Allen On Travel

A 30 year veteran of world travel (but knows nil about Orlando-area attractions), Will Allen III writes about his weekly odysseys by air on business and how the airlines rob him--and you--of time, the most precious commodity on earth. Time: It's all we have, and the airlines routinely take it from us. This blog challenges the airlines to keep their basic promises.

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Born 1948 in Kinston, NC and raised there in beautiful eastern North Carolina, I now live in Raleigh and commute around the country and the world.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Direct Flight Options Relieve Pain, Thanks To Delta

Delta Air Lines may have lost more than $2bn in the last quarter as it struggles in bankruptcy, but it has made at least two scheduling decisions which are a boon to me: Delta now has direct nonstop flights from Raleigh/Durham to Salt Lake City and to Los Angeles.

These two nonstop flights are a tremendous benefit for RDU O&D passengers, avoiding, as they do, the hellish connections in either Atlanta or Cincinnati. Delta has put put real airplanes, 737-800s, on the routes, too, rather than Barbie-jets.

My family spends a week every summer in Montana with my wife's parents, and every year for more than a decade we have had to endure 3 flights out and 3 flights home to get to Billings because of the tyranny of hub scheduling. Many horror stories of missed connections, long delays, and lost luggage have trailed these annual odysseys. But on Wednesday this week (thank goodness, just a day ahead of Thursday's terrible meltdown) my family of four was able to fly on just two painless flights from RDU to BIL, thanks to the new nonstop RDU/SLC flight.

Similarly my several clients in Los Angeles are now just one flight away, avoiding hubs altogether and assuring I get to see my family on weekends.

Of course this is a recognition that there is money to be made in point-to-point flights to/from robust mid-size markets like RDU, and I hope other airlines follow suit. These two flights make my trips stressless, and they are prone to schedule integrity as well. I choose my schedules these days more than ever on the basis of scheduling I can rely on combined with the least pain.

Thank you, Delta.


Blogger kawachi said...

I wish you the best, but neither Midway Airlines nor American Airlines were able to make money out of RDU, so your chances might not be so good.

8/18/2006 8:53 PM  
Blogger William A. Allen III said...

Thanks, Kawachi. I recall that they didn't. Maybe the third time is the charm. We sure need point-to-point flights out of RDU to avoid hub connections.

8/27/2006 8:53 PM  

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