You Can Get There From Here

by Noah Talbott

Vacation air travel can be a huge hassle. When looking to fly to your vacation destination, though you prefer to fly out of Lehigh Valley International, that usually means a connecting flight to Philly or Newark.  In order to get a non-stop flight, you have to drive an hour and a half. Using general aviation, you have access to thousands of nonstop destinations not easily reached by the airlines.  While many airlines offer direct flights to vacation hot spots, there are more than a few locations where they can’t go non-stop. Take Key West for example. Many airlines provide flights in and out of the island; however, none are non-stop from our area. This is due to the shorter runway in Key West. Larger commercial aircraft cannot safely take off and land. Most carriers will have a connecting flight near the Miami area, where you will be required to board a smaller aircraft or finish with a long drive.  General aviation aircraft are able to fly into Key West direct from anywhere in the Northeast.  Another great vacation spot is St. Simons Island in Georgia.  SSI is a prime location next to several resorts and golf courses.

While there is an airport on the island, no airline offers commercial flights to this location. Once again, this is due to a short runway.  Airlines will fly into Brunswick airport, just north of the island, requiring another drive to get to your ultimate destination.

Often with air travel, you will find delays at major airports. Whether it is a departure or an arrival delay, it can cost you valuable time. Luckily, there are many smaller airports around major cities that make traveling easier through private aviation. Unlike the airlines, which are restricted to a set schedule and routing, a private aircraft is able to skirt around delays by choosing an alternate airport that is less congested.  From there, operators are able to help arrange ground transportation to take you to your final destination, often getting you there before the airline has even taken off.

If you have ever thought of taking a destination vacation out of the country, you may know how difficult it can be to ensure you have the proper paperwork (don’t forget your passport or visa!) and find flights that work around your travel dates. Private aviation is here to make international trip planning a breeze. One of the more increasingly popular destinations is Cuba. Since the travel restrictions to Cuba have been eased, many have engaged in the idea of “stepping back in time” and visiting the quaint island. Being that the travel restrictions have just recently been lifted, it may be confusing as to what information you need to provide before your trip. While general “tourism” is still not allowed, there are certain categories of travel that may apply to you such as “people to people,” where you will be interacting with locals and learning about their culture. Let general aviation operators help you through the process of confirming which category you could fall under. Most operators have contacts in Cuba to even help plan your day to day itinerary and make the most of your visit.

There is no need to worry about visas and other requirements. Provide the flight operator with your passport information and everything else is handled for you. Upon landing in Cuba, you will find all customs and immigration paperwork has been filed accordingly, and you can be on your way to an exciting adventure. The same applies to your return flight back to the States.  A U.S. Customs agent will meet you plane-side and clear you on location. No more waiting in long lines to be seen by the next available agent. You can be on your way home from a relaxing vacation less than ten minutes after landing.

Whether you are looking for the most direct flight or are planning an international trip, call your local general aviation operator, LR Services, and explore a new kind of travel that is easier, faster and smarter!

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