The EAS Flights blog stumbled on something yesterday that may be a new low for this industry. In fact, it’s childish enough that the owner of the website, Pacific Wings, has earned itself the Cranky Jackass Award.
What did the airline do that was so deserving of this award? Take a look at the homepage of its now-defunct KentuckySkies operation. I should say, the former homepage because it was already changed last night.
That’s right. The page title is Skip Kentucky followed by a simple yet not-so-elegant message beneath. What the heck did Kentucky do to deserve this kind of treatment? Well, it’s a long sordid story.
Pacific Wings flies under its own name in Hawai’i, but it has tried to grow its business on the mainland by going after small Essential Air Service routes. When it gets some, it uses a different marketing name in each area. There’s New Mexico Airlines in, well, New Mexico and GeorgiaSkies in… wanna guess? KentuckySkies was created to fly from Owensboro to Nashville and it was closely tied with TennesseeSkies which went from Jackson (TN) to Nashville. Both of these names are now gone, though the TennesseeSkies homepage still lives.
What happened? According to Pacific Wings in its filing with the federal government, the airline was “unable to procure counter or gate space at [Nashville International Airport] on reasonable terms.” Ah yes, congested Nashville Airport – a very difficult place to find space to operate. Hah.
Not quite. My guess is that it’s all about the price of that space. Pacific Wings didn’t like the deal it could get at Nashville so it opted to just back out of offering the service entirely. Not sure why this happened after it had already commenced service. You would think it would have had that figured out before it even applied. Fear not for the people of Owensboro and Jackson; Cape Air picked up the former operation and SeaPort the latter.
Now, if it was just an issue with the gate space in Nashville, wouldn’t the airline tell you to skip Tennessee, not Kentucky? Clearly there’s a lot of bad blood here that hasn’t quite boiled to the surface yet. This actually isn’t the first time Pacific Wings has been in an interesting altercation of sorts. Remember this piece I wrote back in 2009 about a physical fight in Hawai’i?
Look, I’m not here to take sides, because I don’t really know the story. But I can tell you that putting this kind of message up is just dumb. Pacific Wings still wants to bid for Essential Air Service routes. Does the airline think that communities are going to be receptive to these kind of shenanigans? I think not. It’s even worse to double down, but that’s exactly what Pacific Wings did. It changed the website to this last night.
Oh please. Ridiculous. This isn’t going to win the airline any friends.
Oh, the irony of giving a ‘Jackass’ award in solidarity with a State that probably performs a fair few euthanasias of such creatures (or, at least, horses that run like them:).
Awww. What a cute kitten.
Makes me want to book a ticket on GeorgiaSkies.
I’ve looked at all theri various name websites before including it’s own Pacific Wings for Hawaii and was never impressed by any of them. Don’t think I would ever use their service if I didn’t have to, and since most of the service (except within Hawaii) is a driveable distance, why would you need to.
To me it would make more sense to do as Cape Air does and use one name to establish a reputation and just fly in different areas of the company as Cape Air does.
The way PW does it, looks shady to me like some guy with an airplane makes up a name and flys here today and goes somewhere else tomorrow after they get your money. One solid name with reliable service can make a world of difference.
PacificWings has a bad habit of airing the dirty laundry publicly:
When GeorgiaSkies first started service to ATL, they got into a fight with the City Department of Aviation over gate and ticket counter space, so they flew out of an FBO ramp on the north side of the airport. No security needed on the Caravan flights, but having to take a bus to the terminal and go through security really took out the convenience of starting the trip at a regional airport. Today, they have counter space in the terminal, but the website lists their gate as the far, far north end of E Concourse, so I don’t know if it’s a hardstand operation or not.
GeorgiaSkies uses common use ticket counters (1 position, sometimes 2) in the North Terminal, and busses from E to a hard stand on Ramp 6 (northeast side of Concourse E).
I tried to look for tickets from Atlanta to Nashville on random days. Just for fun, to see the prices. No matter which day I chose it said “Sorry, there are not enough seats available.” I find it hard to believe.
It’s one thing to be cheeky or racy (ala Spirit). It’s an entirely different matter to be downright unprofessional. Hardly instills confidence in their operation.
These days it feels like most airlines air their dirty laundry in public. I guess it’s better to know too much rather than too little. Yet, it still seems like too many of them are getting away with dodgy behavior.
Heh… They’ve changed the cat on the homepage. Made it worse….
Seriously, who is in charge of this website? Sounds like someone of my generation who thinks he’s funny..
Regardless, makes the airline look bad. Award well deserved.
Kentucky? Where is that? Why would I want to go there? I think they have one of the world’s great distillerys – functioning in a ‘dry’ county. Perhaps that explains Kentucky.
I don’t care about Pacific Wing’s reasons for shoving so much hate in Kentucky’s ways, but frankly, it’s none of their business why anyone would want to visit Kentucky. And this kind of message seems awfully unprofessional on their part.
It’s worse now. It links to a snarky PowerPoint from the Boyd Group that tells both regional airlines and small airports “you’re doomed! DOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMED!”
That is quite harsh…and rahter funny actually