Terminal building at Bob Hope Airport
A week ago we were wending our way home from green and sunny Los Angeles (now we’ve got snow again in Iowa grrrr) and appreciating the ease of traveling through the Burbank “Bob Hope” Airport. It cost considerably more to fly home from Burbank rather than LAX but man was it worth it – considering that we had a 3 p.m. flight (rather than the early morning flights available from LAX) and the airport is about 10 minutes from my brother’s house in Burbank. It’s a surprisingly tiny, pokey place – reminds me of Des Moines’ airport before it got bigger and busier. (Oddly our plane from Burbank to Denver was much smaller than the plane from Denver to Des Moines. )
One other tip: it pays to ask when you’re dealing with a tight connection in Denver. We chanced a 35-40 minute connection between United flights in Denver and even though our flight left almost on time from Burbank (10 minutes late technically), making our connecting flight was touch-and-go. The connecting flight was in the same Terminal B but about 60 gates away. I ended up asking an airport employee standing behind a desk with a disabled sign on it how long it would take to get to that far-away gate and without batting an eyelash, he offered to drive us in his cart – which saved the day. We got to the gate as people were boarding. (He did accept a tip – we weren’t sure of the protocol.)
||March 16, 1967
As word comes from today’s DMRegister that there’ s talk of trying to expand the selection of direct Southwest flights out of Des Moines (Orlando and St. Louis but no promises and would happen, at the earliest next summer), I’ve been thinking about advice I’d give to people flying Southwest out of DSM right now – based on my first trial run earlier this month. And here it is:
– Although Southwest offers no fee to check your luggage (how refreshing), I am glad I didn’t check mine because if I had I wouldn’t have been able to switch flights in Las Vegas at the last minute after my LAX flight was delayed and I hopped aboard a Burbank flight. Or so I gather. The first question the counter agent asked me after I inquired about switching was whether I’d checked my luggage. I hadn’t and miraculously I was en route to Burbank minutes later. When I got to Burbank, I received another update on my original LAX flight. It still hadn’t left Vegas, delayed over 2 hours and counting…
– Paying the extra $12 or so to get priority boarding was definitely worth it!! Otherwise it is essential to check in as close as possible to exactly 24 hours before flight time so you get a good position in line, preferably A group or failing that B group but NOT C group. Those folks get the middle seats and there’s less likelihood, if the plane is booked, of getting an overhead spot to stow their luggage. The one flight I didn’t take and pay the extra $12 I got an A44 number in line – not bad. And I ended up with a good aisle seat close to the front of the plane (so I could exit quickly and make my connection).
– Speaking of connections, in Las Vegas my flight arrived in the C terminal and I had to haul a** to make my connecting flight in the B terminal, which seemed like miles away (with only a few moveable walkways). The slot machines strewed in the corridors didn’t help as I had knots of people to get around while dragging my suitcase. I don’t know if this is always the case on the DSM-Vegas-LA flight. (The one I took was at noon on a Friday out of DSM.)
– My connection at Chicago’s Midway was much much better – the Seattle-Midway flight landed in a gate only three gates away from the Midway-Des Moines flight. Yippee!! (This was on the 2:30 Wednesday flight from Seattle to Midway and the 9:30 pm flight from midway to dsm.)
Another thing to love about Southwest: their flexibility. Yesterday when I realized that my connecting flight from Vegas to LA was going to be delayed yet another hour due to mechanical problems with the plane back in Tucson, I decided it was time to act. I tried to get on an earlier LAX flight which was oversold but the airline said I could give it a shot…and not loose my seat on my scheduled flight. No extra cost. No hassles. What a delightful change from other airlines which are rarely so flexible and would charge extra to change my ticket. Even more amazing, as i was,rushing back across the airport to see if I could get,on the earlier LAX flight, I passed a gate where a flight to Burbank was boarding. I remembered that my brother lived even closer to Burbank than LAX so,I dashed over to the desk, asked,if there were any seats left and once again, was told it was oversold but worth a try. A few minutes later , my name was called and an hour later I was at the Burbank airport when I got a,text saying my original flight still had not left Vegas. Even though Burbank was more expensive, no one said a word about charging me more or not letting me on the flight. Talk about a good way to build brand loyalty! meanwhile here (see photo) is the reason why I am now staying in a sweet bungalow in Toluca Lake with my brother and his family. Beautiful,area by the way. We walked in some lovely residential areas, passing houses owned by movie stars like Steve Carrell and even sawmthe house that was used as the exterior for the brady bunch!