During training at the American Airlines Learning Center in Dallas, new agents were given a specific protocol for checking passengers and their bags in at the ticket counter. We were to greet the customer by name as it was printed on the ticket. Ask them what their final destination was – just to make sure the ticket was right - and ask them how many bags they would be checking. This was long before that silly question of “have your bags been out of your possession since you packed them,” like anyone would actually admit to that.
I once had a woman tell me that her final destination was her mother’s house. While I agreed that a visit to her mother was surely a wonderful thing, I could not check her bags to her mother’s house. She gave me her final airport, I checked her bags through and all was right with the world.
This woman’s trip raises a question in my mind. I know the city-pair on her ticket; however, that citypair didn’t really match her real travel intentions. She might have departed from Columbus, Mississippi, but might actually have lived Macon, Mississippi. She might have traveled to Charleston, West Virginia, but might actually have needed to go to Parkersburg, West Virginia. Because of limited choices in scheduled airline service, she ended up with a drive on both ends of her trip. Now, until we have personal jet packs, we’re not going to be able to leave our homes and fly to exactly where we want to go. Can you imagine the air traffic nightmares that personal plane a la George Jetson would bring? Yikes!
Still, we know that general aviation can reduce our drives simply by virtue of the fact that there are more general aviation airports. Put new and better technology with new and better aircraft and you have a few people with similar intentions sharing flights. Vancouver has over 60,000 fans on two Facebook pages and a population of over a half million people in the city, not taking suburbs into account. Surely a few of those people could agree on a time to go from the Abbortsford airport to the Blatchford Field in a Cessna Mustang. Wouldn’t you think?