Sunday, June 16, 2019

Gulf Coast 2019: Mobile Downtown Airport and Frontier Airlines

It has been many years since I lived in the Gulf Coast area and it was interesting to see how much it has changed since I lived there. We took advantage of Frontier Airline's direct flights between Denver and Mobile, Alabama.

The new direct flights between Denver and Mobile make use of the Mobile Downtown Airport (BFM) instead of the Mobile Regional Airport (BOM). This distinction is important because the Mobile Regional Airport is where most commercial flights (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines) arrive and leave from. We heard a family realize this difference when they arrived at Mobile Downtown Airport with their car rented at Mobile Regional Airport. Both of these Mobile airports are described on the Mobile Airport Authority website.

Neither Mobile airport is large, but the Mobile Downtown Airport is particularly small and there are some advantages to that. The Mobile Downtown Airport does have companies offering automobile rentals, but at the time of our travel there (early June 2019), the car rental agencies did not have marked spots yet for their rental cars. Instead, the rental cars were parked in the "long-term" parking. The long-term parking lot is further from the airport terminal than the short-term parking, but both are very close and not very large.

The baggage claim at the Mobile Downtown Airport is also new and hopefully will see significant improvement in the future. There were some rollers that were supposed to bring the luggage out, but they weren't working very well, so two employees helped them along and placed them on the ground for passengers to pick up.

When it was time to return to Denver, we arrived at the Mobile Downtown Airport more than two hours before departure time, but that really wasn't necessary. With ours being the only flight leaving the airport that day, everyone there was there for that flight. Even with a slow-moving TSA line, there wasn't much stress about missing a flight because everyone in line was going on the same flight!

The Mobile Downtown Airport currently only serves the Denver/Mobile Frontier flights and Frontier Airlines only offers the flight in each direction three times per week. The implication of this is that even when things don't run at their smoothest at this newly operating commercial airport, it's not too big of a deal because there is a relatively small number of people in the airport (just those arriving or departing).

Before Frontier Airlines began offering flights between Denver and Mobile, there were other flights to the Gulf Coast area including flights into and out of New Orleans and Penasacola. However, it is nice to now have direct flights between Denver and the Gulf Coast and I witnessed many people from Colorado enjoying visits to the Gulf Coast and many people from southern Alabama enjoying flights to the Rocky Mountains.

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