Skybus, First Hand Experience: At the Airport

With a 7:05 AM Skybus flight out of Columbus to Bellingham, Washington, we got to the airport at 5:30.

Tip 1: Check-in on-line; it makes life easier. We did and I was glad. (See post) Almost as soon as we walked through the sliding doors at the Skybus check-in, a Skybus person looked at our boarding passes, IDs and tagged our bags before we could even get them to the check-in counter. In a few steps we handed them to the bag screening guys before heading off for fun games called “Airport Security” and “Find Your Gate.”

Tip 2: When booking your tickets on line, double check that you’ve entered the names that you use on your official identification. It cuts down on anxiety. The missing letter on my husband’s name on his boarding pass (I left off the last letter of his legal name) wasn’t a problem either. Smooth sailing.

Tip 3: Even though Skybus doesn’t have a check-in desk at the gates–at least I didn’t see one–the other passengers will tell you which line to stand in.

Tip 4: Find a place in line and then go to the bathroom. At the gate there were three areas marked with line dividers-group 1, group 2, group 3. These lines crossed in front of the restroom doors and the drinking fountains which added to a bit to the lane confusion, plus the waiting room seats took up a fair amount of standing room. It seems there needs to be less waiting room seats since most people were standing or sitting on the floor in line. If you want a seat choice on the airplane, waiting in line is important.

In this mishmash of lines, I didn’t see a Skybus person in the mix. Someone was calling out flights over the loud speaker. Not long before it was time for us to board, that loud speaker person said, “No food is allowed on a Skybus flight.” I thought of the bag of snacks and bagels I so cleverly packed. “Give me a peach,” I called out to my husband and ate it like a mad woman. We finished off the fruit before boarding-I took one more bite before showing our boarding passes to the person who had magically appeared at the gate, but we didn’t dump the packaged snacks. No one checked.

Once on the plane, it turned into about any other flight of just enough room, oxygen masks if needed, and cushions that turn into flotation devices. The Skybus crew was busy almost the whole time passing out drinks and food to those willing to buy. The prices are doable. $8 for breakfast, but the coffee machine was broken for some of the flight. The handy crew fixed it eventually, but I held out for my java until after we landed.

The flight landed in Bellingham, Washington 10 minutes early and all four of our bags showed up at the airport. All in all, not bad.

The biggest positive was the flight was direct. As prices go, ours wasn’t all that cheap since we missed out on the deals, but Bellingham is an easy access airport. Would I recommend Skybus? Yes. I do have to say, I missed getting those little bags of pretzels and drinks though, and at times I really wished it might have been possible to talk with customer service. Not that I had anything to say really, but it’s odd to be a people person and not have anybody to talk to. We’ll see how our return flight goes.

For more photos of the Columbus to Bellingham flight (or it could have been the other way around,) click here. Marada has taken a bunch of them and posted them on Flickr.