PaperCity Magazine

May 2019- Houston

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Page 19 of 131

18 letter editor HUNT SLONEM I 've just read about a new German bus company, FlixBus, which was launched by three young tech guys in 2013 in Munich when the German bus market was deregulated. A combination of tech startup, e-commerce platform, and sustainable transportation company, FlixBus expanded across Europe in 2015 and to the U.S. in 2018. New routes have recently been launched between transport-starved Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, as well as New Orleans and Biloxi. Sit down when you read this: The fare is $4.99 each way. PaperCity routinely pays $468-plus round trip on Southwest Airlines. Multiply that by several editors and advertising execs flying back and forth several times a month. At times we use Vonlane, at $210 round trip, which is also ridiculous. It's a bus. Gas reimbursement for an editor to drive round trip at 58-cents- per-mile reimbursement is $277.24. FlixBus has partnered with four charter bus companies in Texas: On board are Wifi; entertainment including movies, TV shows, video games, and audio books; power outlets; restrooms; seats with adjustable backrests and plenty of legroom; and GPS bus tracking — and the trip takes 3 hours 55 minutes. The Houston pick-up point is in Midtown on Gray Street. Where, in this scenario, does Southwest Airlines have an advantage. What will you miss. This is a game changer, and not a minute too soon. Fares at Southwest have steadily risen since Muse Air, People Express, and Emerald gave up the fight and their slots at Hobby Airport. Southwest devoured the competition and any hope of competitive rates. As of April 2019, SWA carries the most domestic passengers of any U.S. airline and virtually has air traffic strangled within Texas. "Low Fares. Nothing to Hide. That's Transfarency." Not when it comes to airfare between Houston and Dallas. I'll be traveling green — and checking emails all the way. At least until the bullet train arrives. Holly Moore Editor in Chief

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