Skybus to Toronto Niagara Falls

10 Jan

Southwest has been the domestic standard-bearer for how to properly run a profitable, customer-friendly low-cost carrier. Where so many others have failed, Southwest continues to not only thrive, but influence the whole industry.

In Europe, the business model is somewhat different. Carriers like Ryanair and easyJet whisk travelers across Europe for fares as low as £5.00 (plus tax and fees). The catch is that your seat may not recline, you have to pay to actually speak with someone in customer service (email is free), it may cost as much as £8.00 to check a bag, and on-board services cost extra.

But if you’re interested in getting from London (Stanstead) to Milano (Bergamo) for ten bucks, you might be willing to put up with all that. Note that London’s airport isn’t Gatwick or Heathrow, and Milano’s isn’t Linate or Malpensa. To get from London’s Victoria Station to Stanstead airport is a 75 minute bus ride. To get from Milano’s central station to Bergamo airport takes 60 minutes.

It is with that backdrop that Skybus comes to Niagara Falls International Airport. Specifically, if you look at the Skybus website, it’s “Toronto/Niagara”. Sort of like how Stanstead is billed as “London”, even though it’s over an hour away. That’s an interesting marketing development that is reminiscent of Richard Florida’s Tor-Buff-Chester megaregion.

Note, however, that Skybus doesn’t do connecting flights (you can do it, but you’ll be transferring your bags yourself), so for now flights only go between here and Columbus, OH.

Now all we need is a European low cost carrier to offer transatlantic flights to “Toronto/Niagara”, because the taxes and fees are significantly lower in the US than at Toronto/Pearson. It’s far more likely that Torontonians would make the drive to the Falls for that kind of flight than for a short hop to Columbus.

11 Responses to “Skybus to Toronto Niagara Falls”

  1. Derek J. Punaro January 10, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    We’re a bit spoiled with the BUF being so close to the heart of the city and our infrastructure makes it so easy to get from the airport to anywhere. Getting from downtown Milan to Malpensa early on a Saturday morning still took an hour and a 120 euro cab ride. And Milan is the city Malpensa is supposed to serve.

  2. N January 10, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Looks like service starts on April 1st. $25 one-way to Columbus. Now if there could only be some higher-order transit connections between BNIA, NIA, Pearson and downtown Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo.

  3. STEEL January 10, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    Would it be cheaper for NFTA to have this airline (and others) fly into Buffalo Niagara which still has a lot of spare capacity instead of propping up a redundant airport just because it is there for the using? Just asking the question.

    Also the local promotion agencies better get up off their buts and get Buffalo’s name attached to the airline’s promotional material.

  4. PAuldub January 10, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    We have local promotional agencies?

  5. mike hudson January 10, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    exhorbitant landing fees and outrageous fuel costs — among the highest in the nation — charged by the odious newman family have long made the buffalo airport unattractive to carriers, which is the main reason it has, as steel notes, “a lot of spare capacity.” there is no such thing as a “redundant airport” anymore, the skies are crowded with planes. the buffalo facility is simply a bad deal.

    and why in the world would the airline want to put “buffalo” on its promotional materials? i can undertand that city’s promotional agencies trying to confuse out of towners into believing that niagara falls is located a block up from allenwood, but the reason for that is that nobody who isn’t from buffalo or has family in buffalo wants to go to buffalo.

  6. mike hudson January 10, 2008 at 9:35 pm #

    wait a minute. allenwood is the prison. allentown is the prison-like “hip” neighborhood in buffalo and the title of a billy joel song that refers to a bankrupt rust belt city, right? or is it the other way around. i always get that confused.

  7. Mike from Grand Island January 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    I just flew to Singapore via Singapore Air non-stop from Newark. It is the longest flight in the world but was one of the most enjoyable flying experiences I’ve ever had. The economy was like biz class and the staff aren’t rude or make little tell-tale slip-ups (like eye-rolls) when you ask for routine service(s). It was an $1800 ticket which either is or isn’t cheap depending on your perspective but you feel like they didn’t try to nickel and dime you.

    But, moreover, they have a something that is hard to define (je ne sais quoi) that frankly I’ve come to the conclusion is what holds our region back. That is, refinement, enlightenment and elegance is not widely dispersed or promoted by our decision makers (not just politicians but they majority of our populus). Everything is a financial decision now and artistic decisions are simply not valued for their merits as art but judged on an accountant’s ledger.

    If we are to move our region to a successful service economy it’s something that we need to get (Richard Florida’s cool factor) but I predict Buffalo will not have to a large extent in my lifetime. There are elements of it in Buffalo that show their face but they are quickly beat down or labeled as kooks, queers, meddlers, or traitors. The preponderance of change agents in Buffalo don’t see this as the issue or understand it at all. many of those that do understand that this is an issue often get so caught up in their day-to-day bosnification policies that they undermine concepts that would get us there.

  8. mike hudson January 11, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    mike…which is why the airline has chosen to call it toronto niagara falls rathre than buffalo niagara falls.

  9. Mike from Grand Island January 11, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    before I accidently hit the submit button I wanted to throw out a couple of names of Buffalonian’s who are cool and personify the new buffalo (forgive me if I missed one or two):

    Jo Ann Falleta – (Ms Buffalo in my book – shh – don’t tell my wife)
    John Simpson and much of his team at UB (intnl ed, bio-science, tech transfer, planning, geography, arts and sciences, etc, etc…)
    Kevin Gaughn
    Sam Hoyt
    the Goo Goos
    Ani defranco
    You guys at WNYMedia
    john and mary
    lois gauchos
    working families party
    woman in black
    olmstead conservancy
    comm foundation of bflo
    bruce and gail johnstone
    marty brecher (chief of peds at roswell park)
    louise slaughter
    father pat at UB newman center
    father jack at st joes univ heights
    Unitarian universalists

    who else is cool bflo?

  10. mike hudson January 13, 2008 at 6:44 am #

    looks like you’ve got them all covered mike. nice job!


  1. Buffalo Pundit » Blog Archive » 2008. It was a year. - December 29, 2008

    […] treat his laborers like shit sort of helped hasten his departure. He did not, however, fly out via Skybus, which announced Columbus – “Toronto/Niagara“, but went belly-up before a single flight arrived or […]

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