FlyORH: Troubleshooting at Worcester Airport
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Many years ago, I had a flight out of Providence to Florida in the morning. It was a beautiful day until I got close to the airport, where the fog had settled. I sat all day in the airport until the fog finally broke and I was able to get a flight to Florida.
The truth is that when you travel, weather problems will happen whatever airport you utilize, not just in Worcester. From the flight on November 7th through the first fight on December 7th, we have had 112 flights with 8 cancellations due to fog and 2 cancellations due to mechanical problems.
There is pretty much nothing we can do about the mechanical problems, and we will be better to handle fog when the CAT III landing equipment is installed. The bottom line is that we will have cancellations just like any other airport, although a few more without the CAT III.
What should we do?
As a airport trying to establish ourselves, we need to make the experience as positive as possible. JetBlue has done a great job when flights are diverted the same day and will provide transportation back or from Worcester for free.
The problem is when flights are cancelled the day before your flight. The procedure is to tell people they need to get to Boston for their flight without any ground transportation. Let’s provide an option for ground transportation, even for a fee, from the airport to Boston.
I was able to call Silver Fox Bus Lines and for a cost of $1,200 they can provide two buses. Here is how I see it:
· Drive to ORH for your flight even though you know it will be departing from Boston
· Pay $7 per day or $42 per week to park in Worcester
· A bus is waiting to take you to Boston and will cost $10 per passenger
You will end up getting to your location an one to two hours later then you planned. The thing is your would have paid a lot more $10 dollars to get to Boston and alot more then $7 per day for parking in Boston.
Now the $10 per passenger will not cover the entire cost of the bus services, but this is expense that Massport needs to absorb to provide an overall positive experience to fly out of Worcester. I would also think this expense could be absorbed through the FAA grant?
In the long term, Massport should consider adding Worcester to their Logan Express route map.
Bill Randell is the President of Advantage Benefits, an insurance brokerage house specializing in employee benefits with an emphasis on health insurance, based in Worcester since 1992. He can be contacted at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter (@FlyORH).
Related Slideshow: Celebrate the Season
Head out to Springfield this week to visit Bright Lights! This is one of the Northeast’s premiere lights displays, and is perfect for a chilly December evening. This is a drive-along route of over three miles of beautiful holiday lighting displays. There is even musical accompaniment via a radio simulcast on 98.5 FM to enhance your holiday experience!
302 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA.
Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism/Flickr
Newport Mansion Christmas
Enjoy a Rhode Island holiday tradition at the Newport Mansions! Visitors to the event will tour three beautiful mansions—The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, decked out to the nines in holiday lights and spirit. There are a total of 28 lighted Christmas trees; beautifully crafted gingerbread models of the mansions and so much more to be seen!
Click here or call 401-847-1000 for more info.
La Salette Shrine
La Salette Shrine in Attleborough, MA is a close to home favorite for MA and RI families alike. The grounds glisten with sparkle of over 300,000 gorgeous lights. As this is the 60-year anniversary of the shrine, they are going all out for this Christmas season. Make sure to visit the illuminated walkway on the pond—it is striking. This event is free to all.
947 Park Street, Attleborough, MA.
Photo: Šarūnas Burdulis/Flickr
Marblehead Christmas Walk
From December 5-8, visit the quaint New England town of Marblehead, MA for a great Christmas stroll. Although celebrations will be happening all weekend, the big event is Friday night tree lighting at 7pm. On Saturday, there will be a Christmas walk parade featuring all the sights and sounds of Christmastime in this seaside village. Santa will be arriving by lobster boat Saturday morning at 9:30am!
Head to the zoo for some holiday magic! Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA is hosting Zoolights, a great holiday excursion for people of all ages! This huge holiday lights display incorporates dazzling lights into every part of the zoo. If you have little ones, make sure they get a visit with Santa and the Zoo’s resident reindeer!
149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA. (781) 438-5100.
Photo: Mark Dumont/Flickr
Festival of Lights
Edaville USA is a family favorite year-round, but this amusement park brings something extra special to the table during the holidays. Join Edaville for their annual Festival of Lights, all viewed from coach trains! This year’s festivities feature thousands of lights displays, holiday themed treats, vintage amusement rides, Santa and more!
5 Pine Street, Carver, MA. (508) 866-8190.
Photo: Eric Kilby/Flickr
Known in the summertime for its sprawling botanical gardens and horticulture displays, Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, MA is also a do-not-miss this holiday season. The grounds will be embellished with 117,400 beautiful lights that will brighten the holiday season! Aside from viewing the lights, visitors are also invited to attend mini-workshops that will teach them to fashion great holiday decorations, like handmade topiary wreaths!
67 Grove Street, Sandwich, MA. (508) 888-3300.
Take the family on a close to home trip to Holly Days at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA! This year, the theme of this huge lights display is “Woodland Magic.” There will be thousands of twinkling lights adorning the grounds, as well as whimsical, woodland-themed decorations with a natural touch. If you head over on a Wednesday or Thursday evening, make sure to come hungry. There will be “Food & Fire,” featuring comfort foods that will warm you up after a chilly walk!
11 French Drive, Boylston, MA. (508) 869-6111.
Photo: Tori Siegel/Flickr
Holiday Light Fantasia
Take a trip to nearby Connecticut to enjoy Holiday Light Fantasia. This is a two-mile light show featuring over 1,000,000—yes, one MILLION—sparkling lights dedicated to celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and Three Kings Day . There are animated scenes, tributes to favorite family characters, and so much more.
1130 Maple Avenue, Hartford, CT. Click here for more.
Photo: Ben Pollard/Flickr
The Connecticut Trolley Museum will come to life this holiday season for their annual WinterFest and the Tunnel of Lights. This great event has become a family tradition throughout southern New England and beyond. Visitors will enjoy a trolley ride on a closed car or electric sleigh through the Tunnel of Lights, while singing traditional carols. The Visitor’s Center will have plenty of hot cocoa and entertainment!
58 North Road, East Windsor, CT. Click here for more.
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