Lakeshore Express: Is this how the 1 percent flies?Saturday, January 28, 2012
Lakeshore Express might not be exactly the way the 1 percent flies, but it's just about as close as most of us in the 99 percent will ever get.
The new direct air service from Midway Airport to Pellston Regional Airport in northern Michigan runs on weekends and costs just $205 each way. Kids 12 and under fly free through March 18 when flying with a fare-paying adult.
Because the airline flies out of the charter operations building on the south side of Midway Airport (known as an FBO or fixed base operator), there are no long security lines. In fact, there is no security line at all, so there's no need to arrive two hours before your flight, empty your water bottle, take off your shoes or be sure you have followed the 3-1-1 rule.
Instead, the very pleasant flight attendant checks your ID against the passenger manifest and asks if you packed your own bag. Then an equally pleasant fellow collects the bags and stows them aboard while the passengers lounge around watching television and sipping the complimentary coffee.
On board, the drinks (including the alcoholic ones) are complimentary, the pretzels and peanuts come in full size bags and there's enough room between the seats to cross your legs, even if you don't happen to snag one of the exit row seats.
On the return flight, we drank the free coffee and waited on the comfy couches at the Pellston Airport until the freezing rain ended and the plane was de-iced before walking the sort distance to the plane (no enclosed walk-ways for this carrier--plan to walk across the pavement and up the stairs to board). The slick surface was a challenge--until the pilot gave me his arm to help steady me.
Really. The pilot helped me. Definitely not the kind of customer service we 99 percenters are used to from other airlines.