Feb 12, 2009

Flight To NoWhere


If you want a good laugh, go to the Lehigh Valley International Airport and watch the expression on the first time Continental passengers as they are loaded on a bus to Newark; this is after they check in at the flight counter! Today the constantly expanding and remodeling airport has less destinations than ever, about nine, including Philadelphia and Newark. Years ago, the Authority members hired what they mistook as a hot shot, George Doughty, to make the new terminal and airport something to match its new name. The old ABE Airport terminal was built as a WPA project, and like the rest of the valley back then, teemed at its seams. About ten years ago the hotshot talked the Authority members into expanding the departure terminal. Looking for a large under used space for arena football, I think I know a place. Recently, a judge awarded an adjacent landowner many more millions than he ever wanted, for land the airport took for its never needed, never built new runway. Rendell has designated $3.5 million in modernization grants to help the airport keep up with its declining use? Although there are not many places one can fly directly to from the airport, parking fee's are big city. There is a recorded tape loop which keeps reminding the few passengers that unattended cars will be towed for security reasons, i'd prefer water-boarding at Guantanamo.

The postcard depicts the first hanger and terminal, before the former one built by the WPA. The hanger still exists, as does the lettering on it's roof.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine had that dreaded trip from Allentown to Newark on the way to somewhere else. She was never told when she bought her ticket that the connection in Newark came by way of a bus ride. She could've driven herself there.

Anonymous said...

good past! i got suckered into that bus trip once. my ticket even had a seat number for the bus which was very much like an airplane seat number.

Anonymous said...

While I was a healthcare consultant and I was assigned to a client here in LV, I will never forget how I had to take that mini-bus ride to NEWARK or sometimes NYC to catch a flight home to Miami; and when I came back on a late night flight, there were NEVER any taxis to take me to the Marriot, which was actually 5 minutes away. Talk about a one horse town...

Alfonso Todd

Anonymous said...

I never, ever consider using LVIA. I'll absolutely drive to PHL or EWR. The risk one runs using LVIA is that all flight are connecting, and if you are running late or something beyond your control happens, you're likely to get stranded in Charlotte, Washington, etc.. You can't even fly direct to Pittsburgh!

And these Phantoms owners are stroking all the egos in the Lehigh Valley to get a government paid arena.

A.J.C. said...

I always see planes flying in and out so they must be getting business somewhere...

Anonymous said...

I actually had a friend visit with her daughter and they did the bus leg and had absolutely no problem with it. She even preferred it! Clean, comfortable and not too crowded. I think some people really just hate buses.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

I would never do the continental connection to Newark, but I make it a point to fly in and out of ABE if possible any time I fly.

Compared to any other major airport in the region, ABE has very few delays - there are no long lines, no risk of missing your flight, and it has all the convenience of being close to home. In the last few years I've flown to Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota in Florida, to Los Angeles and San Francisco in California, to Chicago, to South Bend, to Portland, and to Charleston, SC. My dad flies multiple times a month for business, and rarely runs into problems - I'd say that more often than not he has trouble going out of Newark or Philly than going out of ABE. Other than lack of service, ABE has a good thing going. I've only ever had good experiences flying in and out of ABE and all I could hope for would be more airlines coming in to offer more service. Obviously most of those flights require connecting service, except for St. Petersburg or Chicago - and I can't help but wish an airline like Southwest would consider service in/out of the LV to compliment their Philly service.