I’ve been around the transportation business for a long time. Primarily on the cargo side domestic air/surface and international air freight. Through it all I’ve always been interested in getting from here the means to travel between here and anywhere. Lately, I’ve been doing research for an overseas trip to Europe from either Buffalo-Niagara Falls International Airport or Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport. Getting to Toronto is no problem. There is a shuttle bus that serves Toronto from Buffalo. I could drive and park up there. Pearson airport is about a 1 1/2 hr drive from my house. Buffalo’s airport on the other hand is only 15 minutes away. I can get a ride and not have to pay for parking.
I don’t know where I am going yet. I have a cousin in Shrewsbury, England. It is near Birmingham. I’m a fan of London’s Tottenham Hotspur English Premier League club. I’m interested in history, castles, ruins, etc. France, Germany, Poland, Italy fit that bill. The economic problems of Greece and Spain might be a travel nightmare in the near future. So, in a nutshell I don’t know what I will do.
I have found that airfares and flight routings are sometimes pretty ridiculous. About a half a year ago I wrote of a flight search from Buffalo, NY to Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s Capitol city and a 5 1/2 to 6 hr drive from here. The best price routing had me fly on US-Air from Buffalo to Tampa, FL to Washington, DC to Ottawa. A 2200 mile round trip. I found something just as interesting but not as lengthy.
I was researching a flight to London using the Kayak search engine and it comparisons to other air travel search engines. Here’s what it came up with:
From Toronto to London. $995.00 R/T Air Canada Flt 868 (non-stop) to and Flt 2499 return (with a stop in Newark, NJ)
From Buffalo to London. $989.00 R.T United Flt 6008 to Washington – United Flt 6146 to Toronto – Air Canada Flt 848 to London.
Return was Air Canada to Montreal – United to Washington DC – United to Buffalo, NY
For an addition 700 flying miles and 4 more travel hours, I could save $6.00 over a non-stop flight. This hub an spoke idea was supposed to be a cost saver for the airlines. Alliances with other airlines was supposed to be a cost saver. For the traveler, business or leisure, what has happened is that the airlines are no longer profitable and “fee” you death while making you travel experience a grind reminiscent of those long “stop at every crack in the road” long distance buss trips.
Is anyone investigating a better business model that serves both carrier and passenger? The current system isn’t getting it done and it is busting at the seams with passengers. How is it cheaper for me to fly Buffalo-Washington-Toronto (adding 660 miles to the trip) then on to London than flying non-stop Toronto to London?