Westchester Flyers Bid Farewell To AirTran

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AirTran Airways will depart from Westchester County Airport Sunday for the final time. Photo Credit: AirTran.com
Gerry Zattosky, Mike Loganchuk and Rob Horrigan are departing Monday on AirTran from Westchester County Airport. Photo Credit: Patrick Stapleton

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – As the  last departure for AirTran Airways from Westchester County Airport nears, some flyers say they will miss the airline while others are not concerned.

“I think there’s a couple of airlines that fly to West Palm Beach,” said John Mattio of Danbury, Conn. He was flying out of Westchester to the popular Florida destination on AirTran on Thursday and was not fazed by the move.

AirTran, a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, will stop flying into and out of Westchester starting Sunday.

Patricia Chemka, Westchester’s deputy commissioner of public works and transportation, is hopeful that JetBlue, which flies to West Palm Beach from Westchester, will pick up the slack left by AirTran’s move. Airlines could grab those flights in an October lottery.

Mattio said he has racked up many flyer miles and uses them when booking long flights. However, he purchases short flights based mostly on price, availability and schedule.

Some people are not affected by the move and will continue to use Westchester County Airport, but Gerry Zattosky is not one of them.

“It’s much easier,” Zattosky said of departing from Westchester. She lives in Syracuse, but she visits her daughter in New Jersey and then heads to visit her other daughter in Atlanta. Zattosky has always liked leaving from Westchester rather than Newark but said she will probably not use the county airport anymore.

She was Atlanta-bound Monday afternoon with her grandson, Mike Loganchuk, and his friend, Rob Horrigan. The two boys are on summer vacation from college and said AirTran’s move did not matter to them. They would look for cheaper flights regardless of the airline.

Chemka is hopeful that Delta Air Lines, which also flies to Atlanta out of Westchester, will take the open flights in the October lottery.

AirTran had been flying into and departing from the airport since 2007, making up 10 percent of the 100 daily flights. Airport and Westchester County officials were notified of the move Jan. 20.

The company is pulling out of Westchester because it wants to bring AirTran into the “Southwest network” of flights, which means canceling service at some locations, including Westchester County, said Whitney Eichinger, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines.

AirTran serves 300,000 of the 2 million passengers who use the Westchester County Airport each year. 

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MY SONS AND I USES AirTran QUITE OFTEN EVERY YEAR AND IT IS PERFECT FOR US BECAUSE WE ARE FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY (WHITE PLAINS) BUT LIVE IN THE SOUTH NOW. WHEN I TRAVEL BACK AND FOURTH FROM ATLANTA, AIRTRAN WAS THE BEST AIRLINE TO TRAVEL ON, ESPECIALLY NON STOP. I WILL TOTALLY MISS THEM AND I LOVED THEIR PRICES TOO. I AM SAD ABOUT THE MOVE. THEY ARE FRIENDLY, THE LUGGAGE PRICES WAS NOT NO WAY NEAR AS COSTLY LIKE THE OTHER PLANES I FLEW ON LIKE FOR INSTANCE (SPIRIT AIRLINE) BIG RIP OFF. HOPE YOU ALL REPLACE THEM WITH SOMEONE WITH THE SAME EVERYTHING AS AIRTRAN

stephano:

I for one will miss AirTran Airways. I flew them very often between White Plains and Orlando/WestPalmBeach. I found their prices to be lower, their service better and their employees very friendly. Rarely, was I delayed and when I was they were quick to compensate me with a 50 voucher for my trouble. The aircraft a 717 was a great plane for the market with 3x2 seating and extra overhead space. I flew many times in the coveted exit rows by volunteering at the gate at no extra charge. I also took advantage of their same day standby at no charge for earlier flights. It is a shame that we are losing them. I hope that Delta uses their 717's on those routes and approximates their schedule as well. I will not fly Delta thru Atlanta to get to south Florida...JetBlue knows this and I doubt it will ever be cheap to fly them between HPN and South Florida. So I say fare well AirTranny gonna miss you.

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