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Flights of fancy, Enchantment style


I like driving to Albuquerque.

It’s an easy route, a straight shot, and plenty of opportunities for good stops on the way. And by good stops, I mean great green chile cheeseburgers like the ones at Sparky’s in Hatch, the Arrey Café, or the Buckhorn in San Antonio. In Socorro, there are the burritos at Sofia’s or the huevos a la Mexicana at the El Camino.

True, it takes three hours of your time, and for the many of you who’ve had to do the Albuquerque Turnaround (there and back in the same day), you know how grueling that is. Plus, cell phone service drops in and out without warning.

Sill, I never thought it would be much of an advantage to fly to Albuquerque from Las Cruces.

But what if you could dream up your own ridiculously sweet conditions for your flight?

  1. You don’t have to check a bag.
  2. You don’t have to go through TSA security.
  3. You can take your golf clubs.
  4. You can cancel your flight anytime.
  5. Your co-worker or family member can use your canceled ticket.
  6. You get off the plane in the ABQ main terminal, minutes from the curb to catch your ride, or a few gates away from a connecting flight.
  7. Want to go onto Santa Fe? Catch the free shuttle to the ABQ train station and pay your $2.50 day pass for the RailRunner train, which would drop you at one of three stations in Santa Fe, all within walking distance of a great hotel.
  8. The one-way airfare is $105, whether you buy it 30 minutes before the flight, 30 days, or 30 weeks. (Or $85 if you want the non-refundable. And, note, the new IRS mileage reimbursement rate is 65.5 cents, making the 200-mile trip to Albuquerque $131 each way.)
  9. You can purchase a book of 10 tickets for yourself or your company, and use them as needed over 12 months.

No, I didn’t just make those up.

Those are the basic guidelines for Advanced Airlines’ new flights between Las Cruces and Albuquerque, which begin Jan. 16. There will be two flights Mondays and Fridays, and one flight Tuesday through Thursday.

And it works both ways. If you have family, friends or business colleagues in Albuquerque, they can come down here.

And when you pick them up at the Las Cruces airport, you can have Jim Bob’s BBQ.

I had a chance to meet some of the team from Advanced Air this week, and they are excited. So are the folks from the City of Las Cruces, who have been working on this project for some time.

I’m looking forward to checking out a flight or two.

If it works as well as it sounds, I might be starting a future column something like this:

I like flying to Albuquerque …