New flights at SLO Airport offers travel alternative to students

Many Cal Poly students drive home for the holidays or long weekends. However going home to San Diego for example can often take up to six hours of driving. For out of state students it may also involve a Rideshare to LA or San Francisco airport before they can even fly home. 

As of October the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport added flights to Las Vegas, NV, this past January, flights to San Diego, CA; and in June will have flights to Portland, OR making going home much easier, convenient, and potentially cheaper.

“The largest out of state markets for Cal Poly now have at least one flight a day,” says Airport Director Kevin Bumen, “and that’s important to the university as they continue to host out of state students, air service into the market is really important, so we are proud to be supporting the university that way.”

Mustang News reporter Cydney Melton said “the most interesting thing I learned during the story process was that the airport uses air service consultants and data of other routes taken by travelers to decide which direct flight would be the most beneficial to the most amount of people; then they recommend these flights to the airlines.” 

Bumen says, “ultimately, the airlines make the decisions. So as an airport, we don’t set prices, we don’t set schedules, we assist and work with the airlines in understanding the market and then essentially advocating for the service that we think is best for the region.” 

It was very interesting to hear about the changes being made at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, the flight additions and the future plans for the airport. As well as talk to students about what they think of these new flights.

Through research and interviews we found fraternities use buses to get to Las Vegas which can take 15-plus hours of travel both ways. Business administration senior and member of Delta Chi fraternity Vince DeSantis said, “given how much time I’d gain in Vegas, I’d spend a couple hundred dollars to fly.” 

As part of my role I was required to research and put together a list of background information about our topic and ensure my group was well prepared and organized. I found that my group and I all had first hand experience making long treks or live in cities where there are now flights being offered for as much as the cost of gas getting there.

“I enjoyed taking photos for this story because I got to capture the atmosphere of the SLO airport and set the scene for the readers to get visuals of the story as they read it.” said Mustang News reporter Christina Arthur.

Mustang News reporter Olivia Nelson said, “although I consider myself a strong writer, writing the piece was a challenge. I haven’t written news-style in quite some time, probably since 352 with Pat, so it was hard for a bit to get back into that journalistic mode. I did really enjoy writing the piece though, and ended up pretty happy with the final product!”

I believe my group and I work really well together and help each other out in areas we may not be as strong. I think all of the pieces came together nicely. The infographic does a great job illustrating the time and cost it takes to get to San Diego, CA; Las Vegas, NV; and Portland OR in car vs train. I also think the social video and video visually compliments the written component perfectly. Overall, it was very eye-opening to see how all of the roles are crucial in the success of our project.