Low fares. Despite the complete lack of organization and communication from Skybus folks at CMH, and the long delays, at least 50% of the crowd was still smiling. All anyone wanted to talk about was the dirt cheap fares they had scored just days before this flight. The big winner? Someone who claimed he had purchased a $10 ticket from Portsmouth to Columbus, then another $10 ticket from Columbus to Burbank--he was traveling next week. No idea if he was ever coming back east and he didn't seem to care.
The happy glow of purchasing low fares, and the inevitable web chase for those ten $10 tickets on each flight will float Skybus for the first couple months. However, if during the travel hectic summer they don't get their act together as far as on-time arrivals, boarding organization, and communicating delays, passengers will inevitably begin shouting Skybust.
Skybus will find plenty of college kids, cash strapped families of four, and bargain hunters to seek out and snap up their low fare, zero frills airline tickets, but will those people travel enough to carry the airline towards the massive and rapid expansion they hope for? Doubtful. In order to succeed Skybus will, at least in part, need to become a somewhat reliable possibility for business travelers and weekend flyers.
The airline has brand new planes and a honeymoon period where passengers, who are paying next to nothing for flights, will have low expectations. Thus, Skybus will have some room to breathe, get things right, try to keep the buzz positive, and hope the rest of their ambitious plan comes together.
To put things in perspective--Jaunted's flight from Portsmouth to Columbus was a grand total of $45.00, all in ($10 one way, $20 back plus $15 of fees). A cab to and from CMH to downtown Columbus cost us $20.50 before tip. The flight was cheaper than a round trip cab ride.
· Full Skybus Flight Review Live Blog [Jaunted]