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Bill Randell: JetBlue + Putting ORH On The Map

Monday, May 27, 2013

 

JetBlue fleet currently consists of 127 Airbus A320 and 55 Embraer ERJ-190. Although they each have 25 rows for passengers, the Airbus has 6 seats to a row (150 total), versus 4 seats (100 total). New service out of Worcester starting in November with direct flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando will be with the Embraer, while flights out of Boston to the same locations are serviced with the Airbus.

The reason that I mention this is that the costs to operate the Embraer per seat are more then those with the Airbus. As a result the fares out of Worcester will be more then those out of Boston. If we can prove that there is enough demand in Worcester, however, I am sure JetBlue will bring in the Airbus.

Doing the numbers

Question is, do you really save money when you buy a lower priced ticket out of Boston, versus Worcester? Central Parking at Logan costs $27 per day ($189/week), while their Economy parking drops to $18 ($126/week). On the other hand, Worcester costs $7 per day and $42 for one week. Add in the cost for gas, tolls ($10 round trip), time and traffic? You need to look at your overall cost, not just the ticket price.

Now that we have an owner, Massport, with the financial ability to make costly infrastructure improvements and the right airline, JetBlue, the airport needs to do a better job marketing ORH.

Marketing ORH

A Loyalty Program needs to be started like Gainesville, Florida with their Ultimate Road Warrior Program or the Fly Lafayette Club in Louisiana. More then 30 airports across the country have joined the Thanks Again program, which awards fliers airline miles for parking, shopping or dining at the airports. In Worcester we could work with JetBlue and their True Blue Program and create a FlyORH Loyalty Program. Every 6 times you fly in or out of ORH, for example, you would get a certain amount of points credited to your True Blue account.

People still have the impression that ORH is somehow difficult to find? Mile and miles from anywhere!! Over the past four months two events have been held at ORH. Both Soarin with Santa and Vegfest were overflowing with people. JetBlue has a great new terminal at JFK called T5. Currently they have had numerous, singers including Phil Philips and Taylor Swift, sing right inside the terminal calling it Live from T5. Why not a Worcester version, Live from T1 this summer?

If you have not already, 1) sign up for True Blue, 2) check out JetBlue AmEx card and buy tickets out of Worcester.

Bill Randell the President of Advantage Benefits, an insurance brokerage house specializing in employee benefits, based in Worcester since 1992.. One of his interests is the advancement of Worcester Regional Airport. He can be contacted by e-mail at Bill@AdvantageBenefits.com or followhim on Twitter @FlyORH.

 

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