Waco Airport - A Fixer Upper

9,357 Views | 88 Replies | Last: 25 days ago by Nguyen One Soon
Edmond Bear
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The Waco Airport terminal will get a fresh coat of paint and $3m of other aesthetic improvements.

https://wacotrib.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/council-gets-first-look-at-waco-regional-airport-terminal-renovation-proposal/article_45f8f784-b831-11eb-a6f3-eb99858adbea.html#tracking-source=home-top-story









Lund Vernquist
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A nice place to drop off the one-way rental when AA cancels your connecting flight and you get stranded at DFW.
PartyBear
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That is why we rarely fly out of Waco. My wife had a late night return flight from DFW to Waco cancelled. She had to get a rental and AA did not give her her money back for the cancelled flight and obviously didnt reimburse her for the rental. It does look nice though.
BylrFan
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hopefully this brings in a new airline to compete with AA
BaylorHistory
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PartyBear said:

That is why we rarely fly out of Waco. My wife had a late night return flight from DFW to Waco cancelled. She had to get a rental and AA did not give her her money back for the cancelled flight and obviously didnt reimburse her for the rental. It does look nice though.
That's legal?
CorsicanaBear
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Quote:

hopefully this brings in a new airline to compete with AA
We need that desparately but a new terminal won't matter. What will matter is analysis of passenger demand on the route. What we need is United commuter flights to Houston (the only other route that could possibly make sense).
Illigitimus non carborundum
4th and Inches
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BaylorHistory said:

PartyBear said:

That is why we rarely fly out of Waco. My wife had a late night return flight from DFW to Waco cancelled. She had to get a rental and AA did not give her her money back for the cancelled flight and obviously didnt reimburse her for the rental. It does look nice though.
That's legal?
nope- she should have gotten a refund or a ticket for future travel.
Sampi82
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PartyBear said:

That is why we rarely fly out of Waco. My wife had a late night return flight from DFW to Waco cancelled. She had to get a rental and AA did not give her her money back for the cancelled flight and obviously didnt reimburse her for the rental. It does look nice though.


I formally flew often for business and my Dad did the same. He always recommended not reserving the last connecting flight or the last flight from any airport unless there is no other choice for that very reason. Those flights are usually not full or anywhere close to it. If there is a maintenance issue they are not going to scramble to get it fixed and forget about a standby plane if available. And if the originating flight is late without much layover time with the connecting flight, they will not hold it. Before passing away my folks lived in Wilmington, NC - Wrightsville Beach and my connecting flight (last flight) out of Raleigh-Durham or Charlotte there was cancelled more than once and my originating flight was very late once and the connecting flight wasn't held. I finally learned my lesson after 3 times.
“Wherever you go, there you are.”
Old300Bear
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Waco, Temple, and Kileen-Fort Hood should go together and build a regional airport at Moody. The three combined would probably have enough boardings to warrant decent service to Dallas and Houston from more than one carrier.
Won't happen but it should.
Fred Barber
Weston Rogers
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Old300Bear said:

Waco, Temple, and Kileen-Fort Hood should go together and build a regional airport at Moody. The three combined would probably have enough boardings to warrant decent service to Dallas and Houston from more than one carrier.
Won't happen but it should.
If I had to drive from China Spring to Moody for basically the same service I get now at Waco Regional I would just drive to DFW/Austin for direct flights to wherever my final destination is.
BaylorHistory
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Weston Rogers said:

Old300Bear said:

Waco, Temple, and Kileen-Fort Hood should go together and build a regional airport at Moody. The three combined would probably have enough boardings to warrant decent service to Dallas and Houston from more than one carrier.
Won't happen but it should.
If I had to drive from China Spring to Moody for basically the same service I get now at Waco Regional I would just drive to DFW/Austin for direct flights to wherever my final destination is.
Bingo. I think DFW and AUS make that an impossible dream for the near future.
Old300Bear
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Probably smart from CS, but much of Waco's growth is towards Lorena and McGregor. Moody would not be appreciable farther than the current airport. Also, much closer than Dallas or Austin for Temple and Killeen.

I know it won't happen, but should have when Kileen- Fort Hood built their new airport.
Fred Barber
whitetrash
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Killeen/Fort Hood didn't build a new airport. They built a new commercial terminal on the opposite side of the runway at Gray Army Air Field. Army uses the west side; commercial uses the east side (El Paso does the same; it shares runways with Fort Bliss. Rather interesting when you are sitting on the runway in your SW 737 and a pair of F-14s are taking off right next to you).
Old300Bear
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Well, I had that wrong then. I used to fly into Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem , that is what I was envisioning. It was a really nice airport. Waco, Temple, and Killeen have about 375,000 people, so that could support a fairly robust flight schedule.

Won't happen.
Fred Barber
PartyBear
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Actually the Waco/Temple/Killeen metro area has 750k people.
GoldenBear03
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Lund Vernquist said:

A nice place to drop off the one-way rental when AA cancels your connecting flight and you get stranded at DFW.


I've probably done this 25 times in the last 10 years. Recently, I've taken late night Uber's from DFW to Waco just to get home. Waco flights can be super convenient one time and absolutely maddening the next.

trey3216
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Ive lived in Waco for almost 20 years. I've flown out of Killeen more times than I've flown out of waco.
Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man.
ABC BEAR
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Allegiant flights from Waco to Vegas; Sanford FL; Destin FL. are the only ones that make sense to me. No more business travel for this Bear, only sunshine and bikini destinations from now on.
BylrFan
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ABC BEAR said:

Allegiant flights from Waco to Vegas; Sanford FL; Destin FL. are the only ones that make sense to me. No more business travel for this Bear, only sunshine and bikini destinations from now on.
especially for their price points, would fit well for waco.
SSadler
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Any of you old-timers remember flying Texas Aero out of Waco (aka "Treetop Airlines").

I bet Ethridge does. Those Connally boys were flying high and fast I was told.

And sometimes they even took airplanes.
Nguyen One Soon
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SSadler said:

Any of you old-timers remember flying Texas Aero out of Waco (aka "Treetop Airlines").

I bet Ethridge does. Those Connally boys were flying high and fast I was told.

And sometimes they even took airplanes.


You're thinking Trans Texas, that became Texas International in 1969 then merged into Continental in 1982.
Bexar Pitts
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Nguyen One Soon said:

SSadler said:

Any of you old-timers remember flying Texas Aero out of Waco (aka "Treetop Airlines").

I bet Ethridge does. Those Connally boys were flying high and fast I was told.

And sometimes they even took airplanes.


You're thinking Trans Texas, that became Texas International in 1969 then merged into Continental in 1982.
What a great memory you have, N.O.S.! I had a friend that was a pilot for Trans Texas/Texas Int. ...great guy..later became private pilot for Dealer's Electric owner here in Waco..He had an awesome "book" of stories!
baylrballa
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Old300Bear said:

Waco, Temple, and Kileen-Fort Hood should go together and build a regional airport at Moody. The three combined would probably have enough boardings to warrant decent service to Dallas and Houston from more than one carrier.
Won't happen but it should.
yup, I've thought this for a long time. The waco airport is convenient for china spring and that's about it.
having one 20-30 minutes south of town that has a half dozen or so connections would be huge.
CorsicanaBear
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Trans Texas/TI was big time compared to Rio Airways. I flew them a number of times in the late 70's early 80's. They operated a route from Waco to DFW using De Havilland Twin Otters. That could be a bumpy ride during warm weather. The pilot copilot gave the passenger safety briefing by turning around in his seat and yelling while we were in the runup area. The entrance to the cockpit only had a curtain that was usually open during flight. On one trip a ZTA pledge (knew the sorority because she was carrying one of those giant, cloth covered, lace edged pledge books), barfed all over the cabin.

So Rio to Dallas to connect with Delta to Atlanta to connect with either Eastern or Piedmont depending on who had a flight at the time required into the old Greensboro, NC airport. The old Hartsfield terminal was a hot mess and connecting from Delta to Eastern (the two biggest airlines there) was always a 2 mile slog. Piedmont was flying those old 737-100 and -200's. All of the planes had names that ended in Pacemaker, like Catawba Pacemaker.

At GBO of old they rolled up steps to the planes for emplaning and deplaning and passengers walked across the ramp to the terminal, no jetway.
Illigitimus non carborundum
OsoCoreyell
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Disappointed in the lack of shiplap.
PartyBear
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baylrballa said:

Old300Bear said:

Waco, Temple, and Kileen-Fort Hood should go together and build a regional airport at Moody. The three combined would probably have enough boardings to warrant decent service to Dallas and Houston from more than one carrier.
Won't happen but it should.
yup, I've thought this for a long time. The waco airport is convenient for china spring and that's about it.
having one 20-30 minutes south of town that has a half dozen or so connections would be huge.
It is certainly an odd choice and was even more odd decades ago when the site was selected. That said Moody is an odd choice. I think a site on 35 between Waco and Temple makes alot more sense for a Waco/Temple/Killeen Airport.
whitetrash
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CorsicanaBear said:

Trans Texas/TI was big time compared to Rio Airways. I flew them a number of times in the late 70's early 80's. They operated a route from Waco to DFW using De Havilland Twin Otters. That could be a bumpy ride during warm weather. The pilot copilot gave the passenger safety briefing by turning around in his seat and yelling while we were in the runup area. The entrance to the cockpit only had a curtain that was usually open during flight. On one trip a ZTA pledge (knew the sorority because she was carrying one of those giant, cloth covered, lace edged pledge books), barfed all over the cabin.

So Rio to Dallas to connect with Delta to Atlanta to connect with either Eastern or Piedmont depending on who had a flight at the time required into the old Greensboro, NC airport. The old Hartsfield terminal was a hot mess and connecting from Delta to Eastern (the two biggest airlines there) was always a 2 mile slog. Piedmont was flying those old 737-100 and -200's. All of the planes had names that ended in Pacemaker, like Catawba Pacemaker.

At GBO of old they rolled up steps to the planes for emplaning and deplaning and passengers walked across the ramp to the terminal, no jetway.


You want Rio stories? Here you go.

I graduated from BU on a Friday, left with my family on Saturday for a 2 week postgraduation trip to Japan/Hong Kong/Thailand, got back into Waco at midnight on a Sunday night, then had a redeye Rio flight the next morning to connect with Delta to Chicago for training for a summer internship with Arthur Andersen. AA had bought my round trip ticket from Waco to Chicago in early May, but the training was the first week of June. No problems making all connections getting home from Bangkok to Seattle to DFW to Waco to DFW to Chicago.

Flew back into DFW at 6 the following Saturday, walked down to the Rio gate to catch my 7pm flight back home. No flight listed on the board. Quizzically ask the gate agent where the 7pm flight to Waco was. Only at that time was I informed that Rio had changed its schedule effective June 1 and discontinued its Saturday night flight into Waco.

Luckily my mom had let me borrow her Delta Flying Colonel card so I could go hang out in the club lounge for the 2 hours it took her to drive to DFW to pick me up so I could get home in time to pack the car and head to Houston the next morning for my internship.
Eleven-League Grant
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Regardless of whether an airport site between Waco and Temple would be a beneficial thing, I believe that area, being the home of several of our region's 2,000 foot high television and radio transmission towers, might present some practical challenges to the concept.

EDIT: I should add that the presence of transmission towers is not always a problem when the dollars involved are high enough.

Case in point -- in the late 1960's, the land that is now home to the DFW airport was condemned, and 50,000 watt powerhouse AM station WBAP 820 had to move their transmission tower. Being an AM tower, it was only about 600 feet high, but that was still a major undertaking.

I believe at that time the tower was relocated to an area northeast of the airport, but then again around 1980 was moved once again to its current location just southeast of Ft. Worth.
Robert Wilson
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Weston Rogers said:

Old300Bear said:

Waco, Temple, and Kileen-Fort Hood should go together and build a regional airport at Moody. The three combined would probably have enough boardings to warrant decent service to Dallas and Houston from more than one carrier.
Won't happen but it should.
If I had to drive from China Spring to Moody for basically the same service I get now at Waco Regional I would just drive to DFW/Austin for direct flights to wherever my final destination is.
It would not be the same service. That's the point. Many people (myself included) quit flying out of Waco because the service sucks. Waco, Temple, and Killeen never should've been competing with each other. If you combined those into one regional airport around Moody you would have had decent air service. Now, you can't get decent service without driving to Dallas or Austin, and that will probably always be the case.
SSadler
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So is Texas Aero the present service and I glossed that name? I haven't flown in/out of Waco in years. I drive to Austin to catch SWest typically in order to avoid the deboarding on the tarmac in Dallas and being handed an umbrella, if needed, for the dash to the terminal.

Whoever the "Texas ....." was in days of yore, they had a pretty crappy image. Did I think up the "Treetop Airlines" or was that part correct? Who were we calling "Treetop" in /out of Waco, oh, about 30 years ago?
Nguyen One Soon
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SSadler said:

So is Texas Aero the present service and I glossed that name? I haven't flown in/out of Waco in years. I drive to Austin to catch SWest typically in order to avoid the deboarding on the tarmac in Dallas and being handed an umbrella, if needed, for the dash to the terminal.

Whoever the "Texas ....." was in days of yore, they had a pretty crappy image. Did I think up the "Treetop Airlines" or was that part correct? Who were we calling "Treetop" in /out of Waco, oh, about 30 years ago?


You're right on Trans Texas being better known as Tree Top. Flew them in 1969 from Abilene to El Paso. We stopped in Midland on the way back, on time at 6:25 pm. I asked the flight attendant if I had time to get off and stretch my legs before the 7:00 departure. She said I had plenty of time since it was a 7:00 a.m. departure. Made it, and we stopped at an FBO in Big Springs. When I asked about the unscheduled stop, they explained that if there was a towel on top of the office they stopped.

And Btw, everything Waco and Dallas is now via jetways. No more bus station in Dallas.
PTGHUNTER
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Texas Aero is a FBO and not an airline. It is at the Waco airport and used by the private pilots who fly in and out of Waco.



CTbruin
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Hate be the contrarian, but my experience flying out of Waco has been very good. Very good service. Good connection at DFW.

I will say I don't fly on business any longer. Just pleasure.

But for a small regional facility, I think it is fine.

And have no desire to share with Killeen. That's a different country.
BaylorGuy314
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I agree with OldBear300 but for different reasons.

I live south of town in the Hewitt/Lorena area. It takes me a solid 30 min to get the Waco airport. For an extra hour drive, I'm at the Austin airport. When factoring in that scheduling a connecting flight through DFW limits flight options and when factoring in the increased cost of adding another leg (sometimes doesn't add much, sometimes does) then flying out of Waco just doesn't make much sense, despite the ease of doing so compared to a larger airport.

I agree that a Waco/Temple airport is a lost cause if we are only connecting to DFW/Austin. But, if it had connections to the below, then we're talking.

CENTX -> DFW
CENTX -> IAH
CENTX -> Denver
CENTX -> Atlanta
CENTX -> Phoenix

Flying to Denver and Phoenix opens up a lot of routes to the west. Going to Atlanta does the same east. These could eliminate entire legs on flight routes which would reduce travel times and likely would result in lower overall trip cost.

Plus, smaller airports are almost always easier to get in/out of (not just the actual physical plant of the airport but other airports being in major cities saves travel stress). I'd be hugely in favor of this type of setup. But if we just talking a centralized DFW connection point, then I don't see it being worth it- the current arrangement (inefficient as it is) will just stay a niche.
Weston Rogers
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Robert Wilson said:

Weston Rogers said:

Old300Bear said:

Waco, Temple, and Kileen-Fort Hood should go together and build a regional airport at Moody. The three combined would probably have enough boardings to warrant decent service to Dallas and Houston from more than one carrier.
Won't happen but it should.
If I had to drive from China Spring to Moody for basically the same service I get now at Waco Regional I would just drive to DFW/Austin for direct flights to wherever my final destination is.
It would not be the same service. That's the point. Many people (myself included) quit flying out of Waco because the service sucks. Waco, Temple, and Killeen never should've been competing with each other. If you combined those into one regional airport around Moody you would have had decent air service. Now, you can't get decent service without driving to Dallas or Austin, and that will probably always be the case.


I have flown probably 20 times already this year for business, 95% of those flights originate and end through Waco... Haven't had one issue.
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