Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Thank you Hooters Air

I had to go to Atlanta for work yesterday.  Normally we must drive to Dayton to fly instead of coming out of Columbus because of a $4-500 difference in air fare between the two major airports.

That is, until Hooters Air arrived and began to fly out of Rickenbacker Airport south of Columbus. 

Hooters Air went for about $30 more than a Dayton flight...But that's okay considering the 140+ mile round trip to Dayton that gets charged at .36 a mile.  So instead of dealing with the 75 minute drive to Dayton and back, I dealt with a 25 minute drive to Rickenbacker, which is generally a freight airport, but has some charter flights out of a small terminal.  I walked 100 yards from my car to the terminal, through the non existent line to get on a plane with 80-90 others to head to Atlanta.

The Hooters flight was professional, and had real food!  We got a sausage and cheese biscuit for breakfast on the way down, and got celery, carrots and grape tomatoes with veggie dip on the way back!  Who needs peanuts!

I don't know what some of the other discounters are doing...But Hooters is doing it right.  Currently they aren't targeting business travelers like me, as in general they look for people who want to go to Myrtle Beach or Nassau connecting from Atlanta.  But there's no question the addition to Rickenbacker was done for two reasons.  To get use of a great facility, and to try to get some of the traffic that is heading west on I-70 to Dayton to get to Atlanta. 

Hooters Air has won my business as long as it makes business schedule sense for me to go down there on their limited flight schedule.  I'm only hoping it becomes successful enough for them to add flights on every day.  Even if the big guys drop their fares at Port Columbus, little Rickenbacker is so convenient that I'd pay the $20 "service charge" in a higher fare to be able to show up 45 minutes before the flight is going to leave.

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