One of the topics I want this blog to focus on is maximizing value and convenience from regional airports. Since moving to the area 11 years ago, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my local puddle jumper station. It still has a terminal from the 1950’s but you absolutely can’t beat the minimal crowds and convenience. For most of that time, it only offered non-stop service to 3 locations:
DTW on Northwest then later Delta
PHL on US Air then later AA
CLE/ORD on Continental then later United
(gotta love the post recession airline mergers)
Today they announced that AA will now be service to ORD and CLT. This is at the expense of the non-stop service to PHL. The additional once daily service to ORD could definitely be a good thing to give United some competition. CLT is great too but I have mixed opinions on losing PHL. Despite local perception that it’s a terrible airport to connect through, I’ve actually had positive experiences after I finally started flying through it myself at the end of last year. All gates are connected airside and there is a nice new Centurion Lounge to visit.
Time will tell if these changes will be ultimately positive for the Erie region but right now I’m excited that after so many years of stagnat or declining growth this could be the catalyst ERI needs to turn things around.