off slots in order to recoup some of the $1.4+B they are spending here?

On balance this could very easily be a net negative for Atlanta travelers.

talk2kirb

September 27th, 2010
8:38 am

Yes. I am eagerly awaiting the no-baggage fee airline!

Buck Futt

September 27th, 2010
8:40 am

I love it. Puts pressure on Delta to drop all their B.S. fees and bad customer service. And look out, ASA, your “you can make your flight or drop dead, it’s all the same to us” attitude and inflated fares are about to put you right out of business thanks to Southwest. I will stand up and cheer the day the arrogant jerks at Always Stuck in Atlanta go broke for good.

Extra bonus: finally, cheap fares to Austin!

Kiss Frequent Flyer Rewards B-bye!

September 27th, 2010
8:42 am

Good luck trying to generate any Frequent Flyer Rewards on Southwest Airlines. You must fly a half-dozen times to garner enough FF points to earn a ticket.

Then, SURPRISE!, all of your Southwest FF Rewards EXPIRE each year!!!!

Good luck dealing with those cheese-balls. Don’t let the Southwest chumps beat you down….. unless, of course, you have low self-esteem and enjoy that kind of treatment.

A.S.Mathew

September 27th, 2010
8:47 am

Thank God, Southwest is going to be the new bulldog of the Atlanta arena. This is going to give
a terrible migraine headache to Delta.

Southwest has a loyal base of customers, and they didn’t add any baggage fee like the other
airlines, to rip off the customers.

This also gives a signal that Southwest is going to encroach bigger territories of air travel in the
U.S. This will be total boom for the passengers and for Atlanta. All the best wishes and blessings
from God.

Bus Station Crowd

September 27th, 2010
8:48 am

Visit the Trailways / Greyhound Bus Station and take a good look around. You will be viewing your fellow passengers on Southwest Airlines.

I can’t stand sitting next to some bloke with dirty, hairy feet in flip flops and bad hygiene. If you plan to fly Southwest, do everyone a favor and take a shower and put on some deodorant.

fil

September 27th, 2010
8:48 am

I like AirTran – but I LOVE SOUTHWEST! Welcome to the Southeast Southwest!

Richard

September 27th, 2010
8:49 am

As an Airtran Elite flyer, I hope Airtran stays exactly the same. The fares are reasonable, service is great and the 717’s are not small by any means. airtran has had my business for over 10 years and I hate to see them goaway.
My only 2 experiences on Southwest have been horrible.

SW Rules

September 27th, 2010
8:49 am

This is great news! Lower fees, better deals, better customer service—no more delta for me!!!! keep your ripoff fees!!!!

John Tackett

September 27th, 2010
8:50 am

Oh Hell Yeah!! Great service, low fare, no nickel and dimeing the customers. Can’t wait.

Delta in Dunwoody

September 27th, 2010
8:52 am

Interestingly enough this might be good for Delta.
DAL over the past few years has decided to leave the “Take the family to Disney World Once a Year” market segment to AirTran, instead focusing on high yield Int’l and Domestic business travel. In doing so they have run up against the government on the NYC Slot Swap, and more recently the Joint Venture with Australia’s Virgin Blue, as being to big. The Fed’s won’t be able to block these moves as easily anymore since SW will get lots of access to LGA and BOS via AirTran’s network.
Don’t kid yourself either, SWA will not offer the fair people of ATL fares that are real cheap just because they have “suffered for so long”. They will charge what the market bears, and that will be in line with AirTran’s current pricing!
But take relief in that you, the once a year want it all traveler, will not have to shop Expedia or Travelocity for hours anymore as Southwest only sells tickets on their website.

Noobama

September 27th, 2010
8:52 am

YES, I love Southwest and drive to Birmingham to fly them now.

RK

September 27th, 2010
8:53 am

I’ve never flown them, but at least we there is another Atlanta-Charleston competitor now.

Ugh.... BAD NEWS!

September 27th, 2010
8:56 am

I hate Southwest. The employees must HATE THEIR JOBS, because they certainly take their frustration out on the passengers.

Watch out for their SECRET RULES….. or you will get BUMPED from your flight!

Karl

September 27th, 2010
8:57 am

Delta employees posting about “bus station people” and saying “air trash”. Its sad they haven’t noticed their planes are old and smelly and their own customer service is possibly the worst in the industry. Delta dweebs, figure it out, there’s a reason people are excited about this purchase, its because you and your company have been screwing people for too long. Its coming home to roost jerks.

mike

September 27th, 2010
8:58 am

Bye, bye, Delta! Finally.

BarryATL

September 27th, 2010
8:59 am

I am not surprised but I am dissapointed. The place I go there is a choice between Airtran and Delta. I choose Airtran. I can get an easy upgrade to business class. The Airtran staff know how to take care of someone in a wheelchair (something Delta lacks). I can see Airtran’s fares on the travel sites.

Sith SW I cannot see their fairs on the travel sites. There is no business class. There is no assigned seating. Sometimes, Southwest’s fares are higher than the legacy carrier… just depending on the day.

I am not happy about the change. I see this as a downgrade in services offered and a downgrade in customer service.

Finally

September 27th, 2010
8:59 am

There are many locations that AirTran does not go to that Southwest already does(for ex., BNH – Nashville for those of you that don’t travel much). Reduced fares, friendlier service, no baggage fees…. this is what has been missing from Atlanta for a long time now. Delta will be forced to step up to the plate and perform or I can see a number of people switching airlines.

This also bodes well for all those in Lawrenceville who were worried privatizing Briscoe Field would lead to Southwest jets flying in/out all day long.

Glad to see they are finally coming to Atlanta!!!

The One

September 27th, 2010
9:05 am

Amen Amen Its about time someone with no baggage fees compete with the monopoly Delta had over Hartsfield-Jackson maybe Delta will drop their baggage fee. Me and the Bishop are going to Las Vegas on the first flight with him giving me scriptures from the Book of Luke (Luke Campbell)

delta no service

September 27th, 2010
9:05 am

Delta–rude, unprofessional staff—I’m dumping them for good! I’ll fly southwest 100% now that they have Air Tran’s routes!!!!!!!!!!!!!