Critical Issues at the Airport

By Ben Wolf
Thursday, November 9, 2006

Officials at Valdosta Regional Airport say they're doing their part, but point the finger at Delta's affiliate, Atlantic Southeast Airline, saying there are too many problems for travelers.

"We have a reduced number of passengers that are flying out of the airport right now. That's primarily due to high ticket prices," said Airport Director Bob Holliway.

Other issues point to reliability of flights and customer service. The Airport Authority is teaming up with four other authorities such as Augusta's to draft a letter to Gov. Perdue and Delta Airlines.

"ASA, which is the Delta connection, is the only player in town right now, so part of our job is to get the best service we can from that player," added Holliway.

An ASA spokesperson says they understand it's important to get Delta customers to their destination on time. They're going to make appropriate adjustments to flight schedules. They are also addressing key operational processes at their Atlanta hub to improve on time performance.

Some travelers agree with the Airport Authority's letter.

"It seems like inevitably the time I need to fly is the time they don't have a flight," said ASA passenger Terry Tri.

Others say it's all relative.

"Flying round trip from Tallahassee to Atlanta on 30 days notice was over $600 and the same trip from Valdosta to Atlanta round trip was maybe $340," said passenger George Rasky.

Airport officials say they just want a good partnership with ASA and feel the letter will get things going in the right direction toward that goal.

Currently, the only commercial flight out of Valdosta is to Atlanta.