I recently flew Airtran from the Dayton airport (DAY) out of sympathy to one of my clients. I was able to get a direct flight to Baltimore (BWI) for half as much as an equivalent Delta flight from Cincinnati (CVG). Although I’m sure my client will appreciate the lower price tag on their invoice, I would have certainly paid $200 more for a better airport experience. Due to Cincinnati’s reputation as the nation’s most expensive airport (and an uptick of spring break travelers – recession be damned), the Dayton International Airport has become a victim of its own success.
Top Ten Reasons to Fly Dayton
(according to the Dayton International Airport website)
- Conduct business at our Business Travel Center
- Six minutes to I70/I75 – Crossroads of America
- Rental cars are available close to the terminal
- 220 Steps or less from counters to the gates
- Short wait times at the security checkpoint
- Convenient parking adjacent to the terminal
- Easy to follow terminal layout
- Professional and helpful staff
- Stay busy with free Wi-Fi in the terminal
- Enjoy live music weekdays in terminal lobby
Top Ten Reasons NOT to Fly Dayton
(according to me)
- New attractive signage along the parkway to the airport is a smokescreen for the parking fiasco that awaits you. “Convenient” parking is currently under construction as the short-term parking lot is a construction zone for a new garage. Not so convenient parking is overpriced and the asphalt looks as if nearby Wright-Patterson AFB pilots uses it for bombing exercises
- Outrageous $12/day charge for “economy” parking
- Clueless shuttle bus pilots – I ended up dragging my luggage to the terminal in the rain
- Good news: inexpensive AirTran ticket price. Bad news: 2 inattentive ticket agents, no self-serve kiosks, and long lines – just to check luggage
- Not so short wait times at the security checkpoint
- “Free” Wi-Fi in the terminal means somewhere between slow and unresponsive
- Lack of seating in terminal area relative to number of flights and passengers
- No decent coffee past the security checkpoint, although they are promising Starbucks (too bad for you, Boston Stoker) as part of an upcoming airport remodel
- Air conditioning in the terminal, please?
- Although Airtran’s Boeing 717’s are physically larger than Delta’s Bombardier Regional Jets, the legroom in the “no class” section is even less. Which is quite a feat.
So if you don’t feel guilty about spending more of somebody else’s money, fly Cincinnati. Which isn’t as expensive due to some recent fare cuts by Delta, the 800-pound gorilla of the Cincinnati airport.