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K Marx The Spot

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24 August 2009

Turn Off Your Non-Electronic Devices

Ever wonder why the print media seems moribund? Maybe it's not the media. Maybe it's the editing! Our latest case in point: Business Week, which is supposedly up for sale, may be showing why no sale has yet occurred. A recent issue talked about small airports so ineptly that it was noteworthy, even for the magazine that features the columnar stylings of Jack and Suzy Welch.

In the past 18 months alone, airports in nearly 100 cities, including Springfield, Mass., saw their last remaining carrier pull out (though some, including White Sulphur Springs, have regained limited service).

When I read that, I thought it peculiar. The main airport that serves Springfield, Massachusetts is Bradley International, about 20 miles away by car in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. (Bradley is about equidistant from Springfield and Hartford and this serves two smaller markets fairly well, or at least well enough to still have some international flights.)

Springfield itself does not have an airport and has not had one in recent memory. But, aha! The old Westover air base, 8 miles from Springfield, was in fact used sporadically for 2 decades until 2008 as a commercial airport. Its last tenant was Skybus, the low-cost carrier that specialized in not just third-rate airport locations but also a bizarre pay scheme that paid flight attendants $9 per hour plus 10% commission on their in-flight sales.

But not even Skybus referred to Westover as "Springfield"; instead, it was "Hartford (Chicopee)."

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Posted by Tim W at 8/24/2009 09:55:00 PM

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