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FlyORH: Worcester Airport JetBlue “Spag’s” Ticket

Thursday, April 24, 2014


During the week I was up the airport to drop my wife and daughter off for a flight to Florida. Upon entering the sparkling terminal, we noticed the two janitors, Kevin Duffy and John Ricard, and talked to them about how great they always have the place looking. These guys do a great job up there and are always helping.

We then proceeded to the check-in, that had no line, and had great service by JetBlue, thanks Annette. As we walked away from the check in, we ran into the Airport Director, Andy Davis, and chatted before proceeded up the elevator. We then sat there a few minutes, before they went through security and I noticed the floor had Goddard’s name on it? What a perfect spot potentially for the memorial, that nobody sees on Goddard Memorial Drive. Again I feel Goddard could be one of the most influential people to ever call Worcester home.

As I was driving away, I could not help but think we have all the pieces in place to make ORH an airport that can rival both Manchester and Providence. Can we please, however, drop the access road which is a complete non-issue and focus on issues to realize our potential? The only real problem we have right now is the need to install the CAT III landing equipment, which is being addressed, although it has been over a month since the last flight was cancelled due to weather.

Over the past couple of months, the only other issue that I have noticed is that we need to step up the JetBlue out of Worcester marketing efforts. Over the past two weeks, however, I have seen a dramatic increase in this area:

  • Two billboard signs as you enter Worcester on Route 146N saying you are getting Warm and Warmer for JetBlue out of ORH
  • Two billboard signs as you enter Worcester on Route 290E saying you are getting Warm and Warmer for JetBlue out of ORH
  • Banner at the bottom of the front page of Telegram
  • Ads on WXLO
  • Advertisements at two different gas stations in Worcester

Keep in mind this is only what I noticed, I bet you that there is much more that I am not seeing. Maybe JetBlue has decided to ramp up these efforts as we enter the slower summer seasons? I don’t know, but I can tell you that the presence has increased dramatically recently and I hope this results in higher passenger counts.

Over the past month, I still see loads for Orlando being in the 80-85% range while Fort Lauderdale is more in the 90-95% range. Although these loads are respectable, I hate seeing any empty seats. Here is an idea that was recommended to me, why doesn’t JetBlue offer any remaining seats the day of the flight for $99? We can call it the Spag’s ticket!!

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).


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