srbmod
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Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:13 pm

http://www.wsbtv.com/ap/ap/transport...acon-atlanta-flight-subsidy/nPtch/

Macon air route still defying gravity

Quote:
Federal officials are considering restoring a subsidy of more than $1 million to keep Atlanta to Macon passenger flights, despite the route's 2011 average of about one person aboard each flight.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has collected proposals from two carriers to take over the 80-mile route under the "Essential Air Service" program, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported (http://bit.ly/LU9TvC). The program subsidizes airline flights to smaller cities which might not have passenger air service otherwise.

There was a piece about this on the 6PM newscast of WSB here in Atlanta and they're saying that the two airlines are Sun Air International and Twin Air Calypso. From what I can gather from the websites of both airlines as well as the photo database here, they would be using Piper Chieftains.

If they do restore this subsidy, I would be shocked. It really would not matter who operates the flight, it just will continue to have horrible loads. When I worked for ASA a dozen years ago, I remember sending ATL-MCN flights in the evenings that had no more than 2-3 people and we'd often send the plane out empty. If Delta couldn't make the route work even with the EAS subsidy via ASA (The last few years they operated the route, they did it with the EAS subsidy.) and they offered a multitude of connecting opportunities, an airline without any interlining agreements surely isn't going to make it.

Macon is close enough to Atlanta to not need air service to it. I know that in the past Gulfstream (now Silver Airways) proposed service from MCN to Florida, but the bid exceeded the EAS max subsidy, which was already an issue on Georgia Skies' ATL-MCN service, which the subsidy was close to $500 per passenger and is why the EAS subsidy for Macon was withdrawn after the rebid two years ago resulted in no contract being awarded due to the subsidies exceeding the maximum.
 
PPVRA
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:32 pm

Quoting srbmod (Thread starter):
Macon is close enough to Atlanta to not need air service to it.

There are people who commute every morning between Atlanta and Macon, driving. . .


This flight is just unbelievable.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:39 pm

how much to create a "loan" for a airport to airport shuttle service by bus? I can only imagine that the price of a bus is less than the yearly subsidy, and if the company should fail to deliver, you can recover part of the money with the sale of the asset(s).
 
Dalmd88
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:59 pm

Groome Transportation offers bus service from MCN to ATL for $37 ow. Hour and a half ride. They have been doing it for 14 years now.
 
727LOVER
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:37 am

In the mid-late 70s, how many flights did EA & DL have between ATL & MCN?
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srbmod
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:17 am

Quoting Dalmd88 (Reply 3):

Groome Transportation offers bus service from MCN to ATL for $37 ow. Hour and a half ride. They have been doing it for 14 years now.

Back when Georgia Skies had the EAS subsidy, they were charging $39 each way, which was competitive to Groome. But considering that for part of the time you still had to take a shuttle bus from the FBO to the terminal and go through security there, the only advantage they had was taking a lot less time to make the journey. The problem was that their schedule was never really workable to make early flights out of ATL nor were there evening flights out of ATL to MCN. Groome has more runs a day and start service early enough in the morning to catch an early flight out of ATL.
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:34 am

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 4):
In the mid-late 70s, how many flights did EA & DL have between ATL & MCN?

Departed Flights' website shows that as of Nov 15, 1979, Delta flew 4x day DC-9s ATL-MCN, and Florida Airlines - Air South flew 3x day Martin 404s on the route.

Eastern flew ATL-MCN prior to deregulation, but the following quote from EA's 1978 annual report says:

"Seldom in its history has Eastern started so much new service as it initiated in 1978. Dormant routes claimed under provisions of the Deregulation act of 1978 included Atlanta-San Francisco, Miami-San Francisco, St Louis-Salt Lake City, Ft Myers-New York and Austin-Houston. In addition, through traditional CAB procedures, we were able to expand service elsewhere, particularly out of the Atlanta and Miami hubs. From Atlanta, we inaugurated nonstop service to Detroit, Cleveland, Savannah, Charleston, SC, and Columbia, SC. Expansion of our Miami hub to the south opened new routes to Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Merida and Mexico City (via Tampa). Service to Cozumel, Cancun, and Merida on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula was started from New Orleans. On the domestic scene, we received routes from New York City to Albany, NY, and from Ft Myers to Chicago. Conversely, shifting market forces also forced Eastern to delete service in some markets which proved incompatible with our changing route system. Included were Memphis, Macon, Roanoke, Canton-Akron and Chattanooga. In early 1979 it was decided to also suspend service at Cincinnati and Huntsville. These deletions were necessary to free equipment for use in more productive markets. The activity also reflects the pace at which an airline like Eastern must adjust itself in a deregulated atmosphere to protect its most productive markets, and, at the same time, capitalize on new opportunities."
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Skywatcher
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:42 am

I used to admire Americans for their efficient, no nonsense way of getting things done with a minimum of government involvement (with the exception of huge military expenditures). No longer. Wasteful deficit spending on things like this has become the norm. It's not only the grotesque amount of squandered money but the unecessary environmental damage that acccompanies it (wasted carbon/adding to already overloaded infrastructure etc.) that bothers me.
Why should the bus service have subsidized EAS competition? How can it possibly be economical for ATL to handle a Chiefton landing/taking off/gate position etc. given the fact that heavies may have to delay in a holding pattern while waiting their turn to use saturated facilities?
This defies common sense but I guess it's just another example of the new reality. There are just so many better ways to spend a million dollars.
 
bigbird
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:35 pm

I worked for DL as a gate agent in the early 80s when we were operating DC-9s to MCN. It was not uncommon to put 8 to 15 passengers on a flight. I can remeber doing 3. That is the fewest passengers that I ever put on a scheduled flight in the 17 years that I worked as a gate agent.
bigbird from georgia
 
srbmod
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:57 pm

Quoting bigbird (Reply 8):
I worked for DL as a gate agent in the early 80s when we were operating DC-9s to MCN. It was not uncommon to put 8 to 15 passengers on a flight. I can remeber doing 3. That is the fewest passengers that I ever put on a scheduled flight in the 17 years that I worked as a gate agent.


When ASA was flying the route, the a/c had to go regardless of how many passengers because there was always COMAT for the maintenance base they had at MCN plus this was how they often rotated a/c in and out of maintenance.
 
jporterfi
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:13 pm

This flight would not have any potential for business travellers. Driving or using Groome Transportation to get to Atlanta makes more sense. The only way that flights would work is if the load factors were increased through.....the only way I can see it is if Macon somehow promotes itself to the general public or if a big company with a national or international scope gets its headquarters in Macon. Then maybe flights will fill up and service will be added (think RDU to LHR on a much smaller scale). But obviously we are nowhere near this currently as if that happened, the EAS subsidy would hopefully no longer be needed.

Quoting Skywatcher (Reply 7):
How can it possibly be economical for ATL to handle a Chiefton landing/taking off/gate position etc. given the fact that heavies may have to delay in a holding pattern while waiting their turn to use saturated facilities?

I agree with you, but keep in mind GeorgiaSkies already does this with its service from AHN with Cessna 208Bs (another air route which I think should not exist). If the airline is willing to pay the landing fees, the flight is beneficial to the airport, and the airport can accommodate the aircraft, they will allow the flight. Also keep in mind that whatever airline that operates the flight could share the gate at Concourse E that GeorgiaSkies uses to bus their passengers to the plane (which is parked at a hardstand), and therefore not use up an additional gate.
 
srbmod
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:17 pm

Quoting jporterfi (Reply 10):
I agree with you, but keep in mind GeorgiaSkies already does this with its service from AHN with Cessna 208Bs (another air route which I think should not exist). If the airline is willing to pay the landing fees, the flight is beneficial to the airport, and the airport can accommodate the aircraft, they will allow the flight. Also keep in mind that whatever airline that operates the flight could share the gate at Concourse E that GeorgiaSkies uses to bus their passengers to the plane (which is parked at a hardstand), and therefore not use up an additional gate.

The AHN service actually does fairly well and the subsidy costs are well under the limits. While Athens is not that far from Atlanta, the traffic to get to ATL from the Athens area is a nightmare. If you take I-85 out of Jefferson or Commerce, you hit bad traffic through most of Gwinnett County. If you opt for GA-316 to I-85, you hit bad traffic on 316 outside of Lawrenceville and that traffic merges in with the I-85 traffic. If you take US-78 instead, you have bad traffic from the Snellville/Loganville area all the way to I-285. A lesser known option is to take US-78 to GA-138 outside of Monroe to I-20 in Conyers. However, you hit bad traffic there as you get into DeKalb County up to (and sometimes past) the interchange with I-285. In the afternoons, these issues are reversed.
 
slider
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:24 pm

Your government hard at work again.

Grasping to dereg-era vestiges of keeping cities that had air service grandfathered in even if it makes ZERO economic sense. It's a political toy more than anything--ie: Rockefeller's influence in getting all that air service to West Virginny.

If there even is to be ANY EAS program, it needs to be scrapped entirely in its current form and rebuilt ONLY for markets of a certain size or economic impact and only if they meet certain geographic threshholds and it has to feed a major hub. There are some truly rural cities in the Western US that might be able to make a legitimate argument for it, if you believe in the premise of EAS to begin with, but any city east of the Mississippi River that's within 100 miles of a scheduled service airport should have no EAS service. Waste of more tax dollars. Small potatoes in the grand scheme, but every penny counts at this point.
 
727LOVER
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:38 am

I've always thought MCN was a perfect market for G4. The only problem is Florida markets are too close & the mad dogs can't make it out west. But with today's G4 announcement, MCN should work hard to lure them.
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MJBATC12
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:09 pm

Since I go to MGC nearby at EZM, I was going to take that flight to connect in ATL via DL. I saw and have heared things about the airline itself, and I just don't like the idea of flying into ATL in a turboprop, and the only one that goes in there, didn't excite me. I decided to drive under 2 hours to ABY and fly ABY to ATL instead and be right on Delta the whole way. If there were actual loads out of MCN, and it was DL, I would use it.

Otherwise, ABY is my place to fly out of now. Nice airport at MCN too, too bad. Would be nice to see Piedmont go in there with Dash-8's to CLT.. That might work. But I'm a Delta guy, so wouldn't matter to me then  
Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 13):
Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 13):
But with today's G4 announcement, MCN should work hard to lure them

Was it announced yet? What was it?

[Edited 2012-07-31 13:23:15 by srbmod]
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srbmod
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:41 pm

Quoting MJBATC12 (Reply 14):
If there were actual loads out of MCN, and it was DL, I would use it.

If there were actual loads out of MCN, there would still be Delta Connection service out MCN. The last few years ASA was operating the ATL-MCN route, they were doing it with the EAS subsidy. Then again, towards the end of ASA operating the route, they were flying CRJs on the route, which was a bit much, but they had retired the E-120 and the ATR-72 from the fleet. The route was never a moneymaker and for the most part, ASA used it instead of ferrying empty a/c between ATL and MCN where they had a maintenance facility.

Quoting MJBATC12 (Reply 14):
Otherwise, ABY is my place to fly out of now. Nice airport at MCN too, too bad. Would be nice to see Piedmont go in there with Dash-8's to CLT.. That might work. But I'm a Delta guy, so wouldn't matter to me then

Piedmont isn't going to go after EAS flights out of MCN (or AHN for that matter), especially since there is a major airline hub a short drive from Macon. Why fly MCN-CLT to connect to a flight that is likely operated nonstop out of ATL? It would take nearly as long to fly to CLT from MCN as it would to drive from Macon to ATL.

Quoting MJBATC12 (Reply 14):
Was it announced yet? What was it?

Allegiant is adding the A319 to their fleet.
 
bhmdiversion
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:11 pm

Please for the love... MCN will never have Delta service again. We closed it in 2008. Wings Air and Pacific Wings both took a shot at it, and failed. Unfortunately, MCN is too close to ATL and will never have a strong aviation presence there. If you need a plane fixed, Bombardier has a great facility there with the former ASA MX staff and can fix damn near anything there.
 
MJBATC12
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:27 pm

Yeah it's too bad, nice little airport too. Nice little terminal, and facilities there also. Sad it's so dead there too, I think they average about 100 ops a day, the tower is only open 8a-8pm. That's why I chose ABY instead of driving over 3.5 hours to ATL and put miles on my truck. I'd rather fly out of something small with DL that serves it, and is under 2 hours away.

Poor MCN.
'Don't give up, don't ever give up"
 
cargolex
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:04 pm

I think the EAS program is necessary, but approving a route like MCN-ATL is why it gets criticized. Yeah, that's a long commute to drive if you work in Atlanta and live in Macon, but people in New York City regularly commute two hours or so on a train (or multiple trains) or sometimes in a car.

I would hope that this doesn't get approved, because it just isn't "essential" to have that air link, and that gives the program the taint of wasteful spending.
 
srbmod
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:50 pm

Quoting bhmdiversion (Reply 16):
Wings Air and Pacific Wings both took a shot at it, and failed.

Air Greco d.b.a. Wings Air seems to have disappeared completely and their decision to offer AHN-ATL and MCN-ATL despite not getting the EAS subsidy is probably what led to that. They also tried service from LZU-ATL as well. They had one advantage over Georgia Skies during the brief time they offered competing service, they actually had a gate at ATL and one did not have to be bused from the FBO to the terminal and back. They contracted AA to do their ground handling and leased gate space from them. Georgia Skies was not willing to do that and instead tried to force the airport to give them gate space, which eventually happened although it was all the way on E.

Athens is closer to Atlanta than Macon, but their EAS subsidized service on Georgia Skies actually comes in under the max subsidy per passenger. It's a longer drive between Athens and Atlanta than it is between Macon in Atlanta because Athens is not located along an interstate highway like Macon is and the various options that get you to either I-85 or I-20 are highways with sections of traffic lights which slow things down. Plus you have to deal with traffic in the mornings going SB on I-85, SB on GA-316, WB on US-78 and WB on I-20. So no matter which way you go from Athens, you'll be delayed by traffic lights and rush hour traffic. By comparison, Macon to ATL takes no more than 90 minutes even in the thick of morning rush hour.
 
milesrich
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:36 pm

It is routes like ATL-MCN that will eventually doom EAS service to cities that really need it. It is a joke. MCN will only make sense if Macon grows substantially. That probably won't happen either, no matter how much money is poured down the drain. The money would be better spent to widen I-75 from the airport to south of McDonough. The traffic on this stretch, especially as far north as the I-675 split is horrendous.
 
bhmdiversion
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:14 am

Seeing the reply about flying out of ABY and such... If the 50's go away, will ABY ramp be able to handle the 700 - I know that UPS sends a A300 there but their ramp is considerably farther down than the passenger terminal.

Same this with VLD - I know a 50 always had to do a turnout but I don't think anything else would fit? Would they be able to move on the other side of the terminal to park?
 
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crj900lr
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:22 am

AHN-CLT worked nicely back when it was flown by US Airways Express (Air Midwest). True most of the traffic was UGA people but still the flights were almost consistantly full. I'm sure the traffic would still be there today if a legit carrier offered service to a hub.
 
CIDFlyer
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:41 am

MCN's problem is much like TOL's. It's too close to a major hub. People would rather just drive to ATL like they drive to DTW at TOL. If DL had kept MEM substantially larger then maybe I could see a flight there just to tap into the DL frequent flyerf pool in MCN, but that will never happen with the draw down there.
 
cf6ppe
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:27 am

IIRC, in the 1960s EAL offered all first class service on CV440 equipment through Waycross.
 
JayDub
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:46 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 1):
There are people who commute every morning between Atlanta and Macon, driving. . .


This flight is just unbelievable.
How does this warrant EAS funding?
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MJBATC12
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:09 pm

Quoting bhmdiversion (Reply 21):
Quoting milesrich (Reply 20):
Seeing the reply about flying out of ABY and such... If the 50's go away, will ABY ramp be able to handle the 700 - I know that UPS sends a A300 there but their ramp is considerably farther down than the passenger terminal.

It should be fine. They could do 2x or still the 3x of CRJ7 daily. I booked out of ABY through ATL and so far, there's about 15-16 people on my flight as of right now. I'll be surprised if that CRJ2 gets full and every seat is taken, considering it's a few days before Thanksgiving. I'm surprised so far, it's 3 days before Thanksgiving and there's only 15 or 16 people on board. It will be my first in a CRJ2, a whole row or section to myself would make it even more enjoyable!
'Don't give up, don't ever give up"
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:26 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 15):
Why fly MCN-CLT to connect to a flight that is likely operated nonstop out of ATL? It would take nearly as long to fly to CLT from MCN as it would to drive from Macon to ATL.

Right, but when the passenger gets to CLT, he is beyond security and doesn't have to deal with the traffic and security nightmares that seem endemic at ATL. Last time I flew in to ATL, it took me 40 minutes from the gate to getting on to 85 with my rental car. That's LAX or ORD territory even though ATL has only a fraction of the O&D passengers. ATL is not a user-friendly airport for the O&D passenger, and there are almost certainly some who would take a connection at CLT over driving to and dealing with ATL. I don't know whether that group would be large enough to support service, but that group exists.
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milesrich
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:01 pm

Quoting cf6ppe (Reply 24):

IIRC, in the 1960s EAL offered all first class service on CV440 equipment through Waycross.

At the same time, EA flew Convairs to Waycross, they also flew them to RMG(Rome, GA), OCF(Ocala, FL), two cities without any service that are close enough to ATL or CHA, and MCO or TPA respectively to no longer warrant service. Waycross is only about 60 minutes from JAX.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
Last time I flew in to ATL, it took me 40 minutes from the gate to getting on to 85 with my rental car. That's LAX or ORD territory even though ATL has only a fraction of the O&D passengers. ATL is not a user-friendly airport for the O&D passenger, and there are almost certainly some who would take a connection at CLT over driving to and dealing with ATL. I don't know whether that group would be large enough to support service, but that group exists.

As a 28 year resident of Atlanta, now living in North Fulton County for 12 years, and formerly in East Cobb County, Dunwoody (DeKalb County) and Peachtree Corners (Gwinnett County), it can often take 75 minutes to get to the airport and parked when there is bad traffic, (any rush hour, or Friday afternoons), but getting out of the airport, unless the trains and moving sidewalks are down) doesn't take much time at all. I don't care where you go, if you check luggage, and rent a car, and it is going to take 30 minutes or more from blocks in to getting on the expressway at the airport exit. At most big airports today, the rental cars are offsite or a long schlep, whether it be the NY airports, LAX, SFO, DFW, MCI, ORD, MDW, etc.

Flyers would rather take nonstop flights than connect. If flying out of MCN, the time spent connecting at ATL, MEM, or CLT, and the scheduled block time from MCN to ATL, MEM, or CLT exceeds the 2:15 to 2:30 one must allow prior to departure if you driving to ATL from Macon. Then there is the issue of missed connections if your inbound flight to one of these hubs is late, or your outbound flight from MCN is late. Long and short of it, very few would prefer to connect when they can get to the airport by land in less than 120 minutes and fly nonstop. This especially applies to business travelers, who are often reimbursed for the higher parking fees at larger airports like Atlanta. I would agree if you are going to park in the off airport lots or the long term parking, that the extra 15 or 20 minutes involved in that might make connecting from a close in small hometown airport more appealing, and that older people or those with physical infirmities might not want to drive to ATL versus fly out of MCN, but the leisure travelers are usually attracted to ATL, or MDW, or MCO or TPA by their LCC induced lower fares.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:09 pm

Quoting milesrich (Reply 28):
At most big airports today, the rental cars are offsite or a long schlep, whether it be the NY airports, LAX, SFO, DFW, MCI, ORD, MDW, etc.

Many large airports have a quick and virtually painless rental car experience. MDW, DCA, MCO and TPA all come to mind. Heck, even SFO, where it's a significant distance, a UA passenger who has the status necessary to get the rental car without waiting can pretty consistently be on the 101 within 20 minutes of blocking in, and OAL passengers can do it in 25.

ATL is really only as bad as a small handful of airports - I'd list ORD, LAX, PHX and LAS - for a poor rental car experience (and PHX is actively working on decreasing the time spent there).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
milesrich
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RE: Macon, GA EAS Subsidy May Be Restored

Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:00 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 29):

Quoting milesrich (Reply 28):
At most big airports today, the rental cars are offsite or a long schlep, whether it be the NY airports, LAX, SFO, DFW, MCI, ORD, MDW, etc.

Many large airports have a quick and virtually painless rental car experience. MDW, DCA, MCO and TPA all come to mind. Heck, even SFO, where it's a significant distance, a UA passenger who has the status necessary to get the rental car without waiting can pretty consistently be on the 101 within 20 minutes of blocking in, and OAL passengers can do it in 25.

I have rented cars twice in the last 12 months in SFO and it's a pain. You have to walk forever to get to the train, then take that train, and switch to another. It is no picnic. Most people that go into DCA are going into the District and take cabs or the Metro. I have not rented a car there. I agree TPA is pretty easy, and MDW isn't tpp bad those airports don't compare to ATL as hubs or in size. HPN, DSM, MLI, and SNA are fairly easy too.