My family and I recently had the chance to ride the the new air service to and from Miles City on Great Lakes. It was interesting, to say the least, but still better than nuthin'!
We flew into Denver last Thursday with plans to connect to the 12:30 pm departure to Miles City. I think that flight is via Chadron, NE. Got to the gate, checked in and were waiting around when the gate agent approached us and advised us that the flight into Miles City had been canceled, or more specifically, "overflown." They said the weather was too poor in MC.
I looked into it a bit as to why it was "overflown" but honestly have not called the airport to ask further questions. I can come up with a few theories, braking action on the runway, icing in the area, or icing on the ground with no de-ice/anti-ice facilities available. Another theory is the revenue simply wasn't there and they decided it wasn't worth it.
We were told we would be put on the 5:30 pm flight, which was already behind by 2 hours, getting us to Miles around 10 pm. Having some flexability in our plans, we boarded a Frontier Lynx Dash-8 Q400 and rode that to Billings where Dad picked us up. We were in Miles by 7 p.m. on good roads.
We flew out yesterday morning on the 5:05 am flight. There were 4 other passengers on the flight. TSA has security in Miles, so you don't have to re-clear in DEN. We blasted off on a 20 minute flight into Gillette, and my little boy got sick at the end. A little warm and a little squirrelly in the back for his tummy. 15 minutes on the ground and off to Denver, scheduled 1 hour leg. All things told, we got to Denver early, parking at 7 a.m. A pleasant flight.
I wish there was a vending machine on the secure side of security. It is tough to go 2 or 2.5 hours that early in the morning with nothing to eat or drink. Also, the 1900 has no bathroom, so you have to watch your personal consumption. (You wouldn't believe the horror/humor stories I have heard from old 1900 pilots.) I am not sure if they would have let you off in Gillette to use the bathroom, but I would guess they would.
We would do it again. All of the people at Great Lakes were very nice and accommodating. It was a little bothersome to have the flight canceled, but the old saying is, "Time to spare, go by air."
[This message has been edited by M T Zook (edited 1/14/2009).]