HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - It's widely known Huntsville has some of the highest airfare rates in the entire United States; It's also no secret many choose Nashville for more connections and cheaper flights.
But there's the issue of getting to the Music City in the first place. Do you gas up your car, drive nearly two hours, pay to leave your vehicle at the airport. That in itself can become rather pricey. Enter Madison County Shuttle, Inc. -- a service with 3 drivers and a dispatcher which chartered its first passenger on Nov. 1.
Madison County Shuttle was started by airline pilot Roger Nunamann and his wife. Originally from out of town but having lived in the Huntsville & Madison area for the last 10 years, Nunamann says many an afternoon has been wasted driving to Nashville to pick up friends and family who could not get an affordable or convenient flight into Huntsville.
"We waited 10 years, we kept looking on a semi-regular basis to see if someone had come up with this idea yet and finally decided that we would just go ahead and do it ourselves," explains Nunamann.
As a pilot, Nunamann has been all over the country and says the shuttle business model is popular in just about every metropolitan city. He says the response in our area in the short time the service has been available has been tremendous.
"We have only been advertising for about 4 or 5 weeks and we're currently getting about 1,000 people a week going to the website, clicking throughout the pages with 20 to 30 calls a day wanting to make sure they understand the service and that the price really is just $39."
Nunamann says most clients have already been flying out of Nashville for several years but have long grown tired of footing the bill for gas and parking. The schedule for departures is convenient but Nunamann says they still have some concerns to address.
"We have a lot of people who only book one way because the schedule that we have, although it's been designed to cater to as many people as possible, doesn't always line up on both ends."
There are several pickup locations - check those, and the schedule on Madisoncountyshuttle.com.
Nunamann says Madison County Shuttle is in the process over the next month or so of tripling their fleet size and they are hoping to offer 7 round trips, 14 stages a day and the addition of 7 more drivers.
"Pretty much running around the clock."
So what do the folks at Huntsville International Airport have to say about a service which funnels travelers to another city's port?
"I've spoken to the people over at Huntsville Airport and they've been very supportive," Nunamann says, "Huntsville is in a very unique situation and the airport does what they do very well, catering to government contractors who need to book last-minute." But they realize, explains Nunamann that Nashville with its lower rates and more plentiful connections is an attractive option for Madison County residents.