Saturday, January 14, 2006

115. Flying Locally

Here is a bit of a puzzle. Bering Airlines flies here twice a day. Their main office for this route is in Kotzebue. They fly a circle: sometimes they go Kotzebue – Buckland – Deering - Kotzebue, sometimes they go Kotzebue – Deering – Buckland – Kotzebue. They decide about half an hour before each flight which of these routes they will fly. If you are flying in or out of Kotzebue, that is fine. But what do you do if you want to go between Deering and Buckland (or vise vera)? You can’t be sure the plane will fly that way. You could take the morning flight from Deering to Kotzebue and then the afternoon flight from Kotzebue to Buckland, but then you have to pay the airfare from Deering to Kotzebue (about $100) and then the airfare from Kotzebue from Buckland (about $100) instead of just paying the airfare from Deering to Buckland (about $50). So you have to pay four times as much, in addition to dedicating the whole day to get to a village about 45 miles away. I have no immediate plans to fly to Buckland. School administrators sometimes have to when making rounds of the schools.

It has a lot to do with cargo and passengers. If they have a lot of cargo and passengers for BKC then then they will go OTZ-BKC-DRG-OTZ. If they have a lot of cargo and passengers for DRG they will go OTZ-DRG-BKC-OTZ. IF they have a bunch of people going from DRG to BKC then they will go OTZ-DRG-BKC-OTZ.........but most of the time they seem to go OTZ-BKC-DRG-OTZ because usually there are OTZ-BKC passengers and cargo than there is OTZ-DRG or DRG-BKC. Make sense?
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