Category Archives: skybus

Skybus, why do I have to buy insurance to cover your f-up?

Skybus Airlines, which I have flown and find generally good, will offer insurance that will reimburse travelers up to $250 in costs for alternate methods of transportation.
For about $9, $1 more than the minimum for a current policy, the new policy will cover flights canceled for reasons such as the structural damage that put two Skybus jets out of commission on Christmas Day. That caused 18 flights to be canceled over two days, affecting close to 2,000 people.
While I understand the reason behind not putting customers on competing carriers ... to keep prices low. But if you're bragging that you complete 99 percent of your scheduled flight, why not put your money where your mouth is. Why not set aside a fund for the 1% of time you mess up, and put your VALUED customers on a competitor flight. Plus, $250? Give me a break. That will not cover a flight purchased day of. Overall, the insurance seems to be a bad deal for consumers.

Canal Winchester – THE premier tourist destination of southeastern Central Ohio

That according to Canal Winchester's promotional push on Skybus. And apparantly its working. At least the Boston Globe picked up on it and actually visited Canal Winchester.
Skybus initially thought Canal Winchester's script for its announcement was a joke. "They can say what they want," Hodge said. "It's a very subjective claim." Canal Winchester development director Chris Strayer, who hoped to attract tourists and business investments, said, "There's definitely been some benefit to it, but I can't quantify it" in terms of visitor spending or new deals. Canal Winchester says it has five "attractions," but its Doll and Toy Museum was closed for the season, and three others - Motts Military Museum, Slate Run Vineyard, and Slate Run Historical Farm - are actually outside the village's boundaries.
Overall, it is a positive article about Skybus, Canal Winchester and Columbus in general

My first Skybus flight

I recently flew out to California and back on Skybus, and I thought that I would follow up Alvin's original post with my experience. I was attracted to Skybus because of its low fares and direct flights to California. Skybus flies into Burbank Airport (aka Bob Hope Airport) which is just north of Los Angeles. I purchased tickets on November 24 for a December 24th flight with a return date of January 3. We could have left on a different date but it was quite a bit cheaper to fly on Christmas Eve - besides we would arrive in California at 8 am on Christmas Eve.

Well, flying on Christmas Eve was definitely a challenge (at least we missed the December 26 and 27 Skybus cancellations). We had a 6 am departure and we arrived at the airport at a quarter to five. For all seven of its flights that morning, Skybus had one long line that snaked around CMH for about a quarter of a mile, but it moved fairly quickly.

Here's what Skybus' email to me said about check in -

    Given the high volume of holiday travelers, Skybus strongly recommends checking in and paying for baggage online, before going to the airport. We also strongly recommend arriving at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.The online check in period for your flight begins 24 hours prior to your scheduled departure and ends 30 minutes prior. If it's within 24 hours of your flight, you may check in and print your Boarding Pass by clicking the "Check in" tab on the Skybus Home page. Checking in online saves you time at the airport.You can also pay fees for bags you plan to check just before printing your Boarding Pass. Then, just drop off your bags with a Skybus agent, get a Baggage ID tag, and head through Security to your gate.

I did check in online. Skybus charges $5 for each checked bag (provided it is regulation size) and you can purchase priority boarding for $10 a passenger. I purchased the priority boarding which turned out to be a mistake.

We proceeded through security where the CMH TSA workers proved to be a bit surly at 5 am on Christmas Eve. Guess they just didn't have the Christmas spirit. For being so serious about their jobs, in my opinion, they are probably worthless. The TSA is similar to most virus scanning programs - good against known threats/issues but terrible against unknown ones and they end up just making your experience that much more time consuming. Most likely they are always playing catchup and never doing anything preventative. (Ok, that was a bit strong and I may back off that later.)

It took us all the way up til our 6 am flight time to check our baggage and get through security. We got on the plane 10 minutes before takeoff - so much for priority boarding.

Here's the real highlight of Skybus - nonstop to Cali! That was truly priceless! I hate changing planes in Chicago, St. Louis or wherever and I especially want to avoid doing so while traveling during the holidays. It's just another opportunity for delay. The flight there was just under 5 hours and the flight back was under 4 hours (I assume because we were flying with the jet stream)! We were so tired we didn't even bother with the pay per bite meals and just opted for some $2 bottles of water.

Skybus flies to the smaller, less congested airports and Burbank proved to be just that. Burbank Airport was easy to maneuver through, get your bags and get out. In fact, the baggage carousel is outdoors.

Although I saved several hundie flying Skybus, the shuttle from Burbank to Irvine was just under $80 each way so some of my savings were eaten up there.

The flight back was scheduled to leave Cali at 6 pm. So, if it was on time, that would put us back in CMH at 1 a.m. Of course, we were delayed an hour and a half and got to Columbus really late - 2:30 a.m.

Skybus travel tips -

1 - The cheap fares can lead to impulse spending on all the extras.

2 - Check in online as soon as the 24 hour check in period begins.

3 - Purchase priority boarding only if you get to the airport well in advance.

4 - Travel attire consisting of an old red Buckeye sweatshirt, faded jeans, and loafers/tennis shoes just reflects a complete lack of sophistication - this is why Columbus is still referred to as cowtown.

5 - The smaller out of the way airports that Skybus flies to may cost you more when you need to get to and from them.

6 - Through tomorrow, Skybus is offering $20 fares.

7 - Skybus does foster the herd mentality when it comes to boarding planes. People throw aside all sense of decency and decorum when it comes to crowding on a delayed flight. Maybe it is worth it to priority board for $10.

8 - Going up in an airplane or other low pressure environment can cause the gas inside you to expand and emerge as flatus, fyi.

Skybus pictures on Flickr

There's a Skybus pool on Flickr. The group is public, so feel free to contribute your pictures. Here's a slideshow: Created with Paul's flickrSLiDR.

Skybus gates

When I flew back to Columbus from Burbank on Skybus, the boarding pass did not have the gate number on it.  Of course I didn't notice until after I got through security.  Also, to save money, there's no one from Skybus to ask. After walking around aimlessly, I found it at gate A7.  Why didn't it print out?  Because Skybus does not "own" gate A7.  Southwest Airlines does.  Rather, there is a kiosk next to the gate. I'm not sure if it's like this at other airports, but Skybus must communicate their gate locations better.  Especially if they don't have personnel or a phone number to call. If you've flown to other Skybus destinations and had the same experience, please leave a comment.  And give us the gate information.

Columbus from above

I took some photos from above while landing into CMH and flying skybus. Here are some photos: Private Race Track The picture above is somewhere west of Hilliard.  What struck me was the money this person had to build a private race track.  It's amazing how much money there is in Columbus.  I wonder what they all do for a living? Mill Run Traveling eastward, this is an aerial view of the Mill Run complex in Hilliard. Griggs Resevoir The picture above is of Griggs Resevoir. Upper Arlington High School Above is the campus of Upper Arlington High School.  Compare their sports complex with OSU's below. OSU Crew Stadium And finally, from above, here's Crew Stadium.  Home of the Columbus Crew soccer team.

Skybus review

07June150 Anyone flown on the new Skybus airline yet? I have. And while I didn't get a $10 flight, I did enjoy my experience and would recommend it to others.

The airplanes were new, clean and spacious. The seats were comfortable. And best of all, my flight to Burbank was non-stop. Heck, even if I could save a few bucks on another airline, I would go with Skybus just for the direct flight. Here's a couple of travel tips:
  • You board and de-plane from the front and back of the plane, which greatly speeds up to de-boarding process. I don't know why other airlines do that. However, you have to go outside to get on and off the plane, so in bad weather the speed might not be so welcome.
  • Forget what Skybus says about taking your own food on board. I did, and I saw plenty of others do so as well. It looks like they don't enforce that rule. Of course, your experience may vary.
  • Notwithstanding the above, you still might want to buy some food or drink and tip the flight attendant. I hear they only make $9 per flight hour. But they do share 10% of the in flight sales. (This may be false, but that's what I heard.)