See details of the deal here. Remember AirTran use to be ValuJet before some infamous plane crashes sank that brand name's value and they went bankrupt and emerged as AirTran. Looks like within a couple years they will be gone for good. I bought someone an AirTran ticket for this Christmas, so let's see if that's affected when they start rolling this out.
So why is this good? For one, as they pointed out, they do run complementary services. Two, Southwest tends to be cheaper than AirTran as far as SALES are concerned. Three, and most important to me, it really burned me when I discovered that Southwest does not serve Atlanta airport at all, the nearest they came was Jacksonville, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama. AirTran flies out of Atlanta, so Southwest taking them over means we finally get Southwest in the A!
I am hoping they get this done fast enough for Southwest to be flying out of Atlanta by March, but these things take so much time! I'm so excited though, this might actually bring Atlanta's flight appeal up to the level of Miami Airport's! If cheap flights from here can connect me to Spirit's cheap flights home out of Fort Lauderdale, for example, then it might be worth more to live in Atlanta's relatively better (than Miami's) job market.
And as my boy pointed out excitedly, it can mean better job opportunities. He has wanted to work for Southwest for a while but they were not in Atlanta. Maybe now he can get the chance!
Capitalism can kill the little guy when the big dogs get greedy, but the sheer competition and the benefits to the consumer can't be beat!