Opinion

PenAir’s PQI to Boston: A vital lifeline

In response to “Flights to Newark” in The Star-Herald on Jan. 17, page one: For many of us, Boston is a must-get-to destination, for which urgent medical reasons are paramount. Ofttimes a local Aroostook person or Canadian neighbor crucially needs advanced medical care available from Boston’s renowned hospitals and specialists. When such illness is an issue, one needs to get to Boston ASAP, either for a pre-op surgical consultation, or to begin a more protracted period of treatment.

Even for the purpose of consultation or physical evaluation, one can take the 8 a.m. flight down, and then return on the 5 p.m. (or midafternoon) flight back to Presque Isle.

The same may apply to important face-to-face business meetings, too.

If Newark were the intermediate stop with Boston as the final destination, there might occur delay, or perhaps even a protracted layover, involving the second flight of the journey. If you are physically or visually impaired, hailing a wheelchair to get to the outbound gate can take additional time. Of course, the same may be involved in reversing your direction to return home.

This two-stage, one-way pair of flights involving the dog-leg Newark to Boston necessarily means extra runway time, extra mileage, and of course a possible increase in fare. Now multiply that by two in making the round trip. Our present convenience of the 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to Boston and return to Presque Isle may not be duplicated by the schedule of another airline.

Those of us confronting extensive medical issues have been fortunate over the last decade (a personal example: two surgeries, six round rips in 2017). It is of grave concern if we have to face an alternative.

Gary M. Boone

Presque Isle

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