The final segment of our review of New Orleans-based GLO takes a look at the in-flight experience on their inaugural flight from SHV-MSY in December.
AIRCRAFT: Saab 340B
DEPART: Shreveport Regional Airport
ARRIVE: New Orleans Louis Armstrong Internatioanl Airport
CLASS: Single class aircraft
LENGTH: Just over one hour
SEAT: 6A (Window/Aisle/Emergency Exit)
Being a part of an inaugural flight is always a fun experience to be a part of. This flight was no exception.
Upon arriving to Shreveport Regional Airport, I still had about two and a half hours before my flight, so I had plenty of time to experience Shreveport’s new terminal (new since I last flew there in 1999) including their outdoor patio that oversees the airport’s operations.
After visiting the gift shop and restaurant located pre-security, I went to check-in for my flight.
GLO check-in counters open two hours prior to departure. Once the counter was open for business, I was greeted by a very friendly agent. He explained to be that I could check-in up to two bags for free, plus have a carry-on and a personal item. Being the first person to check-in there were some first-day bugs associated with the process, but I was still quickly on my way to the gate area to wait for my flight to depart.
Preparation for the event was nearing completion upon arriving to my gate. Shreveport Regional Airport Marketing Manager Mark Crawford greeted me and offered snacks and mementos upon waiting for our aircraft to arrive from New Orleans.
The anticipation continued to grow as local government officials, news crews, and other dignitaries arrived. Everyone was then asked to huddle around a podium for a few remarks and the traditional ribbon cutting to kick off the inaugural flight.
All the passengers walked down the stairs onto the ramp to board the Saab 340B. Once planeside, a GLO representative was there to greet passengers and ensure they could climb the stairs into the aircraft with ease.
All seats on GLO are assigned prior to boarding. Seating on the Saab 340B allows one seat on the left hand side of the aircraft and two on the right. The aircraft was clean and had a very fresh, modern interior. Legroom on the plane was about what I was expecting for a small aircraft, but I still had enough to be comfortable and move around.
TIP: Seats in the back of the aircraft have more legroom on GLO.
It had been nearly 20 years since being on a prop commercial flight, but the takeoff and climb were smooth. Everyone onboard were still buzzing about the celebration at SHV. Once getting airborne, the flight attendant came down the aisle and offered drinks and snacks to all the passengers.
GLO passengers are allowed to choose from a variety of snacks presented in a basket which included candy, granola bars, chips, mints and other goodies. For drinks, GLO offers a selection of water, Coca-Cola products (and you get to keep the whole can!), and a cup of New Orleans’ PJ’s coffee.
After service was complete, GLO CEO Trey Fayard introduced himself to me and thanked me for coming for the flight. We then proceeded to converse about his airline, other carriers in the industry, and Mr. Fayard’s background.
Mr. Fayard was a down to earth individual that was easy to talk to despite being an CEO and having a law background. He also displayed his passion for the endeavor that he has undertaken, and how he wants to help the Gulf Coast region grow.
We quickly flew into a very windy New Orleans. Despite the yawing and swaying of the aircraft, the landing was smooth and uneventful. We were greeted by a water cannon salute before arriving at our gate. Passengers then deplaned onto the ramp, and into the terminal. We were then greeted by New Orleans representatives who gave out goody bags and thanked us for using the new service.
Overall my experience on GLO surpassed even my expectations. GLO offers an extremely friendly staff, a convenience to cities that no other carrier provides, and a quality product onboard that big airlines should seriously take a look at to improve their own product. Once GLO grows into more airports that I would benefit from using, I will be a returning customer for a long time.