For the cost of a burger and beer, I bought an airline ticket.
That's right. I flew 667 miles, and it cost me only $10.
I am always looking for a good travel deal, and when I heard about Skybus Airlines, which offers at least 10 seats on each of its flights for $10, I went online and booked a ticket.
And that's the only way to buy a ticket. Skybus takes no-frills flying to a new level. Self-service is the theme here. The airline has no phone number. Passengers are encouraged to check themselves in online or at airport kiosks. About the only thing I didn't have to do was pilot the plane.
First Day of Flights
I decided to fly on the airline's first day of service. The airline is based in Columbus, Ohio, and all flights go through Columbus. I bought a ticket from Portsmouth, N.H., to Columbus, and then back again the next morning.
Both flights were comfortable, but unfortunately, the first one was not on time. The plane left 71 minutes late. Not a great start for a new airline.
Skybus' departure was big event. Most of the airport staff came out onto the tarmac to watch the flight. Even some Transportation Security Administration screeners came up to the windows to watch.
The plane — one of two new Airbus A319 jets leased from Virgin America — was roomy and quiet.
Skybus plans to lease 15 planes by the end of the year as it adds capacity. The planes have 144 seats, a few more seats than the typical Airbus A319. Skybus has a contract to buy 65 new jets from Airbus. Those planes will seat 156 passengers, making for an even tighter ride.
We'll see if this catches on. They are hampered by being based in Ohio, not to mention their food policy.
And like in movie theaters -- which also count on food sales to help their bottom line -- don't plan on brining your own food.
The airline's witty "rules of flying" state: "Oh, and don't sneak food onboard unless you brought enough for the whole plane."
"We're discouraging that because that's part of our profit model," Diffenderffer said. "But we're not food Nazis. Nobody's going to take away their sandwich."
I don't know about that, but if you are interested you can check them out here.