Opinion

Airline schedule update

I continue to receive calls with questions about what hubs the Presque Isle airport (PQI) has non-stop flights to. For the month of March, we continue to have service to both Washington Dulles (located in the metro Washington, D.C., area) and Newark Liberty (located in the metro New York City area). 

However, with our reduced schedule due to COVID-19, we do not have service to both hubs every day of the week.

Typically the caller has a favorite hub.  After going online to book their flight, they have found that no flights are available.  They are often concerned that flights have been dropped from their preferred hub.  In most cases, it is just not available the day of their departure from PQI or their arrival back into PQI.  

By being a little bit flexible in your dates of travel you can get the convenience of flying out of PQI and connecting through your favorite hub.  Currently we have five arrivals and five departures for Washington Dulles per week.  Washington Dulles is a favorite of some as it is a very reliable airport.  Since 2015, it has had a better on-time rate than any hub airport in the Northeast.  This includes Philadelphia, the metro New York airports and Boston.

For the month of March, there are also direct flights to and from Newark Liberty.  There is a Wednesday evening arrival with a departure on Thursday morning.  The second arrival into Presque Isle from Newark is Saturday evening with a departure on Sunday morning.  This hub is a favorite of those callers coming from or wishing to visit the New York Metro area.  Market studies have shown that the New York metro area is the second largest market for our service area.  

With service directly to Washington Dulles and Newark Liberty Airports, PQI has non-stop service to two of its top three markets.  PQI’s top three markets prior to COVID-19 were Orlando, New York and Washington, D.C., in that order.  

Please be aware we do not have any arrivals or departures on Tuesdays.  This is due to the reduced demand for business air travel.  Most leisure travelers prefer not to travel on Tuesdays.  It is our hope that with a little flexibility in avoiding Tuesdays, you can be accommodated through PQI. 

Most callers also take the time to advocate for continued service to their favorite hub.  The best way to show your support for a particular hub is to book through it whenever possible.  In addition, let your friends and family know about the great experience you might have had through that hub.  Airlines are more likely to continue or even expand routes that have a high level of ridership.

We also get some callers with questions and concerns about connecting through our two large hub airports.  To help with this we produced two videos to help travelers navigate through Washington Dulles and Newark.  These videos are available on the airport website, www.flypresqueisle.com.  We also play the videos on a monitor right in the lobby of the United terminal for passengers to view just before going through security.  For those who prefer something they can print off and carry with them, we have brochures that explain how to navigate each hub available for download on the airport website. 

As always, if you have any questions feel free to call us (207) 764-2550 or send us a question on our Facebook site-Presque Isle International Airport.       

Scott Wardwell is airport director for Presque Isle International Airport. He can be reached at 764-2550 or via email at scottw@flypresqueisle.com.

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