My family and I prefer Long Island MacArthur Airport and used to use it at least eight to 10 times a year. We are now down to maybe two.
Here’s why: We have family in Phoenix, Nashville, Atlanta, and West Palm Beach, Fla. We flew to all but Atlanta exclusively out of MacArthur until Southwest Airlines acquired Air Tran Airways in 2011 and changed schedules schedule and fares.
A flight to Phoenix has become eight to nine hours, and more expensive than nonstops from JFK Airport, which is difficult to travel to and a more difficult place to park. Nonstops to Nashville disappeared from Islip and it costs about $150 less per person to fly nonstop on Southwest from LaGuardia Airport. What would you do?
If we want to fly nonstop to Atlanta for $100 less per person, we fly out of LaGuardia. The only flights useful to us that remain nonstop and reasonable are the ones to West Palm Beach.
We live in East Northport, and our drive to MacArthur is shorter, with much less traffic. There are fewer delays and canceled flights, parking is cheaper, and baggage comes out quicker.
So to increase business at MacArthur, Southwest has to provide more direct flights at reasonable prices — or we need another airline that will!
Arlene Senzer, East Northport