BDL one flight to Europe on a small airline with fewer connections. JFK has non stops to most cities in Europe which saves time in not making connections in Ireland. BOS also has many non-stops to Europe. What if the BDL flight is cancelled? Come back tomorrow or fly a legacy and make a connection. It's all in how one looks at flights to Europe. In years past I drove from New Haven to JFK and depending on what time of day, I never had a problem, I-95 or Van Wyck went well for me but it was very early AM. JFK long term parking and shuttle bus was quick. I remember when NW had flights BDL to AMS and when the state money ran out, so did NW. Load factors are only part of the equation, yields are what makes the money per seat. I just don't feel BDL has a large enough catchment population area and high enough per capita income population to support these types of flights. Just my 2 cents.
The argument you’re making here for JFK over BDL is the same argument you contest against for BDL over HVN. An airport with more options vs one with fewer. At the end of the day, your average traveler is going to book an itinerary on two things: price and schedule. If the EI BDL-DUB flight is priced and timed well, people will look at it as an option over JFK-DUB, or another airline’s connecting itinerary to other European destinations.
Getting a little back on track, congratulations to BDL and EI on the restoration of this service. I wish it success. And I’m happy to see a medium sized US market able to restart service like this given the current challenges the industry faces.
"The argument you’re making here for JFK over BDL is the same argument you contest against for BDL over HVN." Not really the same. The state fought tooth and nail to keep HVN from offering more service. Flying to Europe is a different issue. The state gave millions to airlines to offer flights to Europe and yet zip for HVN. Why deny shoreline travelers a nearby airport? HVN will never become a large operation, it's land area is small and the market is limited. Why limit people to a single international airline and international destination when two other airports bracketing the state have so many more options, airlines, cities and fares. I have used JFK many times and got non-stop service to many destinations that BDL will never have. BDL is a good domestic airport but Connecticut is a small state with small cities and BDL is what is is. I have always felt had BDL been in Middletown, I would not be having this conversation.
The demand from BDL to Europe is there. The AMS service 15 years ago wasn’t exactly marketed properly and simply started at a point in time where growth if the route was nearly impossible. Recession, the airline involved merging with another, timed poorly for connections to Connecticut’s prime European routes (the UK). It really didn’t have a chance when even big cities such as New York were seeing service cuts. The Norwegian Shuttle nonsense was head scratching.
The Aer Lingus service was holding its own at startup, and even thriving in the Summer season. It was due to continue without financial support. Subsidies aside..even NYC and Boston give incentives to build new service. The flight is well marketed and convenient for travelers in the Hartford/Springfield/Western Connecticut area. Driving to New York or Boston from the Hartford area is not convenient. Morning departures are out of the question. Some time ago I got a cheap fare to fly JFK-STT. 7am flight. That would have had us leaving my house here just outside of Springfield at 2:45am. No doing. Got a hotel…added $175.00 to the trip. Drive to New Haven, catch CT Limo to JFK….3.5 hour trip. $100. Return flight. Landed in JFK…sat for an hour on the tarmac waiting for a gate…and another 45 for our bags. 4.5 hour limo ride back to New Haven (brutal traffic and multiple accidents). Drive back to Springfield…1 hour and 10 minutes. We should have flown out of BDL and connected in SJU. Plenty of other times I’ve gone to JFK to pick up and drop off family….you need a full day off from work. Boston is marginally better…unless you have to go on the weekend in the Summer with all the Cape traffic. And oh the fun on the Mass Pike if there’s an accident. So even if it’s one flight from BDL, it’s still way better for us up here. And you run the same risk of getting stuck in NYC if your flight cancels..even with more options. All the flights are full, where are they going to put you? Your nonstop JFK-CDG may end up being a connection in ATL. One storm and JFK diverts everything to BDL anyway. Same issue at HVN. The twice a week flight to BWI cancels, you’re getting a refund and taking the train.
I agree with you that the state should have had better foresight with HVN. They also should have NEVER allowed so much residential development to take place, encroaching not only upon the airport property, but right up to the shoreline, destroying miles of wetlands and wildlife habitat. The people responsible deserve a big storm surge during the next hurricane. That fault also lays with the city itself for not creating municipal parks along the shore and limiting development. Airports are excellent buffers between residential areas and natural landscape allowing both to flourish.
HVN should be much larger at this point, and would have been had the proper planning and looking ahead had taken place. It may not be a BDL but it always had the ability have its own catchment area. There is enough population in Connecticut for two mainline airports to operate in close proximity. Leisure traffic alone fills the planes. Yes, I agree the state should have not crumbled originally to the East Haven NIMBY’s, but your argument should not be against the airport at the top of the state, but rather the failures the local higher ups in New Haven did to stifle the growth of the airport at the bottom of the state.