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BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:30 am
by TLG
I need to fly BWI-PIT. Southern Airways Express is an option that looks interesting, plus it is by far the cheapest. The two itinerary options that work for my schedule have a layover in either MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA). The layover options and overall flight schedules are very similar, giving me no advantage either way. The price is also the same. Would MGW or DUJ be preferable? I can also choose between either a very short 20 or 25 minutes layover or more like 3 hours with either route. It appears that both airports have a good restaurant, which might be interesting to check out. Basically, because of schedules with others on either end, I have from 7 AM to 4 PM to get from BWI to PIT.

I posted this on Flyertalk as well, but so far have not gotten any replies. I know that these are low volume EAS routes, which means that not too many people here will have done this. But if anyone can give me some advice and/or anecdotal experiences, I would appreciate it!

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:08 am
by Yeastbeast
Eh, it's about a 4 hour drive. Are you doing an out and back the same day? If not, flying might not be your best choice. Is the train a viable option for you?

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:09 am
by Yeastbeast
Eh, it's about a 4 hour drive. Are you doing an out and back the same day? If not, flying might not be your best choice. Is the train a viable option for you?

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:15 am
by ibthebigd
Does Southwest still fly the route?

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Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:47 am
by CairnterriAIR
Ehhh....as long as you are not needed in PIT for anything important. Your connecting flight cancels at either airport and you are in for a very long day and a very expensive car rental. A fun trip for aviation fans, but honestly I’d do it on a route with better back up options.

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:32 pm
by EricAY05
Since this is a forum for aviation enthusiasts, it is somewhat likely that OP wants to fly this route and experience the Cessna 208 Caravan or the Piper PA-31 Chieftains. If OP wanted to experience the car or the Southwest 737, he would probably just have chosen either of these options and not posted here at all. Unfortunately I don't have any information regarding these two airports. The only thing that I can offer is the opinion to definitely go for the Southern Airways Express option and to fly something less usual. Enjoy!

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:29 pm
by PI4EVR
Although I am not familiar with either airport, I would try to determine if the 20-25 minute "connection" is a continuation of the same plane and crew from BWI. A less likely issue of operational issues/delay if ultimately the plane and crew is to end up in PIT.
If you are flying earlier than mid-April, consider that you are flying thru an area prone to marginal weather conditions in mountainous terrain. Operationally I'm not questioning Southern's ability to fly in these conditions; simply the time of year and area to be flown can be affected by weather issues in the winter.
That's from my personal history of flying thru VA/WV/TN/OH/KY in winter "back in the day."
Good luck with your travels and hope you enjoy the ride.

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:32 pm
by Cody
MGW! Eat at Ali Babbas restaurant in the terminal. Amazing Mediterranean food!

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:15 pm
by Runway28L
I would probably pick MGW just based on the scenario that in case anything were to go wrong and you ended up having to drive, it’s shorter and more direct to PIT (basically a straight shot up I-79).

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:59 pm
by flyboy7974
Either way, please post a trip report, this sounds interesting!

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:53 pm
by TLG
EricAY05 wrote:
Since this is a forum for aviation enthusiasts, it is somewhat likely that OP wants to fly this route and experience the Cessna 208 Caravan or the Piper PA-31 Chieftains. If OP wanted to experience the car or the Southwest 737, he would probably just have chosen either of these options and not posted here at all. Unfortunately I don't have any information regarding these two airports. The only thing that I can offer is the opinion to definitely go for the Southern Airways Express option and to fly something less usual. Enjoy!

You've got me figured out! But there's actually more to it than this. My plan is to return a rental car and drop some people off at BWI early in the morning. Then I need to meet someone at PIT later in the day, at around 4:00 PM. Driving to Pittsburgh isn't really an option, unless I pay a rather steep one way car rental fee. Also, like most people here, I am an aviation enthusiast. Flying Southern Airways Express sounds perfect to me! The $58 fare suits me too. :smile:

Southwest has two BWI-PIT flights, but they are both later in the day, and the price is higher. The earliest one is too late for my schedule. There are plenty of other options on UA, AA, and DL, but the cost is quite a bit higher. Plus, it's mostly normal connecting flights on RJ/mainline aircraft.

PI4EVR wrote:
Although I am not familiar with either airport, I would try to determine if the 20-25 minute "connection" is a continuation of the same plane and crew from BWI. A less likely issue of operational issues/delay if ultimately the plane and crew is to end up in PIT.

I don't know this. The flight numbers change, but it could still be the same crew and aircraft.

PI4EVR wrote:
If you are flying earlier than mid-April, consider that you are flying thru an area prone to marginal weather conditions in mountainous terrain. Operationally I'm not questioning Southern's ability to fly in these conditions; simply the time of year and area to be flown can be affected by weather issues in the winter.
That's from my personal history of flying thru VA/WV/TN/OH/KY in winter "back in the day."

This would be in mid May, so any bad weather would likely be thunderstorms or at least heavy rain.

PI4EVR wrote:
Good luck with your travels and hope you enjoy the ride.

I hope it works out, and I'll certainly enjoy it if I end up doing it!

Cody wrote:
MGW! Eat at Ali Babbas restaurant in the terminal. Amazing Mediterranean food!

Thank you! Both MGW and DUJ have restaurants, and I thought maybe one of them could help me make my decision. I would have the option of either a 25m layover or a 3h 15m layover. The longer one would give me time to enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Plus, if I take the short connection, I would just be twiddling my thumbs in PIT until my ride gets there.

Runway28L wrote:
I would probably pick MGW just based on the scenario that in case anything were to go wrong and you ended up having to drive, it’s shorter and more direct to PIT (basically a straight shot up I-79).

I had actually thought of this, but I wasn't sure if the chance of IRROPS was big enough to sway my decision. I think it's a good idea. Thank you!

flyboy7974 wrote:
Either way, please post a trip report, this sounds interesting!

I have never before posted a trip report, but most of my trips are pretty common run-of-the-mill trips in economy. If I end up doing this, I'll do my best to document it with photos and videos and write a trip report!

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:53 pm
by crjflyboy
relying on Southern to be on time ?

you can't be serious ...

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:53 pm
by TLG
Update: I booked BWI-MGW-PIT. I booked the longer layover in MGW to give me time to experience the restaurant. It wouldn't do much good to take the earlier flight to PIT, because the people I'm meeting won't be there until later anyway. I'm very much looking forward to the experience! The trip is in May, so it's a few months out yet. I'll see about posting a trip report.

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:15 pm
by argentinevol98
Thinking about taking the LNS-BWI EAS route they operate as part of a day trip I have planned when I´m stateside in April. That said the delay/cancellation tendencies of 9X I´ve heard about worries me a bit. I don´t really care as I´m doing it more for the C208 but I have a buddy agreeing to go that is not a avgeek and cares much more about the success of our day trip... (he´s excited about the idea of spending a morning in Lancaster and an evening in DC before heading back to Philly at night on a bus).

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:06 pm
by DALMD80
TLG wrote:
I need to fly BWI-PIT. Southern Airways Express is an option that looks interesting, plus it is by far the cheapest. The two itinerary options that work for my schedule have a layover in either MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA). The layover options and overall flight schedules are very similar, giving me no advantage either way. The price is also the same. Would MGW or DUJ be preferable? I can also choose between either a very short 20 or 25 minutes layover or more like 3 hours with either route. It appears that both airports have a good restaurant, which might be interesting to check out. Basically, because of schedules with others on either end, I have from 7 AM to 4 PM to get from BWI to PIT.

I posted this on Flyertalk as well, but so far have not gotten any replies. I know that these are low volume EAS routes, which means that not too many people here will have done this. But if anyone can give me some advice and/or anecdotal experiences, I would appreciate it!

If you are going 2 ways then do one on the way up, the other on the way back.

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:06 pm
by TLG
argentinevol98 wrote:
Thinking about taking the LNS-BWI EAS route they operate as part of a day trip I have planned when I´m stateside in April. That said the delay/cancellation tendencies of 9X I´ve heard about worries me a bit. I don´t really care as I´m doing it more for the C208 but I have a buddy agreeing to go that is not a avgeek and cares much more about the success of our day trip... (he´s excited about the idea of spending a morning in Lancaster and an evening in DC before heading back to Philly at night on a bus).


Lancaster, PA is my home area. In fact, I have friends whose house overlooks LNS airport. Just so you know, the airport is actually near the town of Lititz, not really Lancaster. However, it's not far to Lancaster, maybe a 15 minute drive depending where in Lancaster you're going.

I've never flown to or from LNS. My sister-in-law flew into LNS one time, back when Southern operated the route ex IAD.

DALMD80 wrote:
If you are going 2 ways then do one on the way up, the other on the way back.


I'd certainly try to do this if I was traveling this route round trip, but it's one way only this time. Maybe some other time I can try Dubois. Or Altoona.

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:02 am
by argentinevol98
TLG wrote:
argentinevol98 wrote:
Thinking about taking the LNS-BWI EAS route they operate as part of a day trip I have planned when I´m stateside in April. That said the delay/cancellation tendencies of 9X I´ve heard about worries me a bit. I don´t really care as I´m doing it more for the C208 but I have a buddy agreeing to go that is not a avgeek and cares much more about the success of our day trip... (he´s excited about the idea of spending a morning in Lancaster and an evening in DC before heading back to Philly at night on a bus).


Lancaster, PA is my home area. In fact, I have friends whose house overlooks LNS airport. Just so you know, the airport is actually near the town of Lititz, not really Lancaster. However, it's not far to Lancaster, maybe a 15 minute drive depending where in Lancaster you're going.

I've never flown to or from LNS. My sister-in-law flew into LNS one time, back when Southern operated the route ex IAD.


Yeah I saw that the airport was not exactly in Lancaster but we're planning to arrive via Amtrak to Lancaster at like 9am and the flight (in theory) leaves at 2pm so we have loads of time to get to the airport from wherever we find ourselves in the area that day. I have heard that 9X sometimes moves flights up several hours even on the same day of departure! That worries me just a tad but we'll play it by ear if it comes to that.

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:37 am
by TLG
argentinevol98 wrote:
Yeah I saw that the airport was not exactly in Lancaster but we're planning to arrive via Amtrak to Lancaster at like 9am and the flight (in theory) leaves at 2pm so we have loads of time to get to the airport from wherever we find ourselves in the area that day. I have heard that 9X sometimes moves flights up several hours even on the same day of departure! That worries me just a tad but we'll play it by ear if it comes to that.


That should work well, assuming the 9X flight leaves at the appointed time. Uber from the Lancaster Amtrak station to LNS shouldn't cost more than $15 or so. Of course you will probably head to LNS from somewhere else, so the price could vary somewhat.

Re: BWI-PIT on Southern Airways Express; should I "connect" in MGW (Morgantown, WV) or DUJ (Dubois, PA)?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:14 pm
by argentinevol98
TLG wrote:
argentinevol98 wrote:
Yeah I saw that the airport was not exactly in Lancaster but we're planning to arrive via Amtrak to Lancaster at like 9am and the flight (in theory) leaves at 2pm so we have loads of time to get to the airport from wherever we find ourselves in the area that day. I have heard that 9X sometimes moves flights up several hours even on the same day of departure! That worries me just a tad but we'll play it by ear if it comes to that.


That should work well, assuming the 9X flight leaves at the appointed time. Uber from the Lancaster Amtrak station to LNS shouldn't cost more than $15 or so. Of course you will probably head to LNS from somewhere else, so the price could vary somewhat.


Took a look at the last week or so of 9X ops out of LNS on flightaware and the appear to be actually holding time decently well. They had one flight leave early by about 20 minutes but it may be all the pax for the trip were there early, so why not leave? They had a few delays but most were about 10 minutes or so and only a couple were a couple of hours (but that seems from the map on flightaware to have been weather-related). So I have a bit more confidence than earlier.