Continental Airlines Ends Boise Flights

Continental Airlines plans to discontinue its Boise flights after Sept. 20, Continental spokesman David Messing said. The airline makes one daily round-trip flight between Boise and Houston, Messing said.

Boise travelers who want to fly to the southeastern U.S. will now have to use Delta's flight to Atlanta, Boise Airport spokesperson Larissa Stouffer said. Continental's Boise-to-Houston flights were usually full, Stouffer said. "It's not a supply and demand thing," she said. The route hasn't been profitable for Continental, Messing said. Continental hasn't been able to charge a high enough fare and still get the passenger levels it needs to offer the flight. "We need to focus on achieving sustained profitability at our company," Messing said. "Therefore, we're unable to continue operating a route like this, which contributes little to our bottom line."

Continental will help any customers who already purchased tickets for flights after Sept. 20 to rebook on other flights or their money will be refunded, Messing said. Frequent fliers will be able to redeem their miles on Delta or Northwest, he said.

The airline's decision compounds bad news for the Boise Airport, which was ranked lowest among small airports in a J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction survey in late June. Boise ranked 654 on a 1,000-point scale, lower than 17 other airports with fewer than 10 million passengers. Travelers gave the Boise Airport low marks for long wait times at baggage claim, as well as for airport security and check-in counters, said Jim Gaz, senior director of travel and entertainment for J.D. Power. Out of eight categories, including an airport's immigration and customs, terminal facilities, and retail shops, the only category in which the Boise Airport didn't rank lower than average was in food and beverage, Gaz said.

The firm was a little surprised by Boise's ranking this year, Gaz said. "They've historically done quite well in the study," he said. The ranking is disappointing, Stouffer said, but she says it's unfair to judge the Boise Airport too harshly when numerous other small airports in the U.S. were not included in the study. "It's an unfortunate ranking based on the perceptions of 116 people," she said. If service were really poor at the Boise Airport, she said airport staff would probably be hearing about it.

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