It’s all about connectivity – getting passengers from Point A to Point B without having to change planes. Consider what’s happening at Houston’s two main airports these days.
United Airlines just laid on new nonstop Houston flights to Bakersfield using two-class CRJ-700s. Flights depart Bush Houston Intercontinental at 9:40 a.m. and 8:55 p.m., arriving in the California city at 11:30 a.m. and 10:45 p.m. respectively. This is a new route for United. No one else makes the run.
Further upping the ante between the Bayou City and SoCal are American Eagle’s new Houston flights to Los Angeles. These are nonstop affairs, using 64-passenger CRJs. Nonstop Houston flights to Los Angeles depart Bush Houston Intercontinental at 7:45 a.m., 12:50 p.m., and 7:45 p.m. They get to LAX at 9:25 a.m., 2:25 p.m., and 9:25 p.m.
Eagle’s entry into the market is important. It makes for competition between IAH and LAX. While three carriers currently ply the route two of them are Continental and United – and they’re merging. Discount airline Southwest also offers nonstop Houston flights to Los Angeles, but does so out of Houston Hobby Airport.
Hobby is also the close-to-downtown launch pad for discount airline AirTran’s new Houston flights to Branson. There will be a quartet of weekly nonstops. They take wing on May 28. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays Houston flights to Branson will depart at 3:45 p.m. and arrive at 5:21. On Sundays they push back from the gate at HOU at 10:10 a.m. and arrive in the Ozark entertainment mecca at 11:46 a.m.
Story by Jerry Chandler