Let me first apologize for the lack of pictures, I've come to learn people expect them nowadays on here I figured I would post anyway since there aren't that many Skybus reviews on this site.
I was excited to be flying Skybus, I always like to try new carriers and since my sister lives in Columbus I was excited to be able to fly directly there from Newburgh, I live in Danbury, CT, a little less than an hour down the highway. $86 roundtrip I couldn't beat it.
108 New York (Newburgh, NY) to Columbus, OH 8:11 PM 9:44 PM
I checked in at home the day before and was assigned boarding group 2. Group 1 is for priority boarding, I didn't want to spend extra, so I passed on it, I planned on carrying only a carry on to avoid the baggage charge as well.
I got to the airport a little before 6:30 and parked in the overflow parking lot, the shuttle driver informed he was the only one working. I think the PA will need to upgrade their shuttle system as Stewart grows and the long term parking is used more often.
I ate at Quizno's, pretty much the only dining choice at Stewart and cleared security easily. I headed to the gate, I wasn't sure what to expect, no one was camped out in the boarding groups like they sometimes do for Southwest, people were waiting patiently, a few people were chatting with the gate agent to see if the flight was full, which it wasn't.
At about 7:40 they had the boarding groups line up, the agent kept reminding us to have our boarding passes in hand and be ready, even though the inbound hadn't even landed yet. I must say when it landed they turned it around quick, the second the last people deplaned we were already boarding. Group 1 was fairly small, so I'm guessing not many people ponied up the extra $10 for boarding. As I waited to board I learned people were headed for a long weekend like myself, a couple guys were returning on business to CMH. They said if it hadn't been for a cheap flight they couldn't have gone.
We would be flying on the Virgin plane painted in Nationwide colors, which made me happy since I know they have a little more leg room. We boarded and I noticed right away they hadn't really gone gangbusters on the cleaning, the floor was trashed with litter, they got the big stuff, but lots of crumbs, wrappers, etc.
I snagged an aisle seat in row 4 and had an empty middle seat next to me for the whole flight. Boarding was very quick and we took off on time.
I had to laugh at a woman who boarded and couldn't "find her seat" on her boarding pass "oh the seats aren't assigned" she replied, I just thought it was funny she didn't realize until she was actually on the plane.
They didn't really have many meals to Buy on Board, a bagel and something else and then all the prepackaged snacks. I just got a water. They came by with the cart of products, but there was no heavy sell. FA's didn't play games or do anything extra quirky with the announcements.
One critique of Skybus is there uniforms, they had lots of T shirts with funny sayings on them, all in black and orange, they all sort of looked like half assed halloween costumes, but I guess that is one way to save money and make the flight cheaper.
The return flight
107 Columbus, OH to New York (Newburgh, NY) 6:24 PM 7:46 PM
I had Monday off from work, but decided to fly home on Sunday in case of weather problems.
Departing from Columbus was fairly routine. I was surprised that Skybus didn't have a bigger check in operation, I found it to be fairly small. I had to check in at the airport this time and wound up in boarding group 3. I also couldn't find any monitors for Skybus before security so I wasn't sure if my flight was on time or not. In fact once I did clear security I noticed some of their flights were just delayed, it never said the new time, just delayed. Mine was on time though and I waited to move down to the boarding area since there isn't anything to do down there, there are no jetways down there. Boarding was once again smooth and I was relieved to see the same plane taking us back to Newburgh. I was at the beginning of group 3 and since they board from the rear and the frontI was able to get an aisle seat in row 4 again. The way it worked they sent group one in the front of the plane, group 2 to the end of the plane, and group 3 to the front of the plane, so I got right on the plane whereas those toward the end of group 2 where still on the stairs to board.
Long story short, I don't see any advantage of the priority boarding, maybe on a longer flight I'd want the security of an exit row with the extra leg room.
This flight had more choices to Buy on Board including sandwiches and a fruit and cheese plate, but I slept on this one. They didn't bring the item cart by but did say to let the FA's know if you were interested in them. We landed on time and I actually was the first one of the plane since the people in front of me had a zillion carry-on's stowed in the rows farther back. I headed right to the curb to wait for the one and only driver to take me back to long term parking.
Overall I enjoyed the Skybus experience, you can't beat the price at all, especially on a short flight. I wish they offered connections though.