As I write this FlyORH column, the 36th straight JetBlue flight has operated out of Worcester without any diversions.
As I write this FlyORH column, the 36th straight JetBlue flight has operated out of Worcester without any diversions. That brings the total to 196 flights with 21 diversions or 10.70%. This was completely expected, although maybe slightly higher these first two months, when JetBlue decided to fly into Worcester without Cat III landing equipment. Here is a great link to a blog JetBlue did on the fog.
This must be the second or third time I have written about this, but it is important. JetBlue does a great job taking care of passengers with ground transportation when a flight is diverted on the same day. My brother-in-law flew in one night before Thanksgiving from Fort Lauderdale, but the plane had to land in Boston due to fog. A bus was waiting and brought him back to Worcester where I picked him up. It was very smooth and saved me the trip to Boston.
Where they falter
The problem is when the night Fort Lauderdale inbound is diverted to Boston. The next morning’s outbound Orlando, which uses the same plane, will start from Boston. The current procedure is to simply notify these passengers of the change—they need to get to Boston without any ground transportation being provided. Good luck! If you drive to Boston and park, your car will be there, not Worcester, when you return.
Imagine planning for a trip to Orlando tomorrow and getting a message today that you need to be in Boston tomorrow morning for your 7:45 AM flight. What if you got a message that said: Your flight departure has been changed to Boston. Bus service will be provided out of Worcester for $10 per passenger, if desired.
Opportunities for improvement
As JetBlue, however, has brought the humanity back into air travel, Massport needs to provide better customer service to their passengers flying out of Worcester when this happens until Cat III is installed. Don’t get me wrong, I think Massport has done a great job, but has completely dropped the ball on this one. But they can solve it very easily with one phone call to Silver Fox Bus Lines in Millbury.
Lastly, I have always maintained that there is no need for an access road. Worcester Airport needs better signage, but other than that, it is quite easy to reach without any tolls, traffic or tunnels. Recently, the Callahan Tunnel was closed at midnight until March for repairs. Do you have any idea how much more difficult it will be to get to Logan? People may be taking a closer look at Worcester during this time period; let’s make their experience first class