Last week, I posted about the limited driving routes from where I live …

… into the City of Roanoke.

And over Labor Day weekend, we had plans to really head out of town; our travel got a little more serious as we took to the skies.

There are some great things about the Roanoke Regional Airport:

  • Long-term parking is about 1000 yards from the front door.
  • It is approximately a six-minute drive from downtown, and I am not kidding.
  • Like the rest of the area, everyone there is extraordinarily friendly.

And there are some things that might take getting used to if you are accustomed to air travel in a more well-traveled area:

  • Roanoke Regional is served by four airlines, with about 40 total departures and arrivals per day.
  • It’s difficult to get a direct flight anywhere except for Charlotte, Atlanta, or DC (though, to be fair, Philly, NYC, Chicago, St. Petersburg, and Orlando are also on the airport’s list of direct flights).
  • The Hudson News has a solid selection of Roanoke shirts and key chains, but you’re not doing a lot of shopping, let’s get that straight right now.
  • The flights are a little more expensive.

Two things that surprised me, too: when you land in the middle of all those mountains, rumor has it that you’re going to smack that runway kind of hard. The flight crew of our American Airlines plane handled the breezy mountain approach with aplomb yesterday.

And the mountains look amazing when you take off on a cloudy morning.

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