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chrisnh
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JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:25 am

I live near Manchester (MHT) but today I did something bold: I booked jetBlue for flights from Portland (PWM) to Orlando in mid-January. Long behind the curve when it comes to low airfares, PWM seems to be catching up. I was pleased at the $99 (each way) fare I got. That beat Southwest.com between MHT and MCO, which (at best) was $109 and more often $137. And to compound things, Southwest.com would not let me book further out than January 9 while jetBlue had no such barriers. PWM is about 2.5 hours north of me here in southern NH, but my folks live on the ocean up in Kennebunkport so that makes the whole thing more convenient.

Anyway, kudos to jetBlue for besting MHT on air fares to Orlando! Even more astounding was that BOS-MCO on jetBlue was quite a bit higher! So as far as jetBlue is concerned, PWM has Boston beat too! I saw no $99 fares on the BOS-MCO market, whereas they are common on the PWM-MCO circuit.

PWM downgrades from the A320 to the E190s sometime after Labor Day. But I would be shocked if the Portland market doesn't manage to bang those smaller planes out with those fares. No reason why LF shouldn't be sky-high. And if that's the case, the downgrade to the 190s might end up being a mistake...at least for the first flight out and the last flight in each night.

Chris
 
mtnwest1979
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:31 am

OK, just to play Devil's advocate.

How much extra will it cost to travel to PWM over MHT? More than $15-20?

Also, with lower fares from PWM, this might indicate that they need to offer cheaper fares from PWM to stimulate traffic.

And lastly, seeing as they are downgrading aircraft, this would seem to me to also indicate they are in need of more traffic than they are getting.

But, since I know not of what is going on in Portland, perhaps I am way off base.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
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spinkid
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:31 am

I think the downgrade is just a seasonal thing and nothing more. Maine is just more popular in summer than in winter.

I agree, it can't be worth driving the 2-3 hours to get there, but for ChrisNH visiting his parents seems to be worth the trade off.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:48 am

I guess the math would work out this way: 200 driving miles NH-Maine-NH takes me about eight gallons, or $24 using $3 a gallon for gas. The cost of gas might be cheaper by then. I won't factor in the cost to park because I'd have that to deal with in any event (MHT or PWM). $137 each way on Southwest versus $99 on jetBlue yields a difference of $38, or $152 total for my daughter and me for the RT. I guess I come out $128 ahead on jetBlue, which will pay for a couple days (or more) of meals while we're there.

Also, it gives me a chance to try the jetBlue product. Most people rave about it, so it will allow me to judge for myself.

One negative is the connection at JFK. Southwest via MHT would have me on a nonstop, and in the middle of winter I'd rather take off once and land once. But, hey...we'll see.

Chris
 
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mariner
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:07 am

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
No reason why LF shouldn't be sky-high.

At those fares, they would have to be, for JetBlue to try and make some money.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
ScottB
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:12 am

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 3):
One negative is the connection at JFK. Southwest via MHT would have me on a nonstop

...which also means for the jetBlue itinerary, you ought to add $5 per round-trip in TSA fees, $9 per round-trip for PFC's at JFK, and $6.60 per round-trip in per-segment excise tax. You still come in nearly $90 ahead on JetBlue, but only assuming that Southwest doesn't offer a $99 MHT-MCO fare in January once the schedules open up...

When you price out the $109 each way fare on the non-stop from MHT on WN, it's actually ever so slightly cheaper than the $99 each way fare with a connection at JFK on B6.
 
jetBlueNYFL
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:21 am

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 1):
Also, with lower fares from PWM, this might indicate that they need to offer cheaper fares from PWM to stimulate traffic.

Or it might indicate that the BOS-MCO nonstops have sold out their lower base fares due to the popularity of that route, especially with AA dropping that nonstop service this fall. Also, JFK-Florida is VERY competitive with many airlines serving NYC-FL therefore the fares will usually be lower.

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 1):
And lastly, seeing as they are downgrading aircraft, this would seem to me to also indicate they are in need of more traffic than they are getting.

PWM was originally planned to be an E190 city from the start, however they did not have any free so instead of postponing the start date, they went with the A320 until they could switch. Either way, way to go for jetBlue bringing in lower, reasonable fares to PWM! Delta's and US's fares were not realistic.
jetBlue...Bringing Humanity Back To Air Travel!
 
COERJ145
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:31 am

You could have done Allegiant from PSM(Portsmouth, NH) or ORH(worchester, MA) starting at $59 each way. You do go into SFB instead of MCO though.
 
ScottB
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:42 am

Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 7):
You could have done Allegiant from PSM(Portsmouth, NH) or ORH(worchester, MA)

Worcester, not Worchester (and it's pronounced Wuhstuh), and Allegiant is said to be discontinuing service at ORH in a few weeks.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:56 am

Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 7):
You could have done Allegiant from PSM(Portsmouth, NH) or ORH(worchester, MA)

Well, 'Worcester' is going to be terminated by that carrier in a matter of weeks (!) thanks to high fuel costs, etc. And I didn't feel like crossing my fingers and holding my breath hoping that the same wouldn't happen to Portsmouth/Pease.

This whole thing about going to Portland versus Manchester makes sense for me inasmuch as my folks live 30 minutes south of PWM...which is about the same distance as I live from MHT. So by sleeping over up in K'port on the night before we fly out, and maybe also after coming back, it's convenient for us. I'm looking forward to using B6, actually! I talk about PWM as though I 'know' the place, but I really don't...that much. I only flew through there once, on a United 737-300 that did a curious ORD-PWM-MHT-ORD routing as Flight 1230, way back when. If you think about it, that flight made sense because it was FULL on every leg. 80% of the people on that flight out of ORD were going to MHT, and when we got to PWM about 20 people got off and another 20 got on. But I do recall the reverse thrusters deploying right away (like, when we were 30 miles out)  Wink.

Whoooaaah Nellie! That's what 6,000 feet and a little bit will do.

For the record, the year was 1997 and the plane was N359UA

Chris in NH
 
MAH4546
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:59 pm

Quoting Spinkid (Reply 2):
I think the downgrade is just a seasonal thing and nothing more. Maine is just more popular in summer than in winter.

It might be, but Portland has not been a star performer for jetBlue.
a.
 
mtnwest1979
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:01 pm

Well, either way, have a fun trip. Hopefully the drive won't be to snowy/icy. I've only been out that way once ( last Sept) and drove from Manchester to York Beach, then down thru MA, CT, up to Brattleboro,VT, then back to MHT. Was a nice drive and area!
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
pwm2txlhopper
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:13 pm

I'm thrilled that we finally got a LCC to come up here to PWM! The airport authority and the city had been trying to lure a LCC to PWM for about ten years without much success, and the result was sky high airfares. We had Independence Air for a year, but that was short lived. (Although, I've consistently heard that PWM was one of their most successful routes during their brief existence.)

I have not yet flown with B6, but look forward to trying them in a few weeks when I go to Berlin. Now instead of taking the bus or train two hours to Boston to catch an International flight, I can fly to JFK in 45 minutes to make an International connection and also have a much larger selection of flights to choose from than I would at BOS. Not only faster and more convenient then traveling to BOS by ground, but for the first time ever affordable to fly out of PWM.

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 1):
And lastly, seeing as they are downgrading aircraft, this would seem to me to also indicate they are in need of more traffic than they are getting.

As mentioned PWM is a seasonal market. In the summer all the flights are near full. The major's bring in mainline jets. Independence Air flew their A319's to PWM. In the winter passenger numbers cut back, but there is enough local O&D traffic to sustain flights on smaller aircraft such as the E-190's. I use to work on the ramp for Delta and there are probably enough passengers transiting between Maine and Florida alone on a daily basis to support B6's winter operations at PWM. In fact as of 2003, a little over 40% of all passengers using PWM were coming or going to destinations in Florida. The other two most popular destinations were LGA, and DCA/IAD. I assume the numbers are similar as of 2006.

quote=ChrisNH,reply=0]PWM is about 2.5 hours north of me here in southern NH, but my folks live on the ocean up in Kennebunkport so that makes the whole thing more convenient.
[/quote]

It's been a while since I've been to Manchester, but I don't think it's 2.5 hours is it? I can drive Portland to Boston in 1hr 45min, and I don't think Manchester is further than Boston, is it?

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 9):
This whole thing about going to Portland versus Manchester makes sense for me inasmuch as my folks live 30 minutes south of PWM...which is about the same distance as I live from MHT. So by sleeping over up in K'port on the night before we fly out, and maybe also after coming back, it's convenient for us. I'm looking forward to using B6, actually! I talk about PWM as though I 'know' the place, but I really don't...that much. I only flew through there once, on a United 737-300 that did a curious ORD-PWM-MHT-ORD routing as Flight 1230, way back when. If you think about it, that flight made sense because it was FULL on every leg. 80% of the people on that flight out of ORD were going to MHT, and when we got to PWM about 20 people got off and another 20 got on. But I do recall the reverse thrusters deploying right away (like, when we were 30 miles out) Wink.

Even if your folks didn't live in Maine, PWM would still be faster and easier than going to Boston Logan for a flight. (Although maybe not MHT) Weekly parking rates are much cheaper than at BOS too. TSA screening lines? Five minutes or less! CSR attitude? None, this is Maine not BOS.

The runway has been lengthened a bit since you used PWM last, almost 7,000 feet now and handling Fedex A310's daily... although still with reverse thrust! of course. I remember that ORD-MHT-PWM flight, just on the 727-200 when flew it. PWM to MHT took 12 minutes flying time! There was also an ORD-BGR-PWM-ORD flight in the late 80's/early 90's.


Finally JetBlue on the ramp at PWM




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jetbluefan1
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:14 pm

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 10):
Portland has not been a star performer for jetBlue.

Actually Portland performed pretty well for B6 this summer. The first few weeks were disastrous - very empty flights all around. However, once late June rolled around those flights were going out packed. I was really surprised since 4x on an A320 seemed like overkill, but it seems like B6 knows what they are doing since PWM will be downgraded to all-E190s on 11/1. This certainly implies a seasonality in the market, which I'm really not all surprised about.

JetBluefan1
 
EMBQA
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:13 am

Quoting ChrisNH (Thread starter):
PWM downgrades from the A320 to the E190s sometime after Labor Day.

ChrisNH-

I don't know how they'll do it. I flew up last night on #606... the A320 and it was PACKED..!! I had the chance yesterday to fly both the A320 and E190 and the E190 was a by far better ride....and I'm not saying that as an EMB employee. Better seat, more leg and shoulder room, much bigger IFE screen, easier IFE controls, quite cabin.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
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LTU932
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:21 am

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 12):
Finally JetBlue on the ramp at PWM

You're link was broken. Here it is:

MyAviation.net:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photographer © Adam T. McLemore

 
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chrisnh
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:30 am

I guess my drive would be just a bit over two hours rather than 2.5. I'd say 45 minutes of my 2-hour drive to Goose Rocks Beach is NOT on major highways, whereas a drive from Portland to Boston is ALL highway. I have to drive on Route 101 to Manchester (a half-hour) before I get on a so-called 'highway.' Then I have another 15 minutes from the Kennebunk exit to my folks' house. So if it takes me 1:45 to get to the Kennebunk exit, it's probably, what, another 15-20 minutes from there up to the jetport? So maybe 2 hours, 2:05 is about right for me.

I noticed, by the way, that my return flights have zoomed up to $249 now! The southbound flights are still priced at $99, but there must be a spike in demand on that return leg. It is a Friday return (1/20) so maybe that has something to do with it.

Chris in NH
 
pwm2txlhopper
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:37 pm

I just purchased tickets with B6 to get me from PWM to JFK to catch a flight to TXL next month. It was $170 R/t with Taxe/fees included. I could have flown DL Connection for $30 dollars less on one of their new Freedom Air Dash-8 flights to JFK that are about to commence, however I've yet to try B6 and wanted to give them a try.
 
Jerseyguy
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RE: JetBlue & PWM: Good Job!

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:54 pm

Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 17):
could have flown DL Connection for $30 dollars less on one of their new Freedom Air Dash-8 flights to JFK that are about to commence

You could fly Delta's broomcloset with wings but I think you'll have a better flight on Jetblue.  Big grin
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