My wife and I just got back from our vacation to central Florida, and we spent a night in Daytona Beach, and we had a chance to visit my alma mater, Embry-Riddle, and to also visit the airport (DAB). (And eat dinner at Aunt Catfish's!).
To say I was disappointed in the current airline service at DAB would be an understatement. While I was a Riddle student, we had airline service from Eastern Airlines (14 daily nonstops to MCO, ATL, JAX, JFK, and DCA), 4 daily nonstops to ATL from Delta, and Piedmont service to CLT and JAX. There was also commuter service from Dolphin/PBA. And, yes, those Convairs and Martins were sitting near the current ATC in those days.
For me, to see only Delta/ASA (4 mainline + 3 regional ATL flights), CO Commuter, and Vintage? service in that spacious terminal, compared to 20-25 daily flights in my days from the old terminal was a bit of a letdown.
I picked up a copy of DAB's latest newsletter from the info booth, and noticed that CO may be restarting it's EWR flight soon. Hopefully, that will come to pass.
To me, not enough airline marketing types recognize the untapped market at DAB, especially as an alternative to MCO. In my day, and I'm sure it's still true today, one of the main reasons passengers drove to MCO rather than use DAB was the availability of lower fares from MCO, while fares at DAB tended to be quite a bit higher.
And, while I don't have the most recent numbers in front of me, DAB attracted 807,449 passengers in 1996, down to 547,403 in 2000. I'm sure the numbers were closer to 1 million in the early 80's.
Obviously, I'm very familiar with the state of the airline industry post 9/11, but if anyone has any comments on the recent history of DAB, feel free to chime in.
Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina