An airport you can (NOT) count on
Today was a beautiful summer afternoon with light breezes and warm clear skies as we walked up towards the terminal at Mammoth-Yosemite Airport. A fellow walking out stopped us saying “L.A.?” Referring to whether that was where we were headed. “Cancelled.” What? He said he was told the plane was “broken down in Mexico.” He also mentioned that this was the third time he’s had a flight canceled during with this same “broken down in Mexico” line. He believes they do it when they don’t have enough passengers booked for a given flight. Inside, we’re confirmed that the flight is canceled and that there’s nothing they can do to help rebook the two other connecting flights that my girlfriend will have to reschedule. Love that kind of service. Not to mention the doctor’s appointment and hotel reservation that will now also have to be changed. A courtesy call hours earlier would sure’ve been nice. Could’ve just driven to L.A. with more notice. In fact it seems really poor that there wasn’t an earlier phone call if the flight really was broken down in Mexico, they would’ve known for hours. Then a friend of ours happens to walk in only to find out that now he too will have to change his plans and instead drive the 5 hours to LAX because he can just barely make it in time for his flight at 11pm. Thanks Alaska Airlines for screwing up peoples schedules to save a few bucks of operation cost. Perhaps someone needs to make a more honest assessment of the viability of Mammoth-Yosemite Airport. Once we talk with our booking agent she says in no uncertain terms that the plane is not broken down in Mexico, they simply didn’t have enough passengers and canceled the flight. That’s service you canNOT count on.
My girlfriend has flown in and out of Mammoth-Yosemite Airport a total of 4 times. Last time there was a wind cancellation on her return flight forcing her to wait in the Bay Area for 4 days for the next flight, and this time, with no notice there’s a cancellation of her departure flight throwing her entire travel plan out the window. 50% success rate so far for her is really really bad when it comes to making critical plans. Then you factor in that one of the times she did land was probably the scariest landing of her life. And she’s flown laps around the world in airmiles.
Clearly, no matter how beautiful the flight is, or how good that free beer might taste, you can’t count on Mammoth-Yosemite Airport. If you’re setting up travel plans that don’t have room for error, save yourself the stress and don’t bother. Go to Reno, drive to L.A., or San Francisco. Go to a real airport, and leave our little hobby airport for the times that don’t matter so much. You’ll likely save money in the process since rescheduling costs lots of money and headaches.