Tuesday, July 29, 2008

AirTran Financial Woes

Since their days flying under the ill-fated ValuJet name, I have always been a fan of AirTran. I don't travel a great deal - usually 1 trip up to Norfolk every year for a Refresher and 1 or 2 family vacations per year. However, I am very interested in the science of traveling as cheaply as possible. As I have mentioned before, I love Priceline and Bidding for Travel. The cheaper I can pay to travel somewhere, the more often I am able to travel.
During an investor conference call this morning, AirTran CFO Arne Haak disclosed plans to shrink the Atlanta hub and move their focus away from"lower-yielding leisure customer". This is unfortunate news for cheap travelers like myself, but it does make financial sense for AirTran. I spend less money now on a flight to the Newport News/Norfolk area for a Refresher than I did in 1995. Cheap AirTran flights out of Atlanta were a good thing while they lasted.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


1995 was a great year!

In October, David Justice hit a home run in game 6 of the World Series to give the Atlanta Braves their only World Series championship. As it looks to be a 3rd straight year of no postseason for the Braves, the memory of that season gets more special as time goes on.

August of '95 was when I went through the 3-week PFSP program at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. As I will often tell anyone who will listen (and has not heard me say it 1,000,000 times), those 3 weeks completely changed my life.

This morning I was in the middle of a very hectic day of work when I received a phone call from someone whom I had gone through the 3-week program with. We became very good friends during the program and stayed in touch for the next few years after that. However, this was probably the first conversation we have had in 9 years. We quickly caught each other up on what we had been doing since we had last spoke and then got on the subject of how our speech has been. We were both very happy with where we were in regards to our speech. She then said something that really made my day. She told me that "that 3 weeks was probably the best thing (she) had ever done for (herself)." I thought that was such a brilliant and concise statement. I have never been able to describe the experience better than that.