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20 Jul 2007
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Good Airline Tips

Thanks to a link at Upgrade: Travel Better Blog (link in the left column of this page), I found another blog called Seat 2B with a very interesting article about Northwest Airlines. Northwest has two flights a day into and out of Burlington VT (BTV) from Detroit Metro Airport (DTT).

Essentially, the Seat 2B blogger, Joe Brancatelli, says Northwest has cut back so much that they run out of flight personnel near the end of each month. Here is a key paragraph from the article:

"Steer Clear"

"Northwest is trying to operate with about 25 percent fewer pilots and co-pilots than it employed in 2000. The inevitable result: massive crew shortages at the end of June when Northwest’s remaining pilots “timed out” and could no longer fly. (According to federal regulations, pilots cannot fly more than 100 hours a month.) Northwest canceled more than 1,200 flights during the last 10 days of June. The final 10 days of July and August won’t be much better."

To be fair, Northwest is trying to get better. They have a Customers First pledge they are trying to live up to.

As someone who has used the Burlington airport a couple of times a year for the past seven years, I can say it is a pretty good little airport. Much of this is due to its small size. It is easy to get from curb, to parking lot, to gate, to luggage carousel.

A surprising number of airlines fly into Burlington. You an see a list here. And a list of all the flights is here.

I recommend to guests that they also check flights into Manchester NH, Albany NY, and Boston Logan in that order. Also, check JFK because Jet Blue flies from there to Burlington and it is a better-than-average airline, despite some recent troubles.

Using our inn's north central VT location for comparison, Manchester is 2.5 hours drive, Albany is a little over 3 hours, and Boston is 3.5 hours. Time to southern VT will be about an hour or so shorter. We are about a 40 minute drive from the Burlington airport.

Manchester and Albany are good choices because Southwest Airlines flies to both. Southwest has very good prices and, probably more important, competent employees with pleasant attitudes. Ditto for Jet Blue.

Seat 2B is one of several blogs on the new Conde Nast Portfolio website. It will be interesting to see how many airlines advertise in the magazine. Subscriptions are very cheap by the way: just $12/year. [Disclaimer: I am not receiving any compensation from Conde Nast and in fact have never been in contact with them.]

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
posted by  grunhaus at  20:36