Weak dollar harming economy - not in Buffalo

March 13, 2008

This story is about unintended consequences - most notably how the weak US Dollar affects those of us that live on the border with Canada. 

This last week has been particularly difficult for those of us who are frequent travelers out of the Buffalo Airport.  It's seems the perfect storm has hit the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) and it really messed up my travel plans earlier this week: 

#1 - This last weekend we received a good 12+ inches of fresh snow (the skiing was awesome), which even snow-hardened Buffalonians can find a pain-in-the-neck when it comes to getting around town.    Unfortunately, piled up snow takes up valuable parking spaces.

#2 - It marked the start of "Spring Break" weekend for most of the local colleges and public schools in Canada.

#3 - Our neighbors to the north who have new buying power, have figured out my little secret.

It seems that an article in the Toronto Star last summer tipped off my Canadian neighbors about the inexpensive flights and easy access in and out of the Buffalo Airport.  If you've ever flow out of Toronto's Pearson Airport, you know how expensive and difficult travel is for most Southern Ontario residents.  With Buffalo only 90 miles down the QEW, the lure of lower fares and access to JetBlue and Southwest Airlines has created a new North-to-South migration path.  The result?  Full parking lots, very long security lines, and jammed-to-the-gills flights.

While I appreciate the new travelers will bring with them their loonies to spend here in Western New York and wherever their destination takes them, I still miss my airport.  Parking close to the terminal and the predictability of normally short security lines are now distant memories.

I thought the "International" in Buffalo Niagara International Airport was referring to the occasional charter flights to Mexico, not the license plates in the parking lot.

Back to work....

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