If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to take a youngster on his or her first plane ride here’s an idea.
Effective 25 March, Horizon Air will operate two flights (Monday-Friday) each direction between Sacramento (SMF) and San Jose (SJC) that enable an easy same day trip starting in Sacramento. (Saturdays and Sundays only one flight operates each direction.)
Leave SMF at 10:05 a.m., arrive SJC at 10:50 a.m.
Leave SJC at 6:15 p.m., arrive SMF at 6:55 p.m.
A similar schedule is available in the reverse direction for those who live in the San Jose area. And naturally you could simply stay overnight if you have relatives or friends in the area.
Now you’ll need to find things to do in San Jose with a child, but that might include the Great America amusement park (not too far from the airport), the Tech Museum downtown, or anywhere else you could get to in a rental car or with transit.
Horizon is currently selling seats on these flights for $29 one-way. The fares require at least 14 days advance purchase, and of course are non-refundable. Round-trip, the total price with all taxes and fees comes to $79.40 per person. As with anything airline fare related, this could all change in the blink of an eye so if you like this idea then it’s best to act on it soon.
For adults who wish we had more airline options out of Chico, this will give you an opportunity to experience Horizon Air’s service. (They still serve free beer and wine!) These are not the little Embraer 30 passenger jobs that United Express flies out of Chico but rather the Bombardier Q400, a 74 passenger turboprop and the workhorse of Horizon’s fleet.
Horizon Air (part of the same company that owns Alaska Airlines) is the carrier that Chico would most like to land for service to LAX and elsewhere. Horizon flies the Q400 from Redding and Eureka to LAX and Seattle, and from Sacramento operates flights (Q400s and regional jets) to San Jose, Spokane, Boise, Santa Barbara, Portland and Palm Springs, but does not yet grace the tarmac in Chico.
When you take your child or grandchild for a first plane ride on Horizon be sure to tell the employees how much we would really like to see them land here in Chico soon. Who knows – maybe someday that first plane ride could start right here on Horizon.