AirTran to take final flight

AirTran Airways employees, former employees and customers began to gather at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s gate C3 for the airline’s final flight Sunday night.

The plane will take off at 10:25 p.m. from Atlanta to Tampa. Called Flight 1, it will trace the route of the carrier’s first flight in 1993. The flight is a hot ticket, with many employees and customers trying to get a seat. More than 740 people are on the standby list.

More than four years have passed since Dallas-based Southwest Airlines struck a deal to acquire AirTran Airways. With balloons, a photo booth and DJ at the gate area, Southwest officials said the event commemorates AirTran’s departure and the nearly complete integration of operations into Southwest.

Scott Doose, a passenger who came from Little Rock for the final flight, said he thought AirTran “always had excellent last-minute fares.”

“I’m glad it’s being celebrated,” he said. But, he added, “It’s disappointing to see another airline disappearing in consolidation.”

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