Shouldn’t I get a discount if the plane is late??

The saga of the quest for reliable air service for the Redwood Coast continues. Our local warriors have gathered enough gelt and promises of same to go a’wooin’ another air carrier to provide service to our ill-located airstrip. (Okay, there’s a terminal, so I guess that makes it a real airport.) But I want to disclose something which was news to me: it IS possible, although not consistently, to get on-time stats for flights to and from ACV.

Try this for fun.  Go to the  United Airlines site and make a pretend reservation from ACV to SFO, specifying a date but leaving the time open. You will be presented with a list of options for flights, and in the right-hand column, just beneath the notice that, no, they’re not going to feed you, click on the tiny blue writing that says “See on-time performance”.  You MAY get a popup that says “There is no recent record of delay and cancellation percentages for this flight.”  This is hogwash.  If you wait a day or two, you get a  different result.  For the 5:48 pm flight, 5541, I just got a table that shows 37% on time, 37% late and 0 cancelled. Since 37+37=74, this leaves a quarter of the flights unaccounted for. Did they vanish into a Redwood Coast version of the Bermuda Triangle? More likely, it’s just the way they’re counting. The fine print explains that UAL doesn’t count a flight as late unless it’s MORE THAN 30 MINUTES LATE.  The best on-time stats are – of course- for the 6am flight to Sacramento ,  where they don’t have our fog problems.

We, of course, have the fog, and turning a training facility for bad weather flying into an airport that people and businesses depend on must have seemed like a good idea at the time. So here we are, 70 years later, trying to make do with an airport that is too fogbound for reliable operations, no railroad and poor bus transportation. Is it any wonder I keep calling for a shuttle to SFO or at least Santa Rosa from which some entrepreneur will make lots of money? It’s already started. Look at Craig’s list under “Rideshare” and check out the number of gypsy operations already going.  

Or, we could move the airport to Willow Creek and ride a shuttle for an hour. At least we wouldn’t have to worry about what to call the airport.

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