Over lunch I was reading the latest in the saga of USAirways slow pullout from Pittsburgh International Airport. Apparently, the CEO of USAirways wrote letters to Senators Spector and Casey after Spector made some harsh comments about USAirways on a recent visit here.
Yawn. USAirways is obviously leaving. It’s time to move on.
The article includes some speculation about Southwest Airlines adding some flights here, but so far it’s just that: speculation. Every time I hear about Southwest in Pittsburgh, I think, what about JetBlue? JetBlue’s hub is at New York’s hopelessly overcommitted JFK International. Their terminal is cramped and overcrowded, and JFK can’t handle all the air traffic it gets, causing JetBlue’s evening departures to get bumped down down the queue in favor of big international departures. It’s a mess. I flew in and out of JFK on JetBlue on a summer trip to Europe (connecting to Olympic Air), and I never want to do it again. Both flights were delayed by hours. It’s too bad, because there’s so much to love about JetBlue as an airline: nice, clean comfortable new planes, great in-flight entertainment, free WiFi in their terminal, and a generally “with it” mentality.
PIT’s midfield terminal was designed to be a hub, and is far nicer than JetBlue’s terminal at JFK. For flyers not originating or terminating in New York, who cares where the hub is, as long as it gives easy access to the same general region? JetBlue could improve their service immensely by routing a portion of their flights through Pittsburgh with its relatively uncrowded runways.
The big question is whether local government has the backbone to offer a truly competitive incentive package. My guess is, probably not, but I can dream.