Frequent flyer says he’s disappointed BGM no longer offers flights to Detroit

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 11pm Newscast.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 9:26 PM EST
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TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) -- A lot of updates and changes have taken place in recent months when it comes to flights offered at the Greater Binghamton Airport (BGM) and with change comes some mixed emotions.

Recently at BGM, there have been additions to destinations like Orlando and New York City. However, one service that ended in recent months has been flights to the Detroit Metro Airport.

One man who misses flights to Detroit is David Salati, who frequently flew to Detroit on business trips. He said he wishes the Greater Binghamton Airport could reassess its decision.

“I was saddened and disappointed with that just based on how great and smooth that connection had been,” said Salati said. “It had been in service for nearly a decade.”

Salati often used the local option to Detriot for work obligations, but now is forced to fly to New York City first.

“Laguardia is a very congested airport,” said Salati. “There’s a lot of air traffic that can pose some delays and a higher probability of disruption for a business traveler. I’ve experienced it first-hand.”

Commission of Aviation for BGM Mark Heefner told 12 News it was mostly Delta’s decision to end flights to the motor city.

“Delta has all the data that we have and more,” said Heefner. “They know what’s best for both their company and for our airport in their terms It starts with the airline willing to fly whatever location, whatever destination that your community and your airport want to have. The airline is mainly in the driver’s seat, then it goes to the airport and the community to determine if there is a need for [that destination.] It kind of snowballs from there.”

Heefner mentioned Delta is currently making some internal changes and our airport addition could have been a part of the latest effort.

“They’re trying to reshape some of their hubs,” said Heefner. “In the wake of COVID, they had certainly experienced a lot of different changes. The aviation industry as a whole is continuing to evolve. So I think that had a lot to do with it as far as moving from Detroit to Laguardia.”

When it comes to the airport’s services as a whole, Heefner said there’s optimism for the future.

“There’s not a limit of the amount of places we could fly, but there’s a limit on where the airlines will want to go and what kind of planes they’re going to utilize,” he said. “Do I think Detriot is a possibility in the future? Absolutely. Do I think Boston could be? Yep. Do I think JFK? Absolutely. Atlanta? Any of Delta’s hubs that they have I’m shooting for, we’re shooting for as an airport, and as a community. Additional connections allow our community to be connected to the world.”

“I would love to continue to fly BGM and I would just hope that they can reconsider, moving forward this decision,” said Salati.