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.