Flying to Work

NealRomeoGolf

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Unless something goes sideways, I will be picking up a six month contract next week that will require me to travel regularly to the middle of nowhere. This middle of nowhere town does have an airport with approaches. For purposes of non-disclosure, can't tell you exactly where. Here is my conundrum:

Flying commercially would take me 6.5 hours (not including travel to the airport and being early to check in) on the outbound (one connection) and then I'd have a 90 minute drive to the town with a rental car. The outbound would be a Sunday afternoon. Inbound (going home) takes 6 hours, but the last flight I could get home leaves at 1:30pm which is not ideal. I'd have to drive the 90 minutes and be an hour before the flight. You basically lose that day going home.

Flying myself is a 4 hour flight. But once I get to the airport, it is a 3.5 mile distance to get into town. There are no rental cars. I could bring a bike, but the US highway that gets you into town has no shoulder. The town supposedly has a crew car and I'd have to ask them if I could have it for the week while I'm there. If I could get the car, that solves a lot of problems. If I can't, what transportation option is the best not only to get into town but then to get around town to go to their whopping 2 restaurants for meals.

As we get into winter I'll have to go the commercial route just to stay out of icing. But until then, what would you do? Or what other transport ideas do you have? I can fit a lot in the Lance, but no, I'm not putting a motorcycle in the back.
 
A buddy had a similar, although far shorter, commute. He bought a used beater car and left it at the airport. He'd drive his car to the departure field, park and fly his plane to the destination airport and then drive the beater to the job. Then reverse the process. At the end of your 6-mos just sell or junk the beater.
 
buy a cheap beater car and sell it when the contract is up....maybe? (oops, rk911 beat me to it)

In a previous life I worked in the paper industry and traveled a lot..sometimes just for a day or two but most times it was for a week or more and often unpredictable schedules that would often get extended...pack for 4 days and stay for 2 weeks kind of thing. Anyway, it was almost always to out of the way places like that...
I gravitated whenever possible to getting a hotel in the larger town rather than the small papermill towns....even if it was an hour or more drive in the rental morning and evening.... just to get a nicer hotel option and dinner choices where I could get a beer with dinner and avoid eating out of gas stations and such...
 
yep; buy a car and park it at the airport. I recommend the Ford Panther platform :biggrin: Bit of hassle, but for six months the rental fees would be more than the price of the car, and you'll get most of your money back out of the car., minus license, title, insurance, and all that crap.

How long will you be staying each trip? Renting an apartment or just staying in a hotel? Or a couch on the factory floor ala Elon?
 
yep; buy a car and park it at the airport. I recommend the Ford Panther platform :biggrin: Bit of hassle, but for six months the rental fees would be more than the price of the car, and you'll get most of your money back out of the car., minus license, title, insurance, and all that crap.

How long will you be staying each trip? Renting an apartment or just staying in a hotel? Or a couch on the factory floor ala Elon?
Client pays all the rental fees so that's not an issue. I would guess it will be 3 or 4 days a week at the beginning. Gotta get the lay of the land first. The nice thing about flying myself is if I think I'm done for the week I can just go. No worries about changing tickets.
 
buy a cheap beater car and sell it when the contract is up....maybe? (oops, rk911 beat me to it)

In a previous life I worked in the paper industry and traveled a lot..sometimes just for a day or two but most times it was for a week or more and often unpredictable schedules that would often get extended...pack for 4 days and stay for 2 weeks kind of thing. Anyway, it was almost always to out of the way places like that...
I gravitated whenever possible to getting a hotel in the larger town rather than the small papermill towns....even if it was an hour or more drive in the rental morning and evening.... just to get a nicer hotel option and dinner choices where I could get a beer with dinner and avoid eating out of gas stations and such...
There is a town 30 minutes away with better lodging options. I've considered that.
 
Yesterday’s $500 car is today’s $5,000 car. That’s pretty much the starting price if you want something that runs and drives. Safe and reliable, and starts every time you turn the key without the instrument panel looking like a Christmas tree lit up? $10k.
 
Any insight on locations?

How far are you to your GA airport vs commercial airport?

I’d probably look at an e-bike/scooter if just 3.5 miles that’s really nothing and an e-bike/scooter would fit in your airplane (you’d want to charge it at your workplace for the return journey). Or be friendly with the airport to get a ride or what not, I don’t think that would be difficult. I’ve got rides before much further than 3.5 miles and with baggage and dogs, so I’m confident that you can do it too! (Provided Uber and Lyft doesn’t work there)
 
Even with approaches, do you have any risk of weather delay? Icing? I fly a lot for business all spring, summer, and fall. But I fly commercial in the winter because I’m not FIKI, and I can’t afford to be a few days late.
 
Have you checked about rental cars with the FBO? Sometimes there's a local option. I've seen places where a local car dealer (new or used) will provide rentals. Others where there's a crew car but there's a daily use fee and, if you get it you keep it for the duration. Beyond that, have you checked with Enterprise? You never know. For the right price.
 
Remember, you can (and likely will) get stuck in either town, so a car at both airports seems logical either for access to your own plane or for access to the commercial airport a 90 minute drive away. In a real pinch you could conceivably drive all the way back and forth, although if it's a four hour flight it's probably a prohibitively long drive.

Owning the car gives you so many more options, and with the right deal you might even break even when you sell it (considering the UAW strike and the anticipated need for cars as a result of supply chain issues). We sold a car from my mother-in-law's estate recently, and that part can be pretty easy.
 
With an airport with rental car options? That could be a reasonable compromise between proximity and ground transportation.
It does not have rentals either. Just the commercial airport 90 minutes away has them. That town does have an airport but it is currently closed for a few more weeks. Must be repaving the runway or something.
 
Have you checked about rental cars with the FBO? Sometimes there's a local option. I've seen places where a local car dealer (new or used) will provide rentals. Others where there's a crew car but there's a daily use fee and, if you get it you keep it for the duration. Beyond that, have you checked with Enterprise? You never know. For the right price.
There is no FBO. It is run by the city and is unattended. It appears they do have a small Ford dealer there. I could ask if they rent.
 
Purchasing a used beater is probably the best option.
 
I would mainly just be concerned with weather (ie., ice) prohibiting you from flying in when you need to be there. As far as ground transportation goes, it's unlikely they'd let you use their crew car for that length, but it's worth a try. If it's unattended and you just sign the car in and out, it may not be as much of a problem and there probably isn't a great demand for it. Still, I'd have a viable back up in case you get there and can't use it when needed. A foldable e-bike would be my go-to and can be had online for a couple of grand. Lastly, without any services and the airport being unattended, have a plan in case you break down and need a repair of some kind.
 
I would mainly just be concerned with weather (ie., ice) prohibiting you from flying in when you need to be there. As far as ground transportation goes, it's unlikely they'd let you use their crew car for that length, but it's worth a try. If it's unattended and you just sign the car in and out, it may not be as much of a problem and there probably isn't a great demand for it. Still, I'd have a viable back up in case you get there and can't use it when needed. A foldable e-bike would be my go-to and can be had online for a couple of grand. Lastly, without any services and the airport being unattended, have a plan in case you break down and need a repair of some kind.
Yes, all things that have crossed my mind. I have no allusions that I might only be able to do this twice before icing season. Which is what makes me pause on buying a car to plant there. I thought flying was supposed to be full of easy decisions. :rofl:
 
Neal: Make sure you have a company policy that will let you actually do that. Ours doesn't allow for anyone to fly privately for business, and the only thing we can fly on is required military transport, commercial or company jet. Even our test pilots are not allowed to fly privately for company business.
 
Neal: Make sure you have a company policy that will let you actually do that. Ours doesn't allow for anyone to fly privately for business, and the only thing we can fly on is required military transport, commercial or company jet. Even our test pilots are not allowed to fly privately for company business.
That's the beautiful thing about working for yourself. I made it the policy that I can fly for work. :)
 
It does not have rentals either. Just the commercial airport 90 minutes away has them. That town does have an airport but it is currently closed for a few more weeks. Must be repaving the runway or something.
Since the client is paying for the rental car, why wouldn't you acquire one from an airport rental agency in the larger city, arrange to drive it or have it delivered to your destination city, and keep it there for the duration of the contract with a long term rental?

While the car would sit idle during the weekend as you fly home, a negotiated six months rate (or monthly if ice is a consideration) with Enterprise or similar operator will be cheaper than a partial weekly rate if you used the commercial flight/drive the rental to destination model.
 
Does the paying client have a vehicle they can let you use while in town? Reduces your bill to them, and you can show them best tax treatment for it.
 
Skip: For us anything but your primary assigned location is considered business travel and you get paid travel time and the company covers the expenses from home to the worksite. Long years ago, guys could take personal vehicles from the main facility to Edwards or Eglin or PaxRiver, but there were some instances where travel times and expenses didn't correctly add up and there were some long discussions between Finance, Legal and the IRS, so the company wacked using personal transport on any trips under 45 days duration. Even then, you have to have both Legal's and certain VP's sign off on it. We had guys going to Ogden for 270 day trips and they wouldn't sign off for them.
 
Is there no Uber, or a rental car place in town that is willing to deliver a car?
 
If your client has several employees perhaps you could pay one or two them to come and pick you up and drop you off. Paying them enough to make it worth it for them is still way cheaper than buying a car. Or do the same for a local taxi driver if there is one for the 750 people.

Does this small town have a hotel in case you get weathered in and just want to stay there for the weekend.
 
If your client has several employees perhaps you could pay one or two them to come and pick you up and drop you off. Paying them enough to make it worth it for them is still way cheaper than buying a car. Or do the same for a local taxi driver if there is one for the 750 people.

Does this small town have a hotel in case you get weathered in and just want to stay there for the weekend.
Yes, there is a small non-chain hotel. It should be interesting. Still not sure where I would get breakfast. I'm sure I'll get some pointers from the guys in charge when I go there for the first time.
 
Okay… yet they are contracting you for a big $ job.
Not trying to be argumentative, but it just seems ironic.
I'm just saying, there's no Uber and there's no rental car option (that is obvious). I will be exploring whether someone would be willing to pick me up (member of management or something). That is certainly in the realm of possibilities.
 
I flew into a small town without any transportation. I called the local church and ask if anyone was interested in 50 dollars for a round trip from airport to the town and back. I got a ride with the assistant pastor.
 
And the small hotel manager may be willing to pick you up and drop off.
 
Rent a car at the beginning of the contract, and leave it at the airport. When the contract is over return it.
 
Unless something goes sideways, I will be picking up a six month contract next week that will require me to travel regularly to the middle of nowhere. This middle of nowhere town does have an airport with approaches. For purposes of non-disclosure, can't tell you exactly where. Here is my conundrum:

Flying commercially would take me 6.5 hours (not including travel to the airport and being early to check in) on the outbound (one connection) and then I'd have a 90 minute drive to the town with a rental car. The outbound would be a Sunday afternoon. Inbound (going home) takes 6 hours, but the last flight I could get home leaves at 1:30pm which is not ideal. I'd have to drive the 90 minutes and be an hour before the flight. You basically lose that day going home.

Flying myself is a 4 hour flight. But once I get to the airport, it is a 3.5 mile distance to get into town. There are no rental cars. I could bring a bike, but the US highway that gets you into town has no shoulder. The town supposedly has a crew car and I'd have to ask them if I could have it for the week while I'm there. If I could get the car, that solves a lot of problems. If I can't, what transportation option is the best not only to get into town but then to get around town to go to their whopping 2 restaurants for meals.

As we get into winter I'll have to go the commercial route just to stay out of icing. But until then, what would you do? Or what other transport ideas do you have? I can fit a lot in the Lance, but no, I'm not putting a motorcycle in the back.

In a small town like that, there has to be someone with a car and lots of free time willing to drive you around for a small fee. Put a flyer at their grocery store, local bar, or ask the sheriff. When I've been in situations like that, my default plan was to simply walk. However, I never really walked because someone or another ends up offering me a ride.
 
Is there a taxi company in town? I’ve seen one man taxi companies in small towns like that. Maybe the hotel has a shuttle service for those who fly into their little airport. Have seen that happening in small towns as well. Alternatively, your client can probably also figure out a way to get you from the airport to town.
 
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