Friday, February 19, 2010

Plattsburgh Airport, Allegiant Air

On January 28 I flew from St. Petersburg airport in Florida to Plattsburgh, New York. It was my first time flying Allegiant and my first time using Plattsburgh Airport. Allegiant turned out to be fine, but I cannot say the same about Plattsburgh International Airport, which bills itself as "Montreal's US Airport."

My flight arrived at 6 p.m., and I had anticipated taking a bus from the airport to downtown Montreal at 8 p.m. This bus was mentioned on the Website of the airport when I booked my ticket. When I arrived at the airport I saw no sign of the bus, and asked the woman at the Hertz counter if she knew anything about it. She said the bus no longer was running. I looked around in vain for any information about it or any phones to taxis or even hotels. There were none. Nor were there any taxis waiting outside.

There was one lone pay phone, but it did not work. I went outside again, thinking there would be some cabs by now. There weren't any. I tried once again to use the pay phone--still it didn't work. By this time the airport seemed to be shutting down, and the woman at Hertz had left.

Another woman at the checkin counter let me use her cell phone to call a taxi to the downtown bus station, which is a few chairs in a motel. Somehow by the time I arrived at the bus station a bag containing my laptop computer and some other items had disappeared. The bus ticket seller said the bus from the airport had not run for a long time. At the bus station I discovered the last bus for Montreal had left at 6 p.m. and the next one wasn't until 1:10 a.m.
By the time I got home it was about 4 a.m. the next day.

Plattsburgh Airport has a long way to go to become "Montreal's US Airport." At the moment it is not a big step up from the unmanned grass strip that used to be at Grey Rocks in the Laurentians.