Members of AirTran Airways A+ Rewards program earn credits for flight segments. And of course you can earn more credits if you use the AirTran Airways A+ Visa Card. GetDebit has attempted to estimate the monetary value of a single AirTran Airways A+ credit.
Here are some of the key assumptions that went into this analysis:
- We use the redemption schedule as provided by AirTran Airways.
- For the market price of tickets, we use the average US ticket price, since AirTran primarily flies within the US. See GetDebit’s Detailed Analysis of Flight Costs for more imformation.
- Since GetDebit always assumes that users of this site want to stretch their dollars as far as they can go, we assume that redemptions will be for economy class and not business class tickets or upgrades.
- We assume that 25% of redemptions will occur in the high season (more difficult to get these), while the remaining 75% will be in the low season (where ticket prices are somewhat lower).
- As AirTran awards credits and not miles or points (16 credit earns you a free round trip ticket), calculating the value of a credit is of limited value, since it can’t be compared very easily with other frequent flier programs. GetDebit faced a similar problem when we estimated the value of JetBlue’s TrueBlue program. To address this, we look at the AirTran credit card, which provides the number of points to earn 1 credit—1,000 points in this case. Doing some simple math, we see that 8,000 points earns you a free round-trip economy ticket. By dividing the market price of a ticket by 8,000 yields an accurate estimate of the true value of the AirTrain Airways A+ program.
- GetDebit applies a non-cash penalty of 15% to adjust for the fact that the vast majority of their routes are not direct, thus requiring you to spend much more of your valuable time circling the airways or sitting in those uncomfortable airport chairs. See our Rules of the Sky for more information.
|From||To||Class||Season||Mkt ticket price||Credit Req’d for RT Ticket||Points Req’d per Credit||$ Value/Point||Travel %||Contribution|
|Total pre non-cash penalty||$0.0175|
|Post 5% non-cash penalty||$0.0167|
Thus, you can see that we estimate the value of AirTran Airways points (which, remember, convert to AirTran credits at the rate of 1,000:1) at about $0.0167 per point, which is very strong relative to other frequent flyer programs. Check out GetDebit’s Frequent Flyer Mileage Valuation Comparison to see how AirTran’s A+ program stacks up against other frequent flyer programs.
As a final note, it’s not always about just the money. You may find that an AirTran ticket requires 1 or 2 stops, whereas you may be able to fly direct on another airline. This can be worth a lot to many people. While GetDebit hasn’t tried to adjust for this inconvenience, it is something to consider.