MSYtristar
Topic Author
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:28 pm



When I woke up this morning I decided to see if I could go on a short day trip. I was initially thinking about taking a drive up to the mountains of N. Georgia, but then, I remembered the two new commuter airlines which were now flying out of ATL....Wings Air and Georgia Skies....so I decided to see what they had to offer, and if something could be done for a reasonable price.

Stumbling upon the Wings Air website first, I noticed that its only current route was ATL to Lawrenceville...a short, 20-min flight...and the price was around $200 for a same-day roundtrip. Ouch. So I then found the GeorgiaSkies website and noticed that they have a "$39 every seat, every flight" banner at the top of the page. That airline still flies between ATL and both ANH and MCN several times a day. I made a same-day ATL-MCN-ATL itinerary and sure enough, it was $39 each way. Not a bad deal at all. So I bought it, ran a few errands, and then made my way to the Atlantic Aviation FBO at ATL to begin my journey.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_5320.jpg

Georgia Skies (operated by Pacific Wings)
Flight #123
ATL-MCN
Dep: 1230 (1245)
Arr: 1314 (1320)
Cessna Caravan 208B
Load: 1/9

After being checked in in the GeorgiaSkies ops office in the FBO (no boarding pass was given, or anything like that), I waited in the nice lobby until boarding was called at approx. 12:25pm. The airplane had come in a few minutes late, and two passengers deplaned. I was the only one going on. The Captain walked me out to the plane and we chatted for a few minutes. He asked how long I was staying in Macon and I said “Well, I’ll be going back with you guys to Atlanta, just making the turn”. From his response I was the first person to ever do that. Anyway, he told me to take the rear most left seat. I obliged, and then he closed the door of the plane. The co-pilot then gave a short welcome aboard and safety speech, and minutes later, we were off. It was pretty fun taxiing around ATL on such a small plane. We had to taxi across the field to the runways on the opposite side of the terminal, and eventually, we became number three in line for departure behind a DL 757 and an ASA CRJ. After a short wait, it was our turn, and we made a quick and powerful (powerful for a Cessna) takeoff roll and were airborne in no time. A few minutes after takeoff, the Captain came on the P.A again and said we were going to cruising at 5,000 feet and flying time was approx. thirty minutes. He also said if I got too cold or too hot to just let him know and he’d adjust the temperature. Overall, it felt like my own personal plane. It was a neat experience. Once we reached 5,000 feet we entered the cloud layer, and the flight became pretty bumpy for the next 20 or so minutes before we started our descent into MCN. One final “final approach” announcement was made before we touched down more or less right on time. It was a good landing and the taxi to the FBO was just a few minutes. I saw an old US 733 across the field and what looked like a DC10 in the distance. As we came to a stop, I noticed the GeorgiaSkies employee in MCN approach the plane with a baggage cart, which was obviously not needed on this flight. She opened the door for me and said hello, and directed me to the terminal. On the walk to the terminal I asked the Captain how the loads have been, and he said “there’s always a couple of people per flight usually”. Hmm, doesn’t sound too good to me. I then walked into the terminal, got checked in for the return flight some forty five minutes later (again, no boarding passes), bought a soda from the machine, and had a seat. The two pilots from my flight took a seat at a table behind me and had their lunch.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_5319.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_5321.jpg

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http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_5356.jpg



Georgia Skies (operated by Pacific Wings)
Flight #124
MCN-ATL
Dep: 1414 (1414)
Arr.: 1458 (1455)
Cessna Caravan 208B
Load: 2/9

Boarding for the return flight started at 2:05pm. There was one other passenger this time around, a gentleman connecting out of ATL to PIT on DL. Georgia Skies has a shuttle which connects the FBO in ATL to the main terminals, and the man said it was pretty hassle free overall. He worked for Norfolk Southern Railroad and he was in Macon for business. As I boarded I took the same seat as I did on the inbound flight, and the other passenger took the seat next to me, obviously for weight and balance purposes. After the same welcome aboard/safety speech from the FO, we were off., only held up for a minute waiting for a Learjet to depart. Same flying altitude going back, and same duration, just about :30. En route the other passenger and I chatted about trains for a bit and he showed me pictures of his “Hog hunting” trip in the woods of Georgia. The series of pictures concluded with one of him stabbing the hog with a bayonet with a 14-inch blade on it. All I could say was “Welcome to Georgia!” He did say that it was a one time only thing for him, which I guess is a good thing. Anyway moving on…our approach into ATL took us right over big NASCAR track to the South of the city, and then right over ATL itself. We then made a left turn and flew for maybe 5 minutes away from the airport before making another left turn to align ourselves with the runway. Final approach was bumpy but nothing that I haven’t experienced on a much larger aircraft. Moments later after a smooth landing we were on the ground and made a quick taxi to the Atlantic FBO, thus concluding a nice trip.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_5355.jpg

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http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34/Nolaguy79/IMG_5384.jpg

With the everyday low prices that this airline charges, it’s a shame that I didn’t see more people on the planes. They can’t be making money at those rates. I’m really not sure how long they will last, but I’m glad I got to give them a try. If I had to get to Macon or Athens in a hurry, I’d definitely consider using Georgia Skies again. Heck, maybe even another trip like this will be in order. The plane was comfortable, the flight crew was top notch, and the convenience of the free parking at the FBO in ATL can’t be beat.

Thanks for reading!
 
redreusam
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:45 pm

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:56 pm

Awesome report - from MCN area originally and have flown the ATL-MCN route on big jets years ago and RJs in recent years. Now it's down to these small planes. Always thought it a shame that MCN couldnt' manage more flights to other areas but just too close to ATL. The loads always seemed good on the RJs of ASA. Living in NYC now so have just been flying EWR-ATL and driving down to MCN - maybe I'll try them next time I go home to see the family.
 
TDubJFK
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:14 am

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:18 am

Very cool report! Nice to see such a completely different end of the airline industry spectrum. Love that livery on the Caravan too!
FLOWN: 744,742,M11,D10,L10,763,762,752,707,D8S,DC8,72S,727,738,734,733,732,M80,D95,D93,F10,B11,F28,F27,DH7,DH8,SH6,EM2
 
iowaman
Posts: 3864
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 2:29 am

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:18 am

Very cool report! Nice to see an airline around where you can still see what's going on in the "cockpit" and get a sense of real flying!
 
atrude777
Posts: 4357
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:54 am

Oh wow very cool trip indeed!

I would feel awkward almost making them do all this work and flying for just "me".

I often sometimes have to fly MWA-STL, instead of driving, and my buddy who works for them in MWA said sometimes they only get 1 passenger, and he tells me about all the work they do for this one passenger. He isn't annoyed by it, he just thinks its cool, and the passengers or passenger I should say sometimes gets a kick out of, as you said like your own private service.

Great pictures and report!

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
levent
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:11 pm

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:04 pm

Sounds like a fun trip, and at a very good price! Shame though you weren't able to swap with the co-pilot on the first leg  Smile
 
MKP1013
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:24 am

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:07 pm

Fantastic report - Being here in ATL as well I need to try this service. Would be a new experience departing out of that FBO vs. the concourses. A cheap fare, free parking, how can you lose right? Pic's were excellent - thanks for posting!
 
AllegiantAir
Posts: 1496
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:39 pm

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:50 pm

Very nice! I love those small commuter airlines, they just seem so close to home and not such a hassle and "get on board you're just another customer" style like some mainline airlines have.

Oh and by the way, what's the airport next to Atlanta's speedway?
Live to Fly.
 
columbia409
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:39 pm

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:50 pm

Great report.

Did you have to clear any type of TSA screening?
 
MSYtristar
Topic Author
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:54 pm

Thanks for all the comments so far.

Quoting AllegiantAir (Reply 7):
Oh and by the way, what's the airport next to Atlanta's speedway?

I have no clue, but I have a feeling it's pretty busy on race weekends.

Quoting Columbia409 (Reply 8):
Did you have to clear any type of TSA screening?

Nope, no screening at all.

Quoting MKP1013 (Reply 6):
A cheap fare, free parking, how can you lose right?

You really can't...all good things.

Quoting Redreusam (Reply 1):
maybe I'll try them next time I go home to see the family.

Give them a shot, they had a decent product, especially for the price.
 
kaputt
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 8:04 am

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:16 pm

They are actually at least breaking even on those routes because they have an EAS contract.
Carpe the Diem...Seize The Carp
 
Luftfahrer
Posts: 963
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:27 am

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:32 pm

Very interesting report - thanks a lot for sharing with us. The view of the runway in ATL and the airport itself is truly amazing in my opinion, really something you don't get see very often as a passenger.

Quoting MSYtristar (Thread starter):
I’m really not sure how long they will last, but I’m glad I got to give them a try.

I hope they won't disappear so soon. Having seen your report, I am definitely eager to try them out, especially with their agreeable fares. I'd however pick a seat right behind the pilots in order to be closer to the action...  
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
jflchantha
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:07 am

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:00 am

I really like the down home aspect of this airliner! Did they have a frequent flier program? lol

I feel this model really works alot, but its amazing how it works at such a large airport? The private feel of the FBO, the free parking and the elimination of the use of a ticket really make the customer feel at ease and at home!

Are they expanding the airline anytime soon or do you think the airline will go.....because of the cheap fares?
 
staralliance38
Posts: 1114
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:09 pm

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:20 am

Very interesting TR! I like these small airlines like GeorgiaSkies and it's very cool to see how they operate compared to the big airlines  

Great pics too!
Roar, lion, roar
 
phatfarmlines
Posts: 1482
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 12:06 pm

RE: GeorgiaSkies: ATL-MCN-ATL; Pics

Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:16 am

Thanks for this interesting TR.

Quoting MSYtristar (Thread starter):
After being checked in in the GeorgiaSkies ops office in the FBO (no boarding pass was given, or anything like that), I waited in the nice lobby until boarding was called at approx. 12:25pm.

Weird. According to this article from the Athens Banner Herald, GeorgiaSkies was supposed to be operating out of the "E" concourse to better facilitate sterile connections.

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