AirTran expands service to Columbus offering another way south

Finally, a less expensive airline has decided that Columbus has a gaping hole to fill–two in fact. After first Skybus and then Jet Blue pulled out of Columbus, and other carriers cut down their service, the options for heading out of Columbus have become more expensive and less frequent.

AirTran Airways’ non-stop flights to Ft. Meyers, Orlando and Atlanta that began this week are an answer to people who want to get out of central Ohio for warmer climates, or to visit their relatives who have moved south. I know a few people who were disappointed with Skybus’s demise because their options for visiting loved ones on a regular basis had ended. There are several other flights to other destinations, but those require a plane change in Atlanta.

Unlike Skybus, that fair weather airline that overextended itself, AirTran’s reputation is one of a cautious, steady airline that is not likely to leave Columbus in the lurch.

AirTran is not one to offer less expensive seats and then charge people for every little item either. The first checked bag is free. The second costs $25. Flights also have complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. Hooray!

Another detail I noticed is that the airlines seems to understand that Columbus has something to offer people looking for an affordable getaway. The AirTran Airways’ Website page for Columbus has a photo of one of Columbus’s gems–the Columbus Museum of Art, for example and there is also a link to Columbus’s GoGuide that lists where to sight see, shop and eat. I second the recommendations.