Back in the summer of 1997, I worked for United Feeder Service (UFS) at the South Bend airport.
I recall from back then the BUA walk-up fare from SBN
was 257.00 for the "privilege" (if you want to call it that), for flying on a beat-up British Aerospace ATP, for a 71 mile hop across Lake Michigan into Chicago.
Now as of the time I post this, the BUA fare, according to United.com, is 562.80. Now granted, back in 1997 we didnt have all of the post 9/11 security surcharges like we do today; but 562.80 to fly on a cramped ERJ, for the same 20 minute, 71 mile flight. For that amount of cash, I better be getting a helluva lot more than a 10-pretzel bag of pretzels, and a completely disinterested flight attendant in the back.
Back in 1997, surprisingly, there were a lot of people that just flew SBN
instead of driving, and back then I couldnt blame them. Incidentally, from DENORD, same day, same fare basis (BUA), according to United.com, the fare is 609.30.
I posted in another thread that I dont mind paying the fare as long as it is worth the service received. In the DENORD segment (on a mainline aircraft), I wouldnt mind paying the BUA. In the SBNORD segment (on a cramped ERJ aircraft, with minimal, if any, inflight service), there is no way in hell that I would pay that BUA fare, because the transportation and the service on top would not be worth the fare paid. By the time I farted around at SBN
with check-in, the TSA
shmoes, waited at the gate, take the inevitable delay into ORD
, I easily couldve driven it.