Group Seeking Reliable Chattanooga Air Service Asks Task Force Be Formed On The Issue

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A group seeking more reliable air service out of Chattanooga is asking for the creation of a task force to work on the issue.

Carlene Vital of Chattanoogan’s for Reliable Transportation also asked that Delta Airlines officials be invited to Chattanooga to discuss upgrading the service.

Ms. Vital included comments from a host of local airline travelers on the subject.

She sent this letter:

Dan Jacobson, Chairman of the Board

Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority

Board of Commissioners

Terry Hart, President, CEO

Gentlemen and Ladies,

On behalf of the over 200 signers of the attached petition titled, Chattanoogan’s for Reliable Transportation and the over 250 Facebook supporters, we would like to challenge you to work with Delta Airlines and its carriers to improve air service in Chattanooga.

Understandably, reliable and predictable air service is impacted by many factors including weather, maintenance, scheduled delays, etc. We accept an occasional interruption. However, the public’s tolerance has reached maximum frustration. The absence of reliable and predictable service is constantly impairing business connections and travelers who want the convenience of the Chattanooga Airport. The ability to schedule flights and meet connecting service has become impossible and the ability to return from Atlanta has become totally unpredictable.

We hereby request, in an effort to make Chattanooga Airport a viable option for travel, that this Board and the management of the airport begin immediate dialogue with Delta Airlines and its carriers to improve public service. We challenge you to create a task force comprised of members of the three area Chambers of Commerce, business leaders, major employers, and consumer advocates. We ask that you invite the necessary decision makers from Delta Airlines to come and visit the Chattanooga Airport.

The recent renovations and aesthetic improvements to the Airport, though impressive, are not an investment with a return if we do not have reliable and predictable service for the traveling public and the business community. The time has come to work with Delta Airlines and its carriers to improve customer service.

Please read the many individual comments by petitioners that express their concerns and frustrations. We stand ready to assist the Airport Authority in making Chattanooga Airport a viable choice for air travel.

We look forward to your response.


Carlene C. Vital

Name Location Date Comment

Christina Olvey Fayetteville, GA 2014-02-11 We will not use Chattanooga's airport for business because it is too unreliable.

Todd Bradley Cohutta, GA 2014-02-12 I am a diamond medallion with Delta and need the reliability from Chattanooga connections for my international flights out of ATL.

Drew Aultman Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-12 Travel is important to me for business and personal reasons. Having reliable and dependable air service to and from Atlanta is a reasonable expectation.

Franklin Farrow Ooltewah, TN 2014-02-12 We need consistent service from Chattanooga. Bad for economy and business growth to have cancelled flights multiple times a week.Linda Shriver-Buckner Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-12 In order to attract more businesses to our community we need reliable air service. In addition, it's been an inconvenience to me on several occasions.

Jeanie Hammond Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-12 To make connections for other plane schedules in other cities.

Donna Foster Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-12 My husband and I travel frequently and would find it helpful to be able to fly from Chattanooga as opposed to driving to ATL, BNA or Knoxville. Reliable transport is essential when you need to connect through a hub!

Austin Garrett Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-13 Consistently poor air service and management is causing tremendous economic loss to the Chattanooga area.

Georgia O'Brien Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-13 The trips we take are generally for business and we plan the trips perfectly for arriving at meetings. The delay has caused me and my husband missed meetings, appointments and delayed scheduling, which hurts business and the bottom line dollar.

Christine Jones Billerica, MA 2014-02-14 My best friend travels to see me from Tennessee

Mary Kay Hiatt Hixson, TN 2014-02-18 I have recently been driving to Knoxville Tyson airport as service in Chattanooga is often unreliable.

Roger Brown Lookout Mountain, GA 2014-02-18 In retirement, my ability to make dependable travel plans is very important to me, my friends, and family. Airlines who operate out of Lovell Field should
make the appropriate commitments to courteous, reliable, and on-time flights.

Suzanne Keeton Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-18 To avoid security through Atlanta airport!!! We NEED reliable flights!

Del Wilson Knoxville, TN 2014-02-18 Tired of either missing connections or having to run through Atlanta because the flight was delayed and barely making my connection.

Jace Michaels CLEVELAND, TN 2014-02-18 I'm directly impacted by UN-reliable air service in Chattanooga each and EVERY week.

Gwen Tidwell Signal Mountain, TN 2014-02-19 I've sat in the Atlanta airport too many times trying to get home. And I've say in Atlanta's airport too often waiting on another flight due to a delayed or
cancelled flight from Chattanooga. It is a chronic problem.

Phyllis Alexander San Francisco, CA 2014-02-19 My aging family lives there and when I have to go it's usually a crisis. I can drive from Atlanta and if the plane is held up for too long it's faster.

Lori Hairrell Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-19 Time is money!!! Flights are expensive but so is my time paying for parking, waiting on flights, running to connectors and stressing over delayed flights,
missed meetings, and hotels.

John Meek Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-19 Often delayed by hours, especially on flight from Atlanta back to Chattanooga.

matthew raulston chattanooga, TN 2014-02-20 This is important to me because it's important to the livelihood of our city. Delta's strategy thus far is to schedule multiple flights in and out of Chattanooga to Atlanta. Delta then proceeds to fly the first flight and the last flight and cancels the flights in between bumping passengers. This is the norm. I firmly believe the statistics will show this happens on more than half of the flights between Chattanooga and Atlanta. I've experienced 2 flights out of about a dozen that have flown on time between the 2 airports.

Kemp Harr Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-22 I make about 40 air trips a year and over the years, the lack of dependable air service in and out of Chattanooga has forced me to use Nashville for almost half my trips. Many of my trips are international and since I can't depend on the regional carrier to get me to my international flight, I usually drive. This is a shame because Atlanta's new International terminal is very nice.

Gary Lander Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-22 I still use a travel agent who recommends Delta through Atlanta for many of the destinations we need, and reliability has been a continuing stressful issue since
we first encountered ASA the weekend Delta left and ASA took over, in 1997, I believe. It is no coincidence that Groome and other shuttle services began here soon after ASA took over. I have experienced occasional problems when using US Air, but not at the level Delta has provided over the years. As a retiree with more discretion over travel planning than when I was traveling for business (law practice), I always look at options to avoid flying in and out of CHA, even if only to use Groome to ATL to take Delta from there.

Paul Gregory Troon, United Kingdom 2014-02-22 I have friends in Chattanooga and I would like to visit them sometime.

Kathy O'Brien Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-22 I travel for business weekly in and out of Chattanooga almost exclusively on Delta. The unreliability of the Delta and Delta partner flights causes significant
interruption for my business as well as my family. Too many times I have missed meetings because of cancellations or delays or had to find alternate transportation home from Atlanta due to cancellations, mostly due to mechanical problems. My clients do not want to travel to Chattanooga because of the unreliable flights. This is a poor reflection on our city which has so much to offer - other than reliable air transportation.

jessica watson spring city, TN 2014-02-22 INSANELY inconvenient everytime my husband flies out for business. We have to plan our day/ down to the hour on whether his flights will be consistant....

Richard Ellis Hixson, TN 2014-02-22 My Chattanooga company spends more than $250,000 on air travel, almost all on Delta, and much of which is wasted when the flights are frequently delayed or cancelled. It is very, very frustrating for our employees as well.

west oehmig Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-23 Travel is my business!

Garrett Lam Signal Mountain, TN 2014-02-23 Multiple delay or cancellations coming intron& leaving CHA such that we research flights 1st out from BNA & Knoxville before CHA

Cindy Lowery Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-23 I fly in and out of Chattanooga both for business and pleasure. My last business meeting was two weeks ago in New Orleans, and my company had me fly out of Nashville to avoid delay or cancellation. It is pretty embarrassing that you can't even use your home city's air service!

Kurtis Morris chattanooga, TN 2014-02-23 Fly frequently for business, and I need reliable service.

Steve Jordan Ooltewah, TN 2014-02-23 I have been dumped by Delta on many occaisions trying to get to ATL or back. Groome Transportation is stored in my phone.

Ellen Robinson Lookout Mountain, GA 2014-02-24 Because chose to fly out of Chattanooga for an international flight, but now I'm afraid the connection from Chattanooga will cause me to miss my flight from Atlanta. I wish I had chosen to drive to Atlanta!

ark McKnight Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-24 We need to be able to fly in and out and do business without delays. Cut flights if you have to, but run the ones you sell. If we wanted to take the shuttle or drive to Atlanta, we wouldn't have purchased plane tickets!

Jill Thompson Red Bank, TN 2014-02-25 I have had multiple problems but most recently a very upsetting experience attempting to get 8 individuals to our expensive cruise before it left. The cancellations are random and the Delta staff in Chattanooga seemed unable to assist. I travel with my 1 year old son so reliability matters and driving to Atlanta is hard on him just to get started to our final destination. I love travel and I love Chattanooga and I think we should be able to trust a name such as Delta.

Kim Reason Chattanooga, TN 2014-02-25 I recently received poor service from a Delta agent who was powerless or perhaps poorly trained to handle a very stressful situation. He did the best he could, but it left such a bad taste in my mouth I will hesitate to fly out of Chattanooga if I can avoid it in the future.

Amy Longshore Ooltewah, TN 2014-02-25 Myself and a group of my friends were going on a cruise in February. Delta stated there would be a delay due to maintenance issues. We were re-booked on a different flight and then were told that the maintenance staff did not show up until 8:00 which meant our second flight would be delayed. We were shuttled down to Atlanta where we finally caught a flight. Because of this delay all of us almost missed our cruise. We only had an hour left to board the ship
by the time we arrived at our destination, when we should have been there for at least 5 hours.

Anita Frazier Soddy Daisy, TN 2014-03-02 I have been delayed numerous times from CHA to ATL and after spending over 6 hours in ATL 2 years ago, I had enough of Delta. However, I just returned from a business trip to Hartford,CT on US Air and it was NO better! I spent 7 hours in CHAR airport!  Connections to/from CHAT are TERRIBLE! A beautiful, GREAT city, but a nightmare to flight to/from !!!

Tom Quillen Hixson, TN 2014-03-02 So that prospective businesses will not reject us because we have substandard air service. And also we might lose American Eagle too it seems so it would be really, really bad if Delta does not upgrade their service to CHA.

joe Scruggs Chattanooga, TN 2014-03-05 Tired of having to make all the arrangements to fly out of Atlanta because of poor service locally! We need more direct service (non-stop) service to other
areas of the country!

ALLIE FINKELL chattanooga, TN 2014-03-05 I travel for business 3 times a month or more and have had to start driving to Atlanta since I cannot depend on the Chattanooga to Atlanta connection. I would love to send my business back through the local airport, but won't be able to justify doing so until service improves.

Bonnie Nelson Chattanooga, TN 2014-03-05 I fly regularly and flying in and out of Chattanooga is often filled with delays and headaches.

Heather Willis Chattanooga, TN 2014-03-05 I moderately travel for work, and it'd be nice to not have to drive to Atlanta to get a reliable flight.

Jeffery Compton Chattanooga, TN 2014-03-06 My travel schedule is important to me.

Barb Bowen Chattanooga, TN 2014-03-08 We travel and to attract major corporations to Chattanooga they have to be able to travel conveniently and reliably.

Mike Middleton Hixson, TN 2014-03-20 Having reliable air service is essential to any community.

Jon Allen Ooltewah, TN 2014-03-25 We have had to take ground transportation or have been stuck in Chattanooga multiple times.

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