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Department of Transportation - Letters of Support

If you prefer BOSTON as your destination of choice (or to make connections through) PenAir respectfully requests you send a letter of support to the Department of Transportation AND your congressional members. Please copy in your emails if possible.

The DOT has the final say at awarding the bids and their decisions weighs heavily on what the customers from the community's want and need. PenAir proudly serves both Plattsburgh, NY, Presque Isle, ME and Bar Harbor, ME out of Boston, MA.  All routes are Essential Air Service (EAS) routes.  This means that the Department of Transportation pays a subsidy for these routes.  EAS routes can only be routes that have a single carrier servicing a specific route.  Bids for these EAS routes come up for rebid every 2-4 years.   

These three routes currently up for bid are:  Plattsburgh, NY; Presque Isle, ME and Bar Harbor, ME.

The Airport Commision with the City of Plattsburgh recently recommended SkyWest (over PenAir) with daily service to DULLES/D.C. (NOT BOSTON).  And the CITY COUNCIL in PRESQUE ISLE recently recommended United who would be operating out of  NEWARK, New Jersey.  BOTH OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ELIMINATES BOSTON AS A HUB OUT OF BOTH COMMUNITIES. (see more facts at the bottom of the page)


Kevin Schlemmer, USDOT -
Michael Martin, USDOT  -

as well as your congressional members:

For Aroostook County:

U.S. Senator Susan Collins
(202) 224-2523  

U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin

U.S. Senator Angus King
(202) 224-5344

For Plattsburgh, New York:

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

SAMPLE LETTERS OF SUPPORT (Send these to the DOT and copy your Senators and

Sample DOT letter for Plattsburgh, NY

Sample DOT letter for Presque Isle, ME

Sample DOT letter for Bar Harbor, ME


  • Boston experiences 50% less ATC (traffic) delays then both Newark and Dulles
  • If Newark and/or Dulles are selected there will be NO flights to Boston
  • PenAir is a codeshare partner with Alaska Airline and has interline agreements with UA, AA & DL. What is an interline agreement? That means you can call any of those airlines to book your connecting flights and transfer your bags. With SkyWest or United you can call any of those same airlines you do with PenAir to book your reservations and transfer your bags down line.
  • CRJ will be challenged during takeoff and landing during specific winds and ice where the 340 would not be as limited. The Saab 340 is a better aircraft for the PQI Airport
  • SkyWest - average fare to Dulles $105. PenAir - average fare to Boston - $76.
  • United - average fare to Newark $142; PenAir - $117
  • PenAir's subsidy - $3.2 million; SkyWest - $3.3 million - Dulles
  • PenAir's subsidy - $6.5 million; United - $4.7 million - Newark.  PenAir's subsidy is 27% more; however United lift is 37% less.
  • Loss of $1.3 million annually in employee salaries, hangar rent, utilities and landing fees in PBG and 
  • $1.2 million in PQI. PenAir has a maintenance base (with 12 employees) in PBG that SkyWest will not.
  • PenAir overnights their aircraft in PBG & PQI, neither SkyWest or United will
  • PenAir donates $140,000 per year in ticket donations
  • Supports Angel Flight & Pals with complimentary flights to BOS for much needed medical care of their constituents. 
  • SkyWest doesn't have their own reservations system. You will need to call UA, AA, or DL to book your reservations. This also means if you have a change in your reservations you will have to contact who you made the reservation with to make those changes. "United has a $100 service fee when contacting their reservations department.
  • PenAir's bid includes a 6.5% fare decrease over what passengers are currently paying.
  • PenAir - Average Agent Speed to answer a call in reservations to is 19 seconds. We don't think UA, DL or AA can beat that.
  • Delayed or Misplaced bags? With PenAir you get a real person to find your delayed bag. With some of the majors, you have to fill out an online form and hope it gets in the queue.
  • PenAir, being a family run airline provides customer service far beyond a major carrier. You can actually reach upper management and talk with one of them if need be…..but you probably won't have too. Management and marketing give out their cells phones……what airline does that?
  • We serve our Vets proudly with 4-5 Honor Flights over the summer months. "United 's bid (for PQI) is 27% less than ours BUT number of flights is 37% less. We offer a lot more per flight and the option of flights a day accommodate the clients in the way of flexibility. A business person can fly in and out the same day if needed.
  • Those for the move are saying it's going to be a 10 min. difference with United (PQI). People are not aware that there has to be another scheduled flight as a connection to get to BOS.
  • People will travel to BOS for a day or an overnight, to shop , see the city or catch a game. It is not as easy to get around the Newark area and is less appealing.
  • As said by a customer in PQI (in their letter to the DOT) - "The timing of the routes provided by PQI are also much more realistic than those proposed by United. A flight that arrives in PQI at midnight means that most passengers will have to travel long and dangerous roads in the wee hours of the morning to their destination. Traversing those roads in the evening is dangerous at best, particularly given that the population of Aroostook County heavily favors older residents who are likely to be on the flight. A flight that leaves Logan at 6p or 7p makes much more sense than a flight that leaves Newark at 9p or 10p.
  • Executive Management is in Boston (and often PQI & PBG) nearly every month.