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My experience traveling to Reno from Tehachapi on aha!

Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield has recently welcomed aha! airlines. Aha! stands for "air, hotel, adventure."

Aha!, through ExpressJet Airlines, has launched operations at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, initially flying to 10 West Coast destinations but planning on expanding to 20 destinations within the next several months. Aha! flies ExpressJet 50-seat Embraer E145 aircrafts, with two seats on one side and one seat on the other, which leaves no one in the "dreaded" middle seat.

The concept of aha! is a leisure styled brand which seeks to provide travelers in smaller, underserved communities with convenient, short, nonstop flights to high quality destinations. In addition to offering value-priced, nonstop flights, aha! will soon partner with resorts, casinos and other attractions to "bundle" value-priced vacation packages.

My husband and I flew from Meadows Field Airport to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport on the weekend of Nov. 12. I found Meadows Field Airport to be a delightfully small airport served by only a few airlines. I was amazed that long term parking is directly across from the terminal entrance, perhaps only 30 feet away, quite a departure from an LAX experience. The flight was delayed an hour and a half but the flight itself took only 50 minutes.

The return flight from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport was delayed almost three hours, however, that airport is also easy to navigate and very agreeable. The flight took only 45 minutes.

All in all, considering the proximity of Bakersfield to Tehachapi, the inexpensive promotional tickets, and the relief from a seven to eight hour drive through the mountains all made the delays quite bearable.

Other Kern County residents took advantage of the introductory promotional rates, which ended Nov. 15. Laurie Pay, wife of Tehachapi Farmers Insurance Agent Marty Pay, commented that she loved flying aha! because it was just an hour flight, simple, comfortable, relaxing and scheduled at convenient times. The Marions of Bakersfield, owners of Stockdale Tile and Flooring Centers, observed that their flights were very reasonably priced, the planes were clean, the staff friendly, and the non-stop flights were "short and sweet."

The 10 destinations currently served by aha! are Pasco/Tri-Cities, Wash .; Bakersfield, Calif. (BFL); Medford/Ashland, Ore. (MFR); Eugene/Springfield, Calif. (EUG); Ontario, Calif. (ONT); Redmond/Bend, Ore. (RDM); Eureka/Arcata, Calif. (ACV); Fresno, Calif. (FAT); Spokane, Wash. (beginning Dec. 15) (GEG); Palm Springs, Calif. (PSP) (beginning January 3, 2022). The routes are currently scheduled to operate three times weekly, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. See their website, http://www.flyaha.com.

We in Kern County are very glad ExpressJet Airlines has launched aha! here.