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Great Lakes Aviation: The Flight Stuff

Great Lakes Aviation: The Flight Stuff
June 03
14:12 2015

greatlakes_0Some local people are pointing their fingers at Great Lakes Aviation – and all its recent flight cancellations – and wishing there was another airline servicing Page.

A month ago, Boutique looked like the “air apparent,” but at the last moment the Page City Council decided to stick with Great Lakes.

But flying with Great Lakes can be eerie, as my wife, Sararesa, and I recently discovered.

We went to the airport at 5 a.m. on May 28 for our 6 a.m. flight to Sky Harbor in Phoenix. Rushing around so early in the morning is not my cup of tea – and I dearly wanted a cup of coffee, but didn’t want to risk getting to the airport late.

Little did I know, I had some extra time.

When we arrived at Great Lakes we were immediately informed that there would be a slight delay. It was slight, only about 30 minutes. That half-hour would have left plenty of time for a coffee stop, if I had only known prior to arriving at the airport.

Great Lakes had cancelled some 20 flights within the first half of May and one of Mayor Bill Diak’s concerns is that the carrier doesn’t notify passengers ahead of time.

I see his point, since instead of sleepless in Seattle, I found myself coffeeless in Page.

segeryoung

Bob Seger

“I won’t believe the flight’s going to leave until I see her get on the plane,” said a mother who was putting her daughter on the same flight. In a conspiratorial whisper, the woman related an earlier problem she had had with Great Lakes. “We were coming home from Australia. We had been on a plane for 23 hours and were tired and worn out.”

And their Great Lakes connector flight had been cancelled.

“They offered to put us on a plane to another airport, but that would leave us three hours from the airport where we’d left our car,” the woman said.

She asked if the airline could get them a rental car, but was told Great Lakes didn’t do that. In the end, the family took the offered alternate flight and asked a friend to come pick them up.

It was an ordeal, the woman sighed.

“Our friends had to drive three hours to get us, and then three hours back to where we’d left our car.”

As we boarded our little commuter plane, I thought that a 30-minute delay wasn’t too bad.
“It could be worse,” I told my wife.

We enjoyed our stay in southwestern Kansas and Oklahoma – including a visit to historic Dodge City. As we got in the car after stopping by Boot Hill, Sara turned the radio on and – no kidding – the first thing we hear is Bob Seger singing “another one bites the dust …”

John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller

Our return home was going along smoothly; from Wichita to Dallas-Fort Worth to Phoenix …

To Page?

At Sky Harbor we went to the Great Lakes counter and discovered – you guessed it – our flight was cancelled.

Sara and I – along with four other passengers – didn’t have a flight to Page. But, before any negative thoughts about Great Lakes Aviation could creep into my thoughts, we went from “How do we get home?’ to coming back in style.

“… Where Rockefellers walk with umbrellas

in their mitts, puttin’ on the ritz …”

Great Lakes called in a long, black limousine to ferry us back to Page.

I left without coffee and returned with a loaded bar!

So, kudos to Great Lakes. They capped off a great getaway with a memorable homecoming.

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