Depressed in Ohio about Skybus and Jet Blue deprived

I found out about Skybus’s demise from Grant when I checked e-mail last night. Grant had found out the news from a comment sent to us from a reader a few hours earlier. While Grant was busy typing up the Skybus calls it quits post, I was out having a drink with a friend, unaware that my summer plans were mucked up,–and my birthday–AND a visit from another friend.

Yesterday afternoon I decided we should fly to New York on Skybus instead of drive after seeing how cheap flights still were in August. Luckily, I hadn’t booked the tickets yet. I wonder how many people booked flights yesterday totally unaware that they’d be contacting their credit card company less than a day later?

My husband just told me an hour ago that he had bought a ticket for my best friend in Massachusetts to come to Columbus for my birthday the end of August. That’s out. The bill has not been paid yet–we haven’t even received it, so I think we may be in luck and not have to pay. Who would come get us to make us pay?

I also just remembered that a friend of mine in Los Angeles was to come to visit in May. He bought his ticket back in September. How does that work since that credit card bill has long been paid? I’m sure there are many many stories like this one all over Columbus. I heard two of them today in a writers group I go to.

Here’s my beef. Jet Blue pulled out of Columbus this year because of Skybus. Even though Jet Blue is offering cheap seats for folks stranded by Skybus, because that airline doesn’t come to Ohio that doesn’t help us in the Buckeye state. The non-stop flight to L.A. on Delta that I took in September isn’t available anymore either. For Ohio, whose economy is a bit in the tank, Skybus was something to feel special about. We were the city with those $10 airfare. People were coming to Columbus as a result. That’s over. I know for sure my friend in L.A. won’t be coming in May. My other friend may still come for my birthday, but with the price of airfare now, I might want to come up with something else.

I sure hope Jet Blue comes back. Please. Pretty please?

Skybus cancels flights, but there’s hope

On last night’s news there was a report on Skybus woes. Flights,18 in all, were canceled yesterday and the day before due to repair issues with two planes. That may not seem like many planes, but the way Skybus works is that the same planes are used for various flights on the same day–and evidently there aren’t spare planes ready to fill in if there’s a problem.

Because Skybus doesn’t have agreements with other airlines, people couldn’t be transferred to other flights. Instead, Skybus is either refunding people for the flights they didn’t take or re-booking them when possible. From what I caught of the news clip, there were Sky bus staff on hand to help with the snafus, but without a call center, there’s no way for anyone to get personalized help except by being at the airport.

Cheap tickets on a cheap airline sometimes does not make for paradise, or help people get to paradise either. I’m hoping that Skybus is able to make it financially and that the issues that make people unhappy do get worked out. I’m looking forward to snagging some cheap seats somewhere one of these days. Our trip to Seattle, as I’ve posted before, was not particularly cheap, but the idea of cheap tickets is holding my interest in the airline and making me think it would be fun to go someplace Skybus goes for an inexpensive few days away. For a special occasion or an important trip, I’d probably opt for an airline with more options, though. Skybus doesn’t have flexibility built into its system. The airline is back on track today because the repairs have been made. [via USA Today]