Living in a remote area has its perks. We are surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the state, and all too often I find myself taking the majestic redwood trees for granted. Unlike much of the rest of California, there is basically no traffic. It’s wonderful.

But there is a flip side. Traveling anywhere is a chore. We have to fly regionally to San Francisco or Los Angeles on a SkyWest regional hop and then connect to wherever we need to go. And tickets can be obscenely expensive. Thank goodness for miles.

Changing Up The Work Travel MO

Besides the cost of traveling out of our tiny regional airport, reliability is a big issue. Many flights are delayed, and over 4% are canceled (although it feels like much more than that). While the cost of departing our local airport isn’t often an issue for business travel, the reliability is far more worrisome. I find myself driving over 4 hours to my favorite California airport instead of taking a local hop. To date, ~20% of all flights I’ve booked between ACV and SFO have been canceled. More have been outrageously delayed. Those aren’t good odds.

But this time I’ve decided to roll the dice with United once again. The main reason? Our new Denver connection. I’d forgotten that United launched ACV-DEN service. Rather than the typical two-stop itinerary I’m used to flying, I will have a far more ideal single connection when flying to Ohio in a couple weeks.

I feel like I am cheating on Delta, my favorite U.S. airline, but the convenience is huge. But there is yet another reason I’m excited to book this itinerary.

an airplane on the tarmac

The Best Part: Supporting Local Air Service

Our tiny airport has struggled to maintain reliable air service. United has served us faithfully for years, but the ticket prices can be obscene. However, things have gotten far better during the past couple years, as we’ve added nonstop service to both Los Angeles and now Denver.

Booking the ticket via Denver gave we quite a sense of satisfaction. I’m thrilled to be supporting the efforts of our local Fly Humboldt organization that has courted both new carriers and additional United connections for us. While we have been unsuccessful with the former, it is nice to now have three different options out of ACV. I know. Most of you have way more than that. I’m stoked that we have more than one option, which was the case for years.

The Denver service is new, and I’m not sure how the numbers look yet, but I hope to be able to do my part to help it stick around! If the on-time statistics are good for the Denver hop, I might make it the new standard. My only gripe is that it’s operated by a CRJ-200.