The call came in after hours Friday night. The customer wanted to book a last minute trip to leave Saturday morning to celebrate his wife’s birthday on Catalina Island. He had heard from friends that you could land a small airplane on the island.
The customer was frustrated because he was trying to coordinate a commercial airline flight from San Jose to Los Angeles Saturday morning. He then would have to take a taxi from LAX to the ferry terminal. There were only two ferries leaving from Los Angeles on Saturday so that meant being at the ferry terminal by 9am or 2:55pm. They wanted to spend as much time on the island as possible so the 9am ferry was a must – which meant they needed a 6:45am departure from San Jose would land them in Los Angles in order to give 55 minutes to exit the plane, grab a taxi, and make it to the Ferry terminal. Assuming everything worked as planned, they would arrive on the island in time for lunch.
Their return trip would be just as daunting. In order to provide time to explore the island, the only option was to leave on the 5:15pm ferry in order to make a 7:25pm flight to land in San Jose at 8:30pm on Sunday night, just in time to go to bed for work the next day. We learned of this elaborate schedule because the customer handed us his meticulously prepared itinernary during our chat as we flew him directly to the island.
Catalina Island Airport in the Sky serves over 16,000 aircraft a year. We were able to offer the customer the opportunity to leave from San Jose and land on the island in 95 minutes. They could depart when they wanted and were able to minimize the travel headache and maximize time spent on the island, all the while knowing they would be home at a reasonable hour on Sunday in order to have time to relax.
We departed from the Bay Area Saturday morning at 11:20am and arrived on the island at 12:55. They had the option to dine on buffalo burgers or tacos at the airport restaurant but chose to take the shuttle into town right away. They saw buffalo roaming and a fox on the ride into town. The bus driver was a fantastic tour guide and the ride was a great way to see the 88% of the island that is protected from development.
Upon arriving in the city of Avalon, there were hotel opportunities, restaurants, shops, walking paths, beaches, bars, golf, movies, and other activities – including the Wrigley Casino (not a gambling establishment), and plenty of outdoor activities. We departed the island at 5:00 on Sunday and arrived back in the Bay Area before 7:00. The customer’s wife and child had a fantastic time and there were happy faces all around.
The Transportation Stats
If they would have chosen to fly a commercial airline, riding in a taxi to the ferry terminal, and taking the 1:15 minute ferry ride to the island, the total cost for two adults and one child would have been $975. Total travel time including arriving at the airport an hour early, going through security, riding in the taxi, and sitting on the ferry would have been 7:45 Time spent on the island would have been 31 hours. Time spent away from home would have been 38:45.
By choosing to fly with QuikCharter Air Taxi, the total travel time was 3:20. Time on the island was 29:40 because the customer chose not to leave until 11:20 am on Saturday vs. the 6:45am commercial flight that would have been required. Total time away from home was 31:40. If the customer was willing to spend the same amount of time away from home as the commercial option, they could have spent up to 36:45 on the island.
This was a quick trip. The customer wanted to provide as much entertainment as possible during the short weekend. He spent about $300 more than a commercial travel option in order to pack 7 hours more of activities or peace and quiet into his trip. They did not have to leave San Jose at 5:45am and were able to get home on Sunday and a reasonable hour. They were rested and relaxed during their flight and were able to enjoy the scenic views of Monterey Bay, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, and Santa Barbara while traveling to their destination.
Many people choose to stay on the island longer. Would you like us to give you a quote for your next getaway? The increased value provided for this trip is similar when considering trips to Napa, Lake Tahoe, Reno, Yosemite, and many others. Contact us and let’s chat.