Travel notes: Frontier’s $37 round-trip fare; Southwest adds Cali cities; Light technology governs social distancing at BWI gate

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Frontier Airlines is still on track to launch non-stop service to Orlando from New Castle Airport (ILG) after Covid-19 brought an April 2020 launch to a screeching halt.

The service will kick off on Feb. 11 with flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Connections to other Frontier destinations are possible, although layovers are lengthy.

A check of the Frontier website showed a round-trip ticket is available for $37, cheaper than a one-way Amtrak ticket to New York City.

Even when you add $70 or more for using the overhead luggage bin, it still adds up to a rock bottom price for a trip to the home of Universal or the Magic Kingdom.

Once service is launched, Delaware will lose the dubious distinction of being the only state without commercial airline service.

Frontier is betting that having a three airport presence, New Castle, Trenton and Philadelphia will allow it to gain market share without going head to head with American.

By catering to the leisure market, Frontier could recover more quickly than carriers, like American, which is dependent on a business travel market that might take years to recover.

Southwest flying to two new California destinations

Delaware travelers will have more California travel options with the launch of Southwest Airlines service to Fresno and Santa Barbara. The carrier earlier launched service to Palm Springs.

Travelers from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Philadelphia International Airport can catch connecting flights to the two cities.

Santa Barbara is an affluent city on the Pacific without the congestion of Los Angeles. While Fresno is not known as a travel mecca, the city is an easy drive to Yosemite National Park, wineries and other attractions.

Southwest is moving into smaller markets as well as hub airports in Chicago and Houston during the Covid-19 pandemic as other carriers cut back on service and business-related travel remains depressed.

Airlines know that leisure travelers are looking at smaller cities with outdoor attractions.

In addition to Fresno and Santa Barbara, which will see the new service in April, the carrier has added Colorado Springs and Savannah to its route map.

Technology monitors social distancing at BWI security checkpoint

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport has launched a pilot program using light detection technology to provide social distancing information and assessment for customers at a security checkpoint.

he project uses Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology and software from partner CrowdVision to monitor, analyze and report on physical distancing at the airport’s B security checkpoint. The system notifies customers when social distancing is adequate and encourages greater physical separation if needed.

Under the pilot program, LiDAR-enabled sensors analyze passenger movements at the B checkpoint in real-time, counting people and measuring their speed and direction of movement. The motion analytics software calculates physical distancing information and provides notifications for passengers and airport management. When passengers are providing good physical distancing, the system generates a positive message at the B checkpoint monitor. If passengers are too close together for too long a period of time, the system presents a reminder of social distancing guidelines.

LiDAR is the same laser-mapping technology used in autonomous vehicles technology.

BWI Marshall Airport terminal remains closed except for ticketed passengers and employees. Face coverings are required in the airport, a decision that was recently ordered nationwide by the Biden Administration.

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