Friday, December 11, 2015

Nonstops No One Can Use!!

According to Chip Henderson, no-bid marketing contractor to Pensacola Intergalactic Airport:

It was a great announcement! The airport has been working on air service development for our community. It was one of the identified areas of focus in Visit Pensacola's Vision 2020 plan. Now, we need the community to actively use the routes for sustainability.

So what caused his uncontrolled burst of scripted and planned social media exuberance ??

In summer 2016 Southwest is expanding service to Kansas City and Dallas...WOW!

One flight a week on Saturday.
Then you have to wait until the next Saturday to come home.

I'm sure the demand for one week stays in Dallas and KC is HUGE!

What a win for the Upyours of Florida!


Anonymous said...

The demand IS huge. I once spent a week in Kansas City one Saturday. (with apologies to W.C. Fields)

Anonymous said...

Wow is right. When I read that press release in the Upwords-UpYours from the Mayor I thought the same thing. Seriously? How is this good news? A once a week flight to Kansas City? These no-bid contracts for sub-par results is getting old. Thank goodness Mobile Airport isn't far away where we can find good flights and also be able to buy a bottle of water with a book or magazine without waiting in two lines when we're already crunched for time.

Mark Clabaugh said...

I have flown over 4 MILLION miles since 1992 so I think I know a little bit about airports, routes, etc.

I can qualify this by saying, my friends living in Chicago, Reno and Nashville love their Southwest. Me personally, I do not care for the cattle car approach to boarding. I don't want to pay 50% more for the right to board first and so on.

I can tell you that anytime Southwest has come into an Airport, I have never seen a huge difference other than they want to suck up the profitable routes. Another thing is that Southwest really has no true network. If I need to fly to Barcelona, I can take Delta or American, etc. Essentially, I can go anywhere in the World. On Southwest, I can go to Memphis or Nashville and soon to Dallas and Chicago 1 day a week.

When Southwest is courting a City the very first thing you start hearing is how inexpensive it will be to fly now. Well, that is NOT the case. When Southwest first opened in Panama City, prices were low and I would fly out of Panama City staying at my Lakehouse north of the Airport and sneak in a couple bass fishing trips. Shortly after to get where I was going, it was more expensive than flying from Pensacola and the party was over.

Fast Forward... Pensacola now has Southwest. When I fly to Reno, it is MUCH cheaper to fly Delta or American. When I fly to Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Baltimore, LA, Phoenix, all cheaper to fly Delta or American even though these are Southwest Cities.

Worse, when Air Tran closed shop the worst was realized... we lost over 500 seats a day to Atlanta. Now most people don't conduct business in Atlanta and travel beyond, however, the loss of those seats as a gateway to the world drove costs up in Pensacola to prices not seen since the mid 90's. I used to fly on 300-400 dollar tickets, now I am flying on 500-900 dollar tickets. Planes are jammed packed and uncomfortable. This is the REAL LOSS.

My guess is some Southwest groupie will debate my assessment, however, I would venture to guess that person flies limited routes in Southwest markets. So, do I think that Pensacola is better off with Southwest.... ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Final thought: It would be really nice if I did not have to wait in 2 lines to get a newspaper, cashews and a diet coke before my flight. OR... if I could get something better to eat on Sunday since one of the MAJOR food vendors is CLOSED despite a RFQ requirement to be open 7 days.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Mark, we got fed a boat load of balogna about how Southwest is so great for consumers.

When they bought and shutdown AirTran it ended any good value flights for our International Airport.

I've found much better pricing and connections out of Mobile for my last 2 flights.

blew said...

Yeah, the press release is a joke, seasonal once a week service to MCI is no big deal, even less of a deal is the once a week service to a market already offered multiple times a day on American, but the Southwest haters are salty. Is Southwest the big deal the airport and city hall make it out to be, no. Is it the boogie man some have made it out to be here, no. Southwest ruined everything by acquiring AirTran, but nobody says anything about Delta acquiring Northwest; American acquiring US Airways, and United acquiring Continental. We have fewer choices now than in the 90s because there are fewer choices than in the 90s and it isn't just Southwest's fault. Fares are high to Atlanta because Delta can charge it (and of course because mean ol Southwest ruined the fare competition when it took the AirTran routes)- fares to Nashville (which IS an "it" city) are quite reasonable, sometimes downright cheap, why don't they charge as much as Delta charges to Atlanta (afterall, there's not competition for the route)?

Anonymous said...

This is just a way for Southwest to add 250-300 seats to meet seasonal demand of travelers from the midwest and Texas to come to the beaches and return home. With Southwest lacking a hub and spoke system, they fill demand by funneling traffic to a couple of cities and finish with direct service from there. Saturday service strictly caters to vacationers coming here; no useful benefits for our traveling public (despite what City Hall wants you to believe.)