Harrisburg International Chips Away at BWI's
It's not a fair fight,
of course: Harrisburg (PA) International (there's a daily flight to
Toronto) is merely trying to get its local folk to at least
consider flying from HAI to a handful of popular hubs and
Though no 'discount' airlines fly out of Harrisburg, a few
really desirable destinations, and useful hubs, are served by the
carriers there: in addition to Toronto, there are flights to hub
airports at Chicago, Denver, and Dallas, for instance; and
convention/vacation spot Orlando is on the list, as well.
HAI is trying to lure locals, using a twinge of sarcasm. One
billboard, over an hour's drive (on a good day) from Baltimore,
says, "Flying out of BWI? Line Starts Here." If you were driving,
stuck in traffic and savoring the thought of meeting TSA's finest,
in their 'showcase' airport, would that have an effect?
Try, "Sure, BWI can take you to faraway places. Like Lot Z," or
"My, the gestures you learn on the way to BWI."
It's not that Harrisburg, even as its $220+ million
refurbishment progresses, is going to close down BWI, or even
Philadelphia -- it's just, as the Baltiomore Sun reported,
"What I'd like to do is stop the exodus out of the state of
Pennsylvania," as it quoted Alfred Testa Jr., director of
aviation for the Harrisburg airport.
airport-management maverick himself, would like to snag a few
of the people who leave Pennsylvania's capital, and the regions to
the west and north, as they head to the airport. He pointed out the
time savings; and the hassles, coupled with the extra expenses
(from parking to hotel stays) that sometimes accompany a trip to
the big airport might be enough to persuade 'his' people to use his
Even though Harrisburg does not have Southwest and Air Tran (as
does BWI), Testa figures his people's time is certainly worth a
couple bucks an hour... As it turns out, Northwest, USAirways, and
United have all dropped fares at HAI, to match the most-popular
advance fares to comparable cities out of BWI.