Fiscal 2023 DIF Account

Airport Comment

 Just looked up nonstop flights from ORH to FLL and from BOS to FLL. All flights after July 2nd from ORH to FLL are $70 (with the exception of July 5th) up until September 1st. 

In that time period from July 1st to September 1st, there are ZERO days where flying out of Boston non stop to FLL with ANY airline (including Spirit) is cheaper than flying out of Worcester. If you wanted a carry on bag, there’s only 1 day where a non stop flight (Delta) out of Boston beats the price but with one checked bag, no days beat ORH. You can leave any day after July 5th and come back any day before September 1st and with a checked bag, it would be $204 round trip, with a carry on it would be $235 round trip, and if your a mosaic member where you can get checked bags for free, it would only be $144 round trip. Those prices are flying out of ORH.

 Put in perspective, a family of 4 travels to Fort Lauderdale on July 15th and returns July 22nd and each member of the family checks a bag and they go down for the week. Assuming no free parking after June 30th and parking rates remain the same ($7 per day or $42 per week), that’s $858 for round trip travel with a checked bag each way for each family member. 

Compare that with the cheapest option out of Boston, right now if you wanted to fly those days with a checked bag it’s $194 per person each way ($388 round trip), that’s $1,552 for a family of four to fly out of Boston. Don’t forget about the high gas price, the tolls, the parking fees to park there, that’s at least $1,800 alone (assume $40 for gas, $40 for tolls if coming from Worcester, and economy parking to book right now is $200 for that time). It doesn’t hit $1,800 exactly but it’s very close after all expenses. That’s almost a $1,000 different when flying out of Worcester compared to Boston. 

The flight schedule change has one huge benefit as well now, the flight back from FLL to ORH doesn’t have to rely on the aircraft having 5 flights before hand be on time just so the FLL to ORH flight can be as well. Been looking at the aircraft flights before the FLL to ORH and ORH to FLL flight, the most I’ve seen the aircraft be used before the FLL to ORH and ORH to FLL flight now is two. Most of the times it’s only once and some days the FLL to ORH flight is the first flight of the day for that aircraft to be used. 

You don’t need to rely on the E190 aircraft (which a lot of people know how reliable that aircraft can be) being on time for a lot of flights beforehand anymore, and in July that aircraft is being replaced with the A320 for the same flight, an aircraft that’s much more reliable than the E190. You should expect the on time performance to dramatically improve. 

Since the schedule change, it’s only been canceled twice and that was this past weekend because Fort Lauderdale got hammered with that tropical storm. This is the perfect time to market the airport and mention cost savings flying out of ORH compared to Boston. If you wanted to fly down to Fort Lauderdale non stop with the times I mentioned (July 15 to 22), the flight is the cheapest in all of New England for non stop versus Boston, Bradley, Providence, and Manchester.

 A no brainer for anyone wanting to go down there. Plus, you can take the bright line train to go to Miami or West Palm Beach as well from Fort Lauderdale and next year you’ll be able to go to Orlando International Airport as well.

 An absolute no brainer for anyone in New England


ORH Fan said…
While I appreciate the effort that went into this posting on the Fort Lauderdale flights, you lost me at the part about the train. Why would I want to fly to Fort Lauderdale, then have to get on a train to go another 50 or 60 miles to West Palm Beach Airport, then have to get from the airport to my destination in or around West Palm Beach? I'd rather just drive the 40 miles to Providence and get a flight that will put me directly into West Palm Beach. I also can't see many people opting to fly from ORH to Fort Lauderdale next year and then taking the train the 200+ plus miles to Orlando from there and then back. Imagine trying to do that with kids? It would be a nightmare. Again, just go to Providence and get a direct flight into Orlando.

ORH is just not a good option for most people. I'm one of those who lives a few miles from the airport and would love to utilize it, but my time is just too valuable for the meager flight options we have. I commented a few weeks ago about trying to book flights on Delta or JetBlue from ORH to West Palm Beach. Between the crappy flight departure time for Delta that wouldn't get me into West Palm Beach until after midnight or the long 4-hour layover at JFK for the JetBlue flight, it's quicker for me to drive to Providence and grab a flight on Delta from there. Even with the hour drive to Providence it still gets me into West Palm Beach almost 2 hours before the JetBlue flight originating from ORH would.

I've said this a million times already, but what ORH needs is direct flights to leisure destinations. Up until a little over 6 months ago, New Haven Airport was a bust with just one flight. Avelo comes in with direct flights to multiple Florida destinations among others, and now a little over 6 months later they have flights to 14 destinations. Massport needs to get their heads out of the sand if they want this airport to be successful.
Anonymous said…
The train can always be an option for families that want to potentially go somewhere else. For example, if they want to go to Miami, that’s an option there from Fort Lauderdale. If you go on Google flights, if you look up flights from ORH to Miami, it recommends you take the Fort Lauderdale flight and find a connection to take you from FLL to Miami. While it might seem like a nightmare for families with kids, brightline isn’t no MBTA or Amtrak and has a lot better experience and benefits, plus many kids enjoy train rides so it would just be a little bonus. There’s only three majors airlines (Southwest, Spirit, Frontier) that offer flights from FLL to MCO and vice versa. If a family wanted to go on vacation in Fort Lauderdale but decided to spend a day in Orlando whether it’s Disney, Universal, Seaworld, etc. they can use the public transportation to get there instead of taking a car (which with gas prices, can be a no brainer). I’m going down in 2023 to Fort Lauderdale and plan on going up to Orlando for a day, I’ll definitely do a train vs plane situation with that where I take one mode one way and take the other mode the return trip back. But I believe that it could work for sure although there is doubt.

And referring to the comment about rather going down to Providence and getting a direct flight from there, here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter if you think about it. You’ll drive down an hour to TF green, pay more for parking, have to get to the airport earlier for busier security lines, then get on your flight and go. Then when you come back you have to drive an hour back home and who knows what traffic you’ll face going there and back since Providence isn’t always smooth sailing to go to and from. If spending $12 per day (with a coupon) is worth it where a week long trip is $84 for parking compared to $42 at ORH, then the cost of gas which will be at least an additional $20-$25 right now, you’ll really be just wasting money going down there compared to not flying out of ORH. For a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids), to take the train from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach or Miami with a discount would be $45 total round trip (without a discount would be $60). That offsets the cost and time right there if driving. In fact, the brightline train has shuttles that some days will drop you off within 5 miles of a station for free. So realistically, your time and money offset each other, it’s just dependent if you want to spend that extra time before you leave New England and after you get back or before you leave and after you arrive down there.