Since moving back home to Bakersfield from Los Angeles in 1992, I've logged more than two million air miles and 700-plus business trips. I prefer to fly through Meadows Field, but this choice has become increasingly difficult for my frequent business travel. First, only seven daily flights and no evening departures greatly limit my options. For example, if I desire an overnight flight to a city in the east, I have to leave my home at 3 p.m. for a 4 p.m. American flight to Phoenix, then sit for five hours waiting for a connecting flight. LAX provides many more options, and I can leave my Bakersfield home at 8 p.m., wasting a lot less of my valuable time. When I returned to Bakersfield in the 1990s there were more than 20 daily flights, including several through LAX and SFO. Yes, the aircrafts were smaller, but as a business traveler that frequency was invaluable.
For years I found BFL fares were typically the same or within $150 of LAX options. However over the past few years I am frequently finding BFL fares $400 to $600 and higher, particularly when I have to book on short notice, as business travelers often must do. Combine poor schedules with higher costs, and I have gone from 90 percent of my travel originating at Meadows Field, to less than 50 percent. I have voiced my concerns with Meadows Field administration via its website contact form several times and have never received a response.
Bill Miller, Bakersfield