If you are a business traveler needing to commute to New Orleans all the hype about GLO Airlines may sound great but be disappointing in reality. On December 14 GLO will commence direct service from Shreveport to the Big Easy and back; but don’t count it being a duplicate replacement for the long defunct Royal Airlines.
GLO , an acronym that has not been defined, is a Louisiana-owned and based startup public charter service. GLO’s press release says advises is “it is a quality alternative to business and leisure travelers who have
been relegated to multi-stop flights and exhausting road travel due to the absence of nonstop air service connecting the northern part of the state to the south.”
And in somewhat of a stretch, the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau says that travelers for business meetings can save time—“If it was a mid-day or night meeting, in the past, that meant an overnight stay. Now that is not the case.” A close scrutiny of the flight times seemingly does not support that glowing assertion by Brandy Evans, the Bureau’s vice president of communications.
The flights are scheduled to start on December 14. The first flight leaves Shreveport at 11:25 am and arrives at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport at 12:46 pm. The second flight leaves Shreveport at 6:40 pm with arrival time of 8:01 pm.
Going the other way, i.e. from NOLA to Shreveport, the first flight leaves on December 15 with a NOLA departure time of 9:30 am with Shreveport arrival at 10:51 am. The second flight leaves NOLA at 4:45 pm arriving in Shreveport at 6:06 pm.
The flights are not cheap. A startup promotion (as per a telecon with GLO reservations) prices tickets at $163 each way; perhaps the $163 quote did not include taxes? The regular fare was quoted at $200 each way. An article in The Forum quoted a promotional fare of $189 (tax included). A GLO spokesman was quoted saying that the promotional price (whatever the total amount will be) is expected to run into the spring, but that “ it will not be available on every flight every day. If your flight doesn’t have the promotional fare, try a different fl
ight or a different way.” So much for certainty for the business traveler or tourist on a budget.
In the “old days” meaning when Royal Airlines was operating, business travelers could make a one day trip to Baton Rouge or New Orleans—leaving early from Shreveport (like before 7:30) and getting back by 8 pm. These flight allowed for the customary time expended from touchdown of the plane to de-boarding, and cab time to the business district of either city. Thus business travelers could usually expect 5 or more “good hours” to actually complete work before catching a cab back to the airport. Thus, overnight stays were rarely needed unless inclement weather was a problem—which is more often the case with the turboprops utilized by Royal and now by GLO than with jets utilized by main stream air carriers.
Reviewing the flight times of GLO and calculating commute time from airport to the central business district of the Big Easy, it is readily apparent that an overnight stay will be the norm for business travelers, not the exception, And in fact a business traveler will lose the better part of 2 working days from time he leaves his office or home on the day of the flight to NOLA and then when he gets back to his office on the second day. Time IS money in the business sector and GLO does not offer substantial time savings over travel by car.
GLO Airlines flights to NOLA will certainly help the tourism business in that city and Shreveport also-more hotel nights and dinners. How much it will really help the business community of both cities is an uncertain. What is known at this type that all the hype over GLO is just that—but what else can really be expected from the tourist bureaus of both cities?