7e72004
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Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:10 am

Hello again  Smile I was wondering if any airlines still serve LAF (in Indiana)? The last i heard NW had flights to DET and i think AA had flights to STL...does anyone have any information? thanks and cheers  Big grin
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:26 am

I'm not seeing any commerical service to Lafayette (IN) / Purdue Univ in my booking engines. I know LAF was served before.

JR
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
Indy
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:33 am

There isn't a single commercial flight to LAF and hasn't been for over a year. And according to a story that was published recently on the subject it is feared that there won't be for a number of years. I honestly doubt LAF will ever have regular commercial service ever again. You may get charter service or perhaps prop service from a small airline but nothing serious. Lafayette just isn't big enough for regular jet service and it is far to close to IND.
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
redngold
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:04 am

BTW, last service LAF saw was on American Eagle, I believe with turboprops, out of ORD.

redngold
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KarlB737
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:31 am

The NW service (Mesaba) was to DTW.
 
chiawei
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:38 am

LAF is not close to IND.

I still don't understand why the route would not work. When I was going at purdue, it was difficult to get flight out of LAF. It's always booked.

The problem i believe is due to pricing. A lot of student find it to be cheaper to take a shuttle to IND and fly to else where.

But IND is more than one hour away from LAF. In addition, during the winter time, the travel on I60 (i can't remember if this is correct) is horrible and down right dangerous.
 
Indy
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:45 am

LAF is relatively close. Its about a 55 mile trip down I-65 from Lafayette to 465 on the north side and then a few miles down 465 to the airport entrance. You are talking an hour drive to the airport. Maybe 1 hour 10 minutes and you are there. Its not a whole lot longer than it takes for some people around town to get to the airport because of traffic. 1 hour is no big deal.
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
MAH4546
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:21 am

Quoting Redngold (Reply 3):
BTW, last service LAF saw was on American Eagle, I believe with turboprops, out of ORD.

The last service LAF has had was American Connection to St. Louis, which ended 15 February 2004. It did not last long at all...less than one year.
a.
 
StarCruiser
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:31 am

Quoting Chiawei (Reply 5):
LAF is not close to IND.

Dude, it's 62 miles according to Rand McNally. That's an hour, or perhaps a bit more in traffic. It's interstate highway.

Quoting Chiawei (Reply 5):

But IND is more than one hour away from LAF. In addition, during the winter time, the travel on I60 (i can't remember if this is correct) is horrible and down right dangerous.

You must not be from Indiana. We have snow removal equipment and here in Indianapolis we use it at the first sign of snow. I-65 and the loop I-465 are both major arteries and are quickly plowed. This isn't Dallas where they just look at the snow or ice and wait for it to melt. Besides, what's an hour commute? People drive that long to get to work in many cities.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:39 am

NW/XJ pulled out of LAF in 2001. As said, American Connection gave a brief try at it too.

If they couldn't make it work with Saab's to DTW, doubtful anyone can. The main problem being that you can get nonstop service from IND numerous major cities, that would otherwise require a connection in DTW. It does make it a little more difficult for people to fly in/out of the university without any sort of ground transportation.

Back in the mid-90's, NW/Mesaba prided itself as being the unofficial airline of the Big Ten, by being the only airline to serve all of the eleven university communities.

Michigan (DTW)
Michigan State (LAN)
Ohio State (CMH)
Purdue (LAF) - no longer served
Indiana (BMG) - no longer served
Penn State (SCE)
Illinois (CMI)
Minnesota (MSP)
Iowa (CID)
Wisconsin (MSN)
Northwestern (ORD/MDW)
 
TWA902fly
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:33 am

Quoting StarCruiser (Reply 8):
Quoting Chiawei (Reply 5):

But IND is more than one hour away from LAF. In addition, during the winter time, the travel on I60 (i can't remember if this is correct) is horrible and down right dangerous.

You must not be from Indiana. We have snow removal equipment and here in Indianapolis we use it at the first sign of snow.

Well i've driven that stretch at least 20 times in winter time and i'd say i agree it is one of the most dangerous highways i have driven on. during good weather it is just as good as any other interstate, but due to indianas mid-country location, they always get the freezing rain. THREE times i have had to pull over due to ice... somehow i always end up on it where its raining in Indianapolis and snowing in Chicago and you can guess whats in between... but other than that I-65 is a good highway, maybe i just have bad luck. I-94 Madison-Minneapolis can get pretty bad too. as for I-29 up here from Fargo to Grand Forks, well they closed it once this winter, but other than that its been okay. anyways this is an aviation thread not road trip.

TWA902
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posti
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:06 am

Let me see if a current Purdue Aviation student can straighten a few things out.

1. I have class once a week at Purdue's campus located on the airport at IND. From my house in West Lafayette (2 blocks from Purdue) its about an hour and 15 minuet commute. The nice thing is you can go 80mph on I-65 and not worry about getting a ticket and the weather here is never too bad (I'm from Wisconsin).

2. Students use the passenger area as a lounge, and while American Connection was still operating we used to spend time talking to the gate agents. When we asked how much a R/T flight to STL cost they said around $350. I'm not sure what the price would be to connect from STL but AA has pretty much shut down that hub. Anyways, $350 is much too expensive to be affordable to your average college student, and most out of state students are from Chicago not St. Louis.

Now some speculation
I think LAF could support commercial service of some sort if and only if it was from ORD (UA, AA). This would allow the rich Chicago students to fly home and make it easier for students or businessmen to get to Purdue from far away places. That said, I realize ORD is having capacity issues and nobody has been successful out of LAF in the past, so I'm not getting my hopes up.

Hope that cleared things up a little, if you have any more questions regarding LAF feel free to send em my way, I'm there all the time.
LGW via RAC, LAF, & SEA
 
ZID
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:33 am

Do they still have that Lafayette Limo service? It was a mini-bus that travelled back and forth between like five or six Purdue campus spots and Indianapolis International every two hours from about 6 in the morning until midnight. If I remember right the round trip fare was only $30.
I'm not joking! This is my job!
 
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posti
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:53 am

Yes, the Lafayette Limo is still in service. I've used it once or twice, $30 but you better not be in a hurry to get to the airport. Also, a new bus service called Express Air Coach started in the last few months with service to ORD. I have no idea how much it costs or when it operates, all I know is it leaves from the LAF teminal.
LGW via RAC, LAF, & SEA
 
dia77
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:05 pm

Back when I was at Purdue AA, UA, and NW all served LAF at one point or another. AA left soon after I started school, but UA and NW were there until I graduated. I used to take the UA flight to ORD when I went on job interviews, but I used to always take Lafayette Limo to IND when I went back home to DEN (usually ended up being cheaper, and I liked the nonstop flight). It would be a real shame to see LAF without commercial service. Go Boilers!!!!
 
redngold
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:16 pm

Thanks for the correction y'all. Now it makes sense, because I saw pictures of J31 aircraft which were operated by Trans States out of STL. I was a bit confused by that...
Up, up and away!
 
stlgph
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:32 pm

Quoting Posti (Reply 11):
When we asked how much a R/T flight to STL cost they said around $350. I'm not sure what the price would be to connect from STL but AA has pretty much shut down that hub. Anyways, $350 is much too expensive to be affordable to your average college student, and most out of state students are from Chicago not St. Louis.

Yes, I remember seeing that price listed. In comparison, when Northwest had service, I remember flying from St. Louis - Detroit - Lafayette for $103 roundtrip when I was back at home switching changing out vehicles. It was even down to $80 or $95 a few times when I had to go back home and sometimes just did that for the fun time of flying on a plane rather than driving. Flight time with connection was about 2.5 hours. Driving in total is 4.5 hours, but flying's just fun sometimes, even if you do look out the window on your way to Detroit and see Lafayette below you.
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7e72004
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:44 pm

The only time i flew out of LAF was on a US flight to Dayton (J31) then onto PHL.
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
COSPN
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:25 pm

How much is the Lafayette Limo Bus from IND ??? How Oftem does it run ???
 
BOS2LAF
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:42 am

The limo runs every 2 hours. so if you get in 2 min after one leaves, have fun, you have a nice wait at the airport for the next one... and thats when they're on time. R/T the limo is $40. For the inconvenience of their schedule, its worth it to me to pay a little bit more to park there and leave at my own convenience. I don't like having to book my flights around their schedule, not to mention it makes it more difficult to find the cheapest fare when youre working around the limo's schedule.

I'm really disappointed NW pulled out. In my freshman year, I flew LAF-DTW-MHT for $165 round trip. IND was $220. With their expansion at IND though, its unlikely we'll ever see them again.  banghead 

AA didnt work because their fares sucked. When I saw $380 for fares to BOS, and $750 to MHT changing to US in PHL, I knew they wouldn't last. Screw 'em, they got what was coming. (Thats my hatred for AA speaking, take it worth a grain of salt)  duck 

I'm on one of the B6 research teams here, and we've been on their case about bringing the 190s to LAF  rotfl 

To make LAF work, an airline is competing with IND. They have to make it worthwhile for someone not to drive to IND. They also need to advertise in the area. I've met Purdue students that didn't even know we had commercial service at the airport. That certainly doesnt help matters.
 
chiawei
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:31 am

I lived in West Lafayette for 3 years. I know how tough the winter can be. (PS. I used to live in east coast, and i have been through my share of rough weather).

Back in 1998 during the worse storm season ever, I65 was almost not useable. It took me 4 hours from IND to get back to West Lafayette. So don't tell me how efficient the snow removal is. Because I have seen how bad it can be. In addition, I65 does not have lights away from IND to West Lafayette. Try to drive when it is snowing, freezing rain, with no street light.
Back then we did not have HID on our car. Even then, the head light would become useless quickly as freezing rain builds up on the light and light pattern gets all screwed up. Moreover, there are so many big rigs on I65. If you are a poor student driving a light sub-compact in heavy wind, good luck to you as well. I found I-65 to be dangerous no matter what time of the year during the night. In addition, the highway are not maintained that well either.

In addition, I had a family at that time, taking limo was a problem with luggage and one yound baby.

Plus the limo is not that cheap to begin with (btw, i remember it used to be an hourly service).

LAF will work if major airlines would simply have good fare and advertise more. When I went interview with GM/Ford/Chrysler, I always flew out of LAF to Detroit and it was pleasant and less stressful.
 
LGAtoIND
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:48 am

The limo, while it is pretty cheap, really sucks. It is not that bad going to IND, but when I come back to school, my flight always seems to land just as the limo is leaving. Anyway, I am a freshman, but I heard that most students would not take American's service last year because it was priced too high. Back when it was operating, I did some checking and found out prices from my house (LGA-STL-LAF) to be around 500-700 dollars roundtrip. Why would anyone pay that when I can usually fly IND-LGA nonstop for only 150-200 roundtrip? Does anyone think that Comair could fly like 2 CRJ-200's a day LAF-CVG? I would say that a moderatley priced ORD service could work, but ORD is just too close for most people to fly. Any thoughts on CVG?
 
7e72004
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:03 am

CVG may work with about 2 regional flights a day. One ofthe keys is the advertising...When i flew the LAF-DAY route in '91, i lived in Monticello which is 45 minutes (maybe) north of LAF...LAF at that point was more convenient instead of driving to IND or MDW/ORD. I think LAF-CVG could work.
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
doug_or
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:06 am

CVG isn't really much further than ORD (espeacialy whne you consider Chicago traffic). One of the problems with LAF service is that a large number of the potential passengers (students) are very price sensitive and only want to travel @ certain times of the year (breaks). Regional service is more expensive to operate per seat than big jets, and unless you can attract a premium for your service, it will not be economicly viable.

Add to that the proximity and good fares from IND (I always managed to get good fares and friendly staff no matter who I flew), and you'll see the reason that none of te 20 some odd operaters over the last 30 years have been able to stay.

Anyone still aorund know what ended up happening to the airports finnancial situation? I left May '04 and with the end of service, the federal $$ was supposed to dry up.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
BOS2LAF
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:05 am

I think the ideal candidate for service would be CO with the ERJ 135... The 135 is a perfect size, and CLE is close enough to work.

I dont think DL with CRJs would work. AA couldnt fill a J31, and NW struggled with the SF-340... I know the 135 is a similar size, but if an airline did it right, they could make it work. (Does RP fly the 135 for DL?)

This is what I think are the key things an airline would have to do:

-A minimum of 3 well-timed departures. When NW cut to 2 departures, things went down the shitter fast. Same for AA.

-Good prices. NW did it. I was on many a full flight into and out of LAF. AA didn't do it, and it bit them in the ass.

-Advertise, advertise, advertise. When Purdue students arent aware theres airline service, thats a bad sign.

-Draw in pax from the LAF area that would usually use IND or Chicago. Ive been out of MDW, and I'll never do it again. To borrow a line from Ron White (Blue Collar Comedy) I'd rather "sandpaper the a**hole of an alligator in a phone booth" than fly out of MDW. LAF has free parking. If an airline took the above steps, they could bring in pax who use other airports.

Traffic isnt totally seasonal. Lots of professors and student researchers do a lot of traveling. The research programs of the aviation department alone could sustain service, theres always one team traveling somewhere. Lots of almuni visit for sporting events.

Doug_Or: The terminal is barren on the first floor save for the rental car companies and the AT library, and Alamo/National moved to the building between the terminal and AT building that used to house professors offices. Upstairs is the airport admin office and the Interdisciplenary Ergonomics Lab (aka: the research office, as the aviation research teams use the office) and a few professors' offices.

  

edit: BTW, does anyone know why this plane landed in LAF sometime this past fall? I saw it on final one day when I was walking to campus.
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[Edited 2005-03-22 21:09:30]
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:32 am

That Dash-8 was likely in LAF as a sports charter for some another university.

As for air service returning to LAF, about your only chance is if NW attempts it again, and more likely is some sort of grants SCASD's, etc occur.

LAF isn't going to be able to economically support RJ's. As said fares need to be competitive to compete with IND. With a large research university such as Purdue, there is constant demand for air service: university official business, researchers, guest speakers, recruiters, on-site interviews, football weekends, student breaks, etc. The key is to make in more convienient than traveling to IND. NW has had a change of heart with CHO (Charlottesville, WV) with the University of Virginia and is restarting service there after a brief stint back in 2001. Its possible NW could restore Saab service in the future. Their current plan is to capitalize on smaller and mid-sized markets to feed into their hubs.
 
LV
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:49 am

I would think LAF would be one of the easiest and cheapest markets to advertise in....just take out a full page ad in the Exponent and you have your built in audience right there.
 
stpeterc
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:19 am

Take this from someone who flew out of LAF over two dozen times when he was a student trying to get home to visit his family and manage his own business back on the East Coast. The problems LAF had and continues to have with air service are tremendous. Small market with IND down the road, high fares, poor college students who for the most part are already local, poor reliability and awful frequency.

I flew UA and NW about equally. It was expensive and my flights got delayed and cancelled a lot. Weather, mechanical, both, etc. This is fine if there's a lot of other flights to take but once that flight got cancelled, I was stuck there. I can't tell you how many times we took off 2 hours late from LAF and I missed the last flight to PVD or BOS and had to stay in a hotel in DTW on my own dime.

UA had I think 4 flights a day and NW had 2. One in crack of dawn and one that left late in the evening and returned to LAF at around midnight. It was just a vile way to travel. I finally gave up and started driving to IND, paying almost nothing to park there and flying to PVD for under $200 round trip.

If someone were to replace the service, I think US Airways Express would be the best bet. Most if not everyone on my flights out of LAF was going to either BOS, LGA or PVD. All great markets for US. But it will never happen. There just aren't enough people traveling throughout the year to make it work. Sure the flights are packed around vacation time at Purdue but other than that, the load factors were a joke.

But the worst part of the lack of air service has nothing to do with the air service itself. Its the loss of FAA funds that the airport collected every year when they had service that carried 10,000 pax annually.

Chris
 
milesrich
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:57 pm

Children:

Winter weather affects all travel. But 340 or more days of the year, driving from West Lafayette to Weir Cook is an hour drive. I live in Alpharetta, GA, and with traffic its usually close to an hour drive to Hartfield (oh my God, I forgot the Jackson, sorry Maynard), from my home. There are over 1 million people on the north side of Metro Atlanta that live at least 50 or more minutes from the airport. Does that mean they should begin commerical service to Lawrenceville, or build that airport once planned for Dawsonville.

One certain result of deregulation has been the loss of service at cities like LAF. There are hundreds of these cities around the country. Some are only an hour or so from a major airport, while others may be further. Enough people do not want to pay higher fares to fly in 19 seat turboprops for the convenience of flying into airports such as LAF. The purceived convenience is just not worth it. If LAF has three rt's to DTW or ORD per day, that means the passengers who choose that option have to fly through one of these two airports. How many times have those two hubs experienced winter weather delays this winter? And the people who would use the service, many connected with Purdue, do they live next to LAF? Of course not, they still have to drive probably 15 minutes to the airport, so what do they save? 45 minutes. And then three flights a day, is that limiting enough for you? 600a, 1200N, and 600 pm. Is it worth it to wait six hours between flights when there are flights from IND every hour or so to most hubs, or at least via connection to most major cities. PLEASE. Grow up!
 
redngold
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:59 pm

Milesrich --

Thank you for your wonderfully condescending and rude post. Of course many of us know that expecting resumption of service at LAF is like  banghead  but this is a discussion forum, not a business venture.

Let us dream!


redngold
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7e72004
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Thu Mar 24, 2005 12:03 am

As stated before, most college students are not made of money and would be more proned to going to IND to catch a flight.
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
stpeterc
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:10 am

Milesrich:

Wow. You basically said the same thing I did. The only difference was that you were a jerk about it. Nice job.

[Edited 2005-03-23 21:11:14]
 
norcal
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RE: Do Any Airlines Still Serve LAF?

Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:20 am

Quoting Chiawei (Reply 5):
But IND is more than one hour away from LAF.

Maybe if you ride the Lafayette limo  Wink

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