Your article “Airport eyes strategic plan” fails to mention the enormous accomplishments of the Baton Rouge airport in the past two years. In that time, extensive efforts have taken place to add at least two new signs and a complex fountain near the main entrance. These monumental improvements, combined with moving the rental cars to a new garage, have done nothing to make the airport more appealing to those of us who travel with any frequency.
Obviously this is tongue-in-cheek.
A couple of years ago I cited, and The Advocate generously published, some reasons why many of us avoid BTR. Those reasons — obnoxious fares, commuter aircraft and the poor on-time performance of the airport — are still true today. Fares are hundreds if not a thousand dollars more for similar routes out of New Orleans. Commuter aircraft — which are not Delta and Continental but ASA/Skywest and Mesaba — are still filthy, unreliable and cramped, and the on-time performance is miserable.
Ever try to catch that morning flight to Memphis? The crew is almost always delayed because of “mandatory rest.”
Ever try to get a good fare to Houston? You’d save money leasing a car for six months.
Ever watch the gate agents? So understaffed they are running between gates, alternating between angry passengers and hot jetways.
It is unclear to me what in the world would require hundreds of thousands of dollars to study. BTR’s facility is inadequate for generating profitable demand and is geographically too close to a very nice facility at New Orleans. We have a very small airport that lacks the services frequent travelers (the ones who generate profits for airlines) need. These include adequate covered parking, decent Internet access, decent dining facilities, a security configuration that wasn’t designed in 1977 and a place to work (the business lounge and children’s arcade are in the same area as the smoking den).
It is appalling that the commission would need to conduct an expensive study to come to conclusions that they already are being paid for, conclusions that anyone who travels with frequency can easily make.
enterprise technology consultant