Everyone has their own horror stories of flying, or trying to fly, into or out of the Eureka-Arcata airport. I was pleased to hear, during a recent meeting of business leaders in Arcata, that at least one local company has adopted the same policy I have: no flying out of Arcata if a connection has to be made. The odds just aren’t with you. Actually, I’ve taken it a bit further- no flying out of Arcata at all. It just doesn’t make sense.
Do the math. Let’s say you need to get to San Francisco. By the time you use an hour of limo time to get to ACV, then an hour, at least, before takeoff, then an hour and a half for the actual flight time, then another hour to retrieve baggage and/or pick up a rental car, then drive in from the airport to wherever it was you really wanted to go, you have easily exceeded the five hours it takes to drive. The first enterprising person who starts a shuttle service to the Bay Area will make a lot of money.
Now we are on another chase to lure airline service to what will always be a marginal market. I note in this morning’s Searchlight-Record that Redding is also trying to lure Delta into starting a Denver service. It is unquestioned that our business community needs flight service, but since the rest of us don’t, the numbers sufficient to attract an airline are that much harder to achieve. My last vacation started out with an unplanned 10 hour layover at O’Hare that was entirely United’s fault. I’ve been dumped in Redding, stranded in Chicago, stuck at SFO. I say the hell with it. I’ve flown my last flight out of Arcata. If anyone wants to start a shuttle service to the Bay Area,please get in touch with me. I’ll chronicle your progress with great interest. As for me , I’m going on vacation, a five week trip which will be, like the dodo bird, flightless.
When the flying experience out of ACV is so bad and unreliable, it starts making Greyhound look good, it’s definitely time to look at other options.