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Recently I saw an interesting thread on Flyertalk by JSteele that highlighted how certain flights operated by AirTran were now not only bookable on the Southwest website with Southwest points, but the Southwest Companion Passes could be used on those flights as well. I have to admit I haven’t been following the AirTran and Southwest merger as closely as I should, but this definitely caught my eye.
So far the code-sharing is very limited (Atlanta/Ft Lauderdale), but this could be the sign of things to come. Some interesting things that I noticed from comparing the same flights on both the AirTran and Southwest website, and on the linked FT thread above:
- While operated by AirTran, the flights still were said to include “two free checked bags” like the regular Southwest policy on the Southwest website.
- The flights can be booked using Southwest points and earn Southwest points via the Southwest website.
- The Southwest Companion Pass can be used on the flights.
- They do still have assigned seating unlike flights operated by Southwest.
- If the flight is booked on AirTran then bag fees do seem to apply.
- No change fee via the Southwest website, but AirTran does advertize a change fee via their site.
- The prices for the tickets were the same.
Those with a Southwest Companion Pass are very anxiously waiting to see which AirTran routes they will be able to use it on. Some of their international routes would be especially exciting! Time will tell, but this is an interesting development.