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AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Fri Aug 02, 2002 11:07 am

Obviously this is not 'stop the presses' news, but AA Eagle is abandoning the Worcester Regional Airport, 50 miles west of Boston. Big yawn there. A city that doesn't care enough about its airport to keep the service it has, let alone attracting new service. Massport, which runs Logan as well as Hanscom Field and Worcester (for the time being) is cutting its losses at Worcester and handing the keys back to the city in a 'Here...YOU do it!' gesture of disdain for the horrible, hard-to-get-to, hilltop airport.

I do have to thank AA Eagle, though, for focusing on Worcester and Portland and Bangor and all the other New England cities and leaving Manchester to the 'real' airlines! Their 'little' RJs would certainly siphon traffic away from United (which uses 757s and A320s here) and USAirways (which uses A321s/A320s/A319s now and 757s next month). Without that bit of wisdom on their part, these real airlines would likely use smaller planes up here. So, a big Thank You to AA Eagle for staying away!!!
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RE: AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Fri Aug 02, 2002 11:39 am

Damn, now ORH only has 4 daily Us Airways Express Dash-8's to PHL and one daily ASA to ATL. ORH is not a bad little airport, it is just hard to get to, Massport was trying to build an acess road from I-290 to it, but those damn people who live around the airport are b*tching like normal. When will the government learn to ignore those people?

Mmmm forbidden donut.
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RE: AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Fri Aug 02, 2002 2:07 pm

I get the impression that Eastern Massachussetts is utterly determined to make it impossible for anyone to get there by air. First the 20-year fracas over the utterly needed BOS runway, then the Hollywood-led snit against Hanscom, now problems getting decent access to ORH.

Just as well, at least Manchester and Providence are prospering. Sounds like MHT isn't having NIMBY problems, and is getting its airport expanded properly. When will all 9,000 feet of the main runway be open? PVD has NIMBY problems extending its crosswind runway because of a quirk in state law, but it has good terminal facilities.

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
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RE: AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:15 pm

Yes, PVD does have NIMBY problems and we (thankfully) do not. I don't know why the difference. But up here, we see the airport as an economic catalyst...the 'golden goose' syndrome. What these NIMBY's conveniently like to 'forget' is that the shopping malls that they go to and the office buildings they work at were once nice fields and meadows. And they themselves are 'traffic' going to and from those places. Hypocrites all.

Runway 17/35 up here will be open full-length sometime around summer next year. The strip will open partially later this year, I hear.
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RE: AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:25 pm

I believe DL will be back in with one more RJ before the end of the year.
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RE: AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Fri Aug 02, 2002 11:09 pm

It is too bad that AA stopped Worcester service. I regularly travel to MA for business and Worcester is the closest airport my office. I agree the Worcester airport is hard to get and I always seem to get lost.

Apparently several airlines wanted to start and expand Worcester service but they always had a condition of building a good road to the airport. Since the road is not going to be built AA probably felt like it was time to cut their loses.

Also, I think AA really shot themselves in the foot when they cut back frequency to once a day. The return flight to Chicago left about 2PM. As a business person, I can't just leave at lunch to fly home. It would have been much more convenient if they kept an evening service back to Chicago. This could easily connect with one of AA's many ORD-DFW services.

I now fly DFW-PVD with a change at ORD. Flying to Boston is about 3 times the price and I just can't justify a $1500 ticket to Boston when PVD is usually about $475. It would be nice if AA would start a nonstop from DFW to PVD. Although they probably don't want to hurt their yeilds on DFW BOS.
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RE: AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Sat Aug 03, 2002 12:02 am

Don't forget, this probably also has to do with AE adhearing to the scope clause. I'm sure ORH would have probably stayed if they would be able to keep up their expansion. Thanks to AA, places where AE is flourishing, they are unable to expand or unable to keep up with other airlines who are expanding. It's sad to see.

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RE: AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Sat Aug 03, 2002 4:12 am

For some reason, ORH always gets the raw deal. It just seems to be a test market for most airlines, more often than a permanent route. I suspect weather does play a major factor there, because of where the airport is situated geographically, and it costs the airlines some dough every time a plane diverts to say, BDL or PVD. By the way, the on and off debate on the proposed runway extension at PVD, is ON again!
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RE: AA Eagle Dumps Worcester

Sat Aug 03, 2002 10:17 am

I don't think Worcester's problems have anything to do with weather. Any city can suffer from bad weather, and ORH's hilltop locale makes it a bit more prone to fog and such, but not to the extent that it would be the cause of a carrier's departure.

What Worcester lacks (or will lack soon) is the strength of Massport. They raised the white flag after the visionary folks in the city decided that a new, more direct access road wasn't necessary. Sadly, none of this--no road, no more Massport, no more AA Eagle--seems to have raised the ire of the populace. For their part, Massport is a laughing stock. Full of themselves, they would proudly boast that they could 'get' carriers to go to either Hanscom or Worcester (other airports within their domain) as if by a mere snap of their fingers.

Up here in Manchester, we're happy to see all of this unfold: Hanscom and Worcester will unlikely reach any sort of critical mass of flights (Worcester's reasons already documented; Hanscom is situated amongst rich NIMBY's who hypocritically complain about noise). Boston, because of this, will choke even more...leaving MHT (and PVD) to grow and prosper.

So, back to my original point: 'Thank You AA Eagle!'

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