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Or instead of lake charles...new orleans
I use VCT airport. Yes, there are layovers sometime. It's just part of flying. It's a little more pricy, but figure your gas, going to eat, and shopping. Much cheaper out of Victoria. And yes, this airport would stay busy with round trip flights to Lake Charles. I probably would use it once a month myself.
Lower the fare. My family flys to Florida at least 5 times a year. It's cheaper to drive to Austin or Houston and drop off or pick up. Great excuse to eat out and shop in the bigger city for the day, but if the fare was more reasonable...I would fly them out of here.
Personally I always thought flights to Houston were stupid. I also bypass VCT because long layovers where my time was less wasted by driving to IAH or HOU. Now if it had flights to connect out of a different hub like DFW...different story
I can fix the airport problem very easily:
Offer a flight to Lake Charles, LA. You can't tell me those flights wouldn't be booked solid.
A 10:30 am flight is pointless unless it's run in addition to the current flight schedule. The 6:00 am flight is just way too convenient to do away with. It's great for day trips.
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Kudos for exploring options to losing air service completely.
HOWEVER, the 10 pm arrival means the aircraft overnights in Victoria, with lodging, meals and transportation for a crew of three. It also means that the 6 am flight has probably the highest on time percentage of any Colgan flights in TX. This means that you can make a connection in Houston to take you anywhere the same day. Leaving at 10:30 am gives you far fewer options.
The reasons people give me for avoiding the VCT-IAH flight is NOT the cost, NOT the lack of connections, NOT the time of the flight, but rather the fact that they miss continental or international connections because of departure delays. If the inbound morning aircraft is late because it is late leaving on its first or second trip of the day then you have FAR FEWER options to connect.
Unless UA/Colgan can promise that the 10:30 am flight will have the same on time rate as the 6 am (and sometimes 7 am) scheduled flight, then this experiment will be an unmitigated disaster. It will be painful to watch the airport make the mistake of changing the flights, losing passenger loyalty because of missed connections in IAH and then "just switching back" only to find that airline passengers do not return to a service quickly or easily -- a lesson we've learned once already.
I hope the airport is doing more than testing the waters at VEDC before jumping and has some solid data about whether it is incoming or outgoing passengers that drive passengers. It sure wasn't presented in this story.