Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Airtran Flights Begin November 6th

Port Columbus will welcome the first Airtran flights on November 6th, with flights to Atlanta, Fort Myers, and Orlando. Judging on the popularity of now defunct Skybus flights to Florida destinations, look for the Airtran routes to the sunshine state to be popular. Atlanta should also be popular, as it gives Columbus fliers a legitimate and much cheaper alternative to Delta, who was charging over $400 for a round trip direct flight to Hotlanta. Columbus, Airtran is coming, giving us more options to jet to the southeast.

What about future Aitran destinations from C-bus? I'd like to see flights to Boston and Baltimore. From Baltimore, my wife and I could transfer to a flight to Portland Maine, one of our favorite destinations. We'll see what happens, but my gut feeling is that Port Columbus and Airtran are headed for a long, prosperous relationship.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Flying in Columbus

Hi All- I started this blog to follow the airline Skybus, but since Skybus has flown into the sunset, I'm going to start following aviation in Columbus, especially Port Columbus. The biggest news to come to Columbus? Airtran will soon be here, and rumor has it, they will be occupying Skybus' old space downstairs in Terminal B.

I've flown Airtran once, a short flight from Akron to Laguardia. Everything went fairly smooth and the ticket was cheap. Does anyone else have anything to add about Airtran?


Saturday, April 5, 2008

US Air to fly Skybus Passengers back to Columbus and Greensboro

US Airways to Assist Skybus Airlines Customers Affected by Suspension of Service

US Airways (NYSE: LCC) will accept tickets for standby travel from passengers who were scheduled to fly on Skybus Airlines flights to/from Skybus’ former operational centers at Columbus, Ohio and Greensboro, N.C. Skybus customers will be able to travel on a space available standby basis for a $50 fare per person per non-stop segment plus any applicable taxes and fees on US Airways flights to/from Columbus and Greensboro and the cities below. Some US Airways service points are near but not precisely the airports Skybus had served. US Airways will transport Skybus customers to the airport nearest their Skybus ticketed destination. Boston (BOS) Hartford, Conn. (BDL) Newburgh, N.Y. (SWF) Philadelphia Richmond, Va. Chattanooga, Tenn. Jacksonville, Fla. Daytona Beach, Fla. Fort Myers, Fla. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Milwaukee Kansas City Burbank, Calif. Los Angeles (LAX) Oakland, Calif. San Francisco (SFO) Travel must be completed by April 11, 2008 and travelers are advised that space is very limited. Standby tickets may be purchased exclusively through US Airways reservations at 800-428-4322. Reservations fees do not apply for this special fare. Customers will not be able to purchase these fares at the airport. At time of check-in customers must show proof of purchase on Skybus to take advantage of this special offer. Proof may include an e-ticket confirmation letter, an e-ticket receipt, an e-ticket itinerary card or paper tickets printed by Skybus. US Airways agents will not be able to accept photocopies. US Airways is the fifth largest domestic airline employing more than 36,000 aviation professionals worldwide. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express operate approximately 3,800 flights per day and serve more than 230 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. US Airways is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers our customers 17,000 daily flights to 897 destinations in 160 countries worldwide. This press release and additional information on US Airways can be found at www.usairways.com. (LCCG) -Fly With US-

© Die Welt

erschienen am 05.04.2008 um 06:27 Uhr

Friday, April 4, 2008

Skybus Bankruptcy effective tonight at 12:01

That's what the credit card company told Megan when she called to ask about a refund. Man, I'm still in shock. This just happened so quickly, but I shouldn't be surprised.

We're all thinking of the people stranded across the country, and for the families of the flight attendants, pilots and all the other 400 staff of skybus, not to mention the vendors and contractors that have helped the airline get off their feet. We'll miss you Skybus.


Goodbye Skybus.com

I copied this directly from Skybus.com:

Skybus Airlines will cease all operations effective Saturday, April 5.

Skybus struggled to overcome the combination of rising jet fuel costs and a slowing economic environment. These two issues proved to be insurmountable for a new carrier.

We deeply regret the impact this decision will have on our employees and their families, customers, vendors, suppliers, airport officials and others in the cities in which we have operated. Our financial condition is such that our Board of Directors felt it had no choice but to cease operations.

Passengers holding reservations for Skybus flights scheduled to depart on or after Saturday, April 5, 2008 should contact their credit card companies to arrange to apply for a refund. More information for customers and others will be made available on the Skybus web site (www.skybus.com) as it becomes available.

All flights for Friday, April 4 will be completed. Passengers holding reservations on flights for Friday, April 4 should check in for their flight at a Skybus kiosk at the airport instead of the Skybus website.

More From the Dispatch

This is an absolute NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008 8:20 PM
The first Skybus flight leaves Port Columbus on the morning of May 17, 2007.
Dispatch photo
The first Skybus flight leaves Port Columbus on the morning of May 17, 2007.

Hot Issue

What's your reaction to the closing of Skybus? Click here to comment.

Disrupted travel plans?

If the end of Skybus affects your travel plans, e-mail us at readernet@dispatch.com. Some comments will be used in upcoming stories.

Skybus Airlines, a Columbus carrier that excited central Ohio travelers with its $10 fares, is calling it quits.

The news came quickly today, with the airline planning to announce at 9:30 p.m. that it will no longer be in business Saturday.

After today, all flights are canceled.

Those holding tickets for future flights are advised to contact their credit card companies about obtaining refunds.

Skybus is not providing alternate transportation. Those who purchased trip insurance within the last month should make any claims through the Skybus insurance provider, AIG TravelGuard. The policy that went into effect in early March covers airline-caused cancellations; the previous policy did not.

As of today, Skybus was making 80 daily flights to 15 cities around the U.S. It made its first flight from its home base at Port Columbus on May 22 of last year and opened a second base in Greensboro, N.C. in January.

Skybus has approximately 450 employees. Of those, 350 are based in Columbus, with the remainder in Greensboro.

SKYBUS IS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Dispatch.com:

Skybus shuts down, cancels all flights 8:16 PM

Skybus Airlines, a Columbus carrier that excited central Ohio travelers with its $10 fares, is calling it quits.

The news came quickly today, with the airline planning to announce at 9:30 p.m. that it will no longer be in business Saturday. After today, all flights are canceled.

This is bad, bad news for thousands of people across the country.

The SKYBUS experiment did not work.

Skybus, it was GREAT while it lasted.

Bud Takes Off from Skybus

Bud Sittig, the vice president of operations of Skybus Airlines, resigned this week. Megan and I had the fortune to sit next to Bud on a Skybus flight from Pease to Columbus last August, and we were quite impressed. He was professional and showed a clear commitment to safety. He even gave us his card, which listed his Skybus phone number! I flew Skybus confidently knowing that I had met the person that had hired every pilot and flight attendant. In the end, the super tight turnarounds that the airline had planned were not working out- there were too many late flights. Maybe Bud was the fall guy for late flights, but who really knows what happened. Bud, best of luck to you.


Boarding a Skybus Plane

Want to know what the inside of a Skybus Airbus a319 looks like? Watch this video!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Skybus Flight Attendants

Every time I've flown Skybus, I have found the flight attendants do a fairly good job of keeping everyone entertained. Yes, they have quite different attitudes than your typical legacy carrier cabin worker, but in general, they are pleasant, and have always met our needs. And we always tip them, since they are working for a measly $9.00 bucks an hour. During this training video, they don't seem to mind the low wage, as they are all happy and smiling. I think I even recognize one of the trainees in this picture, the woman with the white shirt and light blue scarf.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Skybus Videos- How cool?

You Tube is absolutely loaded with videos about Skybus, and even from Skybus themselves. Check this one out:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Skybus now a "Struggling" Airline?

It is quite amazing how rosy and happy the Skybus story was up until about two weeks ago, when the first leaks showed difficult times ahead for the airline. First, routes were cut, and then, CEO Bill Diffenderffer resigned.

The Columbus Dispatch, whose owner also is invested in Skybus, is now categorizing the airline as struggling.

Today, word leaked out that the city of Melbourne, Florida, would love to have the airline land along the space coast. We'll see what Skybus will do, but don't count on seeing orange planes land and take off unless the city and airport ponies up some incentives for the start-up and now struggling carrier.

I'm amazed how gung-ho and happy we all were about Skybus less than a year ago. Now, I'm wondering if my future flights will be re-scheduled due to route changes, or even worse, dropped altogether!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Skybus Pilots to Unionize?

I'm a union member, and I can see why Skybus Pilots would want to unionize- They don't make much money compared to other pilots. If this does happen, look for ticket prices to go up, up, up.

From today's Columbus Dispatch-

"Skybus also faces a drive by its pilots to unionize, with a vote expected in the next month on possible representation by the Teamsters. Skybus pilots say they are paid significantly less than the industry average."

I don't doubt they are not paid very well, but these pilots began working with Skybus knowing full well what they were getting themselves into. Perhaps Skybus really is making money and they are just looking for a bigger piece of the pie? Only time will tell. Again, more signs that the Skybus honeymoon is over.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Skybus CEO Resigns

I Always looked as Bill Diffenderffer as Skybus's biggest cheerleader. Today, he resigned as CEO of the young airline, to be replaced by 35 year old Mike Hodge, who has been with the Airline since March 2007.

Has the Skybus honeymoon ended? I'd say that is a sure bet. Let's see where Mike takes the airline. I'll still continue to fly as long as they offer $10 and $35 fares.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Making Sense of the Skybus Route Changes

Clearly, the management team at Skybus is being realistic about the experiment that is Skybus. A ton of great people have put their money on the line (at least $160 million dollars of start up capital was raised, not to mention the tax breaks the airline has received across the country), and they are going to want to see a quick return on their investment.

The biggest changes for Columbus-

The Chattanooga flight is being dropped as of April 15. I guess I won't make it to the Tennessee Aquarium after all.

Niagra falls isn't in the mix- yet. The Niagra Gazette is saying that Skybus is merely delaying flights from CMH to this western New York location, but this may be wishful thinking. Service was to begin April 1st.

Also, the planned second daily flight from CMH to Milwaukee, scheduled to begin April 1st, will also be scrapped

And, a total of five flights a day are being eliminated from North Carolina's Piedmont's Triad airport that services the Greensboro area.

Beginning April 15, Skybus will stop serving New Orleans (really Gulfport-Biloxi), and in addition, only one flight per day will be offered to Stewart (NY), Wilmington (DE), Punta Gorda (FL), and Gary (IN). Gary service just started, so they really haven't even given that route a chance.

What Skybus does know is that people love flying to Florida. The planes that are removed from these routes will be now utilized to fly folks from Chicopee Massachusetts to both St. Augustine, and Punta Gorda, Florida. I look for those planes to be full once northeasterns realize just how cheaply they can get to the sunshine state. Service begins June 1st.

New service from Stewart (NY) to Portsmouth (NH), will also be added, at least through the summer, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Finally, our friends in Richmond Virginia will be able to fly to St. Augustine beginning June 1. All in all, quite a few changes from our friends at Skybus.

The bottom line? Skybus is showing that its management team is realistic and will do whatever that needs to be done to make the experiment that is Skybus work AND make money.


Thousands of new $10 Fares

Have you purchased your $10.00 tickets yet? They are going fast!


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thoughts on Skybus

Megan and I are sitting in the Skybus waiting area as I write these words. We're headed to Punta Gorda Florida, where we'll be renting a car and then driving to Sanibel Island. We took advantage of Skybus waiving their $40 change fee, and instead of leaving yesterday during the blizzard event yesterday, we are flying out on this morning's 11:30 am flight. Our originally scheduled flight was able to get out yesterady, despite the blizzard conditions, however, I'm not sure that we would have been able to drive to the airport during the blizzard. 90% of all Port Columbus flights were canceled yesterday. We saw several people camped out, looking might tired. I just hope everyone is able to get home safely now that the snow has stopped.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Skybus Becomes #1 Airline at Port Columbus

Passenger figures are out for December 2007, and the Columbus Dispatch reports this evening that Skybus overtook Southwest as this City's #1 carrier in terms of passengers.

Congratulations Skybus, here is to continued growth.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Skybus Prepares for Tomorrow's Bad Weather

The Columbus Dispatch reports this evening that Skybus will waive their usual $40 change fee in anticipation of snowy and icy weather predicted at Port Columbus over the next 12 hours. If your travel plans are flexible, it may be worth a roll of the dice to get a different flight, especially if the price difference is negligible.

If your Skybus flight is canceled, each passenger gets a refund or booking on a future Skybus flight.

As of 8:48 Thursday evening, no flights have been scrubbed.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Delta, Midwest Drop Flights From Port Columbus

Although Skybus has increased Port Columbus' flying options, there have been casualties. As the Columbus Dispatch points out, Jet Blue left the airport after less than a year, and Delta dropped its non-stop flight from CMH to LAX. Now, Delta is dropping its non-stop to Ft. Lauderdale, and Midwest will stop direct service to Kansas City. Skybus serves both cities.

A few things about this move. I love Skybus. When I'm on vacation. If I'm traveling on business, I'd much rather take Midwest or Delta, especially since they have agreements with other airlines in case of cancellations or major screw ups. Skybus, unfortunately, does not offer such services.

Port Columbus has certainly gained a great deal from Skybus. It is unfortunate, however, that travelers here in town are losing choices, and in the long term, that is a losing situation for passengers.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Will Portsmouth be the Next Skybus Focus City?

I'd put my money on it. Megan and I frequently fly to Portsmouth, New Hampshire from Columbus and our flights are well booked.

USA Today in the sky
has great insight about the Portsmouth Airport.

A planned $5 million expansion at the airport leads me to believe that Skybus will be flying in and out of Portland much more often come 2009.

Skybus Raises Baggage Fees from $5 to $12 Per Pag

Well, every new airline is an experiment, and Skybus is certainly no exception. I must tell you, Megan and have not minded paying the $5 per bag per flight charge, but now, the airline is increasing this cost to $12.00, according to the The Florida-Times Union. Checking the bag online will set you back only $10.00

The cost of priority boarding, which gets you onto the plane before everyone else, is also increasing, going from $10 to $12.50.

The airline cites rising fuel costs for the increased charges. Look for the new fee structure beginning in early March.

Will these changes affect your use of Skybus?