Cape Air — the only airline which currently serves the regional airport of Lebanon, New Hampshire — is offering holiday travelers last-minute flights to Boston and New York for only $12.00 per one-way flight.
This is not an airfare mistake. In fact, this airfare promotion is purposely being offered, and for a very good reason.
You see, in order to qualify for one million dollars in grant money by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States to help fund airport improvement projects, the airport in Lebanon, New Hampshire must have a minimum of 10,000 passengers depart from its airport within a year — hence the expiration of this last-minute promotion on December 31, 2012, or until all seats are sold.
One-way flights which qualify for the twelve dollar airfare normally sell for greater than ten times that amount. In fact, the flights are essentially free of charge plus the twelve dollars in taxes and fees…
…and if your flight lands in Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, ground transportation in a limousine to New York City is included in the $12.00 airfare.
The last time I was at the airport in Lebanon, New Hampshire was greater than 20 years ago — and I was a passenger on Northwest Airlines, so I earned WorldPerks frequent flier loyalty program miles. Cape Air does not initially seem to be affiliated with any frequent flier loyalty program — although it appears to operate flights as a United Connection carrier and apparently partners with jetBlue Airways. I am not sure that you can earn United Airlines MileagePlus frequent flier loyalty program miles on flights to Westchester County Airport in White Plains.
In fact, Cape Air has a disjointed route network split into five distinct areas which are not connected to each other: New England and New York, Florida, Caribbean, Midwest and Micronesia. Destinations include some very obscure airports in Massena, New York; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Rutland, Vermont; Rota in Micronesia; Marion, Illinois; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Kirksville, Missouri; and Ogdensburg, New York.
I have never knowingly flown as a passenger on Cape Air, but FlyerTalk members share their experiences on Cape Air from eight years ago. I cannot imagine that the flight experience has changed much — if at all…