Being a frequent business traveler I found I value small airports and direct flights the most, especially for shorter flights. Going through Oakland Airport instead of San Francisco not only saves me extra 20 miles driving, but also time walking from the parking to the airport, passing through security etc. Flights are also faster because there is usually no time waiting in the line for take off and the taxing time is shorter. Flying to John Wayne airport instead of LAX means I’m in the cab 10 minutes after landing and it takes another 20 minutes to get to the customer’s office. LAX would probably take at least 40 minutes to go the same distance at the time of day as there is usually traffic around larger airports.
So for my customer day visit to the Irvine today I got out of home at 5:30 to get my 7:15 Southwest flight from OAK. I could even leave at 6:00 but I’m always leaving some time for unexpected traffic or other issues. I’m in Orange County by 8:40 and as I have some spare time I can flush emails I replied on the plane and take care of few more urgent ones. I’m not due onsite until 9:30 anyway. I take a cab about 9:00 and come to the office some 10 minutes before the time I’m expected. After work I leave at 5:30 and I’m in the Airport all passed through security by 6. My flight back is not until 8:10. This is the downside of smaller airports – flights may not be as frequent as from the larger ones. But at least there is a free wireless internet so I use the spare time to have a dinner and do some more work. Even as a plane is about 10 minutes late I’m back in Oakland at 9:40 and home about 10:15.