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What Do You Think?

July 01, 2007

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

There were two poll questions last week. The first question was: Do you think a commercial air carrier can be successful at Hagerstown Regional Airport?

"There are only two possible answers to this question: Yes, if feds subsidize it; and I don't know. No one knows if customers want it, if the flights are too expensive or if we lack the customer base BECAUSE there are no flights and there is no price."

"It makes huge sense. The best possible scenario is that whatever carrier picks up the business that they go to another hub. USAir in Pittsburgh is very limited."

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"With the influx of people moving up here from more metropolitan areas, and still keeping their big-city jobs that have them flying on a regular basis, it would be nice to have an airport that could offer that kind of service, but I agree that it would have to have some kind of federal support. As so many people I've talked to have said, 'We aren't made of money.'"

"If an airline like Southwest came into the airport, I think it would do OK. Southwest could include it in their flights to and from Pittsburgh. I know I would use it - driving from here to BWI is a big pain in the butt! Even if they just had one flight a day to get us out of the area to a full service airport would be great!"

"How many times have they had shuttle service here? Nothing works in this town. I hate to be a doomsdayer."

"I think it would be good. Why should I have to drive into the city when an airport is five minutes away from my house."

"It's expensive for the airlines to have shuttle service that is only used for a few passengers. With fuel costs, it's simply not justifiable. However, I would hate to see all that taxpayers money and work that has gone into extending the runway and building a tunnel to be used ONLY for the president's planes and convenience for a quicker hop to Camp David."

"I am not sure the airport can be used to shuttle people to and from work. I see the use of the airport as a way of connecting to Baltimore, D.C., or Pittsburgh to get a flight to your destination. The added runway, I thought, was to bring in bigger planes and better accommodate the president's plane. The only way it will be used is if the expense of the ticket is cheaper than the parking fees at D.C. or Baltimore. I used it several years ago to get to Florida, only to miss the connecting flight in Pittsburgh, which meant I had to stay at a hotel at the airline's expense. Not fun."

"Who could honestly afford to fly out of Hagerstown? Their prices are outrageous!!! You could have a limo service pick you up and take you to Dulles or BWI and then pick you up and return you home for less than the cost of flying out of Hagerstown. It's something the county and state put in to help out the rich. More money wasted."

"Has the airport ever supported itself in any given year since it was built? Just another case of politicians throwing money around. This airport will never support itself. It is a money pit. It would be nice if just once, politicians used a little common sense. Why must we always waste taxpayers money. Will it ever end? Has anyone on this board ever taken a flight in or out of the airport?"

"I know people who fly hate having to run all the way down to Reagan, Dulles or BWI, pay to park their vehicle, go do whatever they need to fly to do and then drive that mess back. Waiting on a limo company to pick you up and drop you off is a bit of a stretch, too (no pun intended) - unless you're in Jersey and need to get to JFK. Airline trips are their bread and butter. Being able to fly out of here sure beats having to drive far in order to fly - and it would help justify that mess with the new runway."

"Actually, I have taken flights out of Hagerstown, and have been chauffeured to the airports, at their expense, because of one technical difficulty or other. It's a convenience we use when we don't want to leave our car and/or pay extended parking fees at the other airports."

The second question was: When a new gadget like the iPhone comes on the market, what do you do?

"They'll just come out with something 'new and improved' in like 2 weeks anyway ... besides, I personally have no need for so much on my mobile."

"If you're talking specifically a mobile phone, it stays on the shelf as far as I'm concerned. As long as my phone makes a phone call, that's all I need it to do. I like the techno-gadgets, but I'll only get them if there's something on them that I know I'll use enough to justify the expense - and only then after the price drops. I'm a bargain geek."

"The iPhone will probably be a bust this time around, but after the next couple versions, it'll probably find a good base. I own an iPod and love it, but I'm not paying $600 for a glorified cell phone."

"What's an iPhone????? Never heard of it. That's how much I keep up on the latest gadgets. I'm sure there will be a lot of fools buying them."

"The iPhone is limited to one carrier (AT&T). When it is available through other carriers then I will probably buy one. Personally, AT&T would not ever be my choice of carriers."

"Buying an iPhone is like trying to keep up with your neighbors!"

"This thing is ridiculous. I am expected to pay $600 for a phone with no buttons? We already have devices that do what the iPhone is supposed to do - they are called Palms and Blackberries, and are much less expensive. Is a totally smooth phone justification to spend hundred of extra dollars just to be 'cool.'"

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