Saturday, September 22, 2007

$100 Hamburger - Springdale Airport, AR (KASG)

The Springdale Airport (KASG) is very nice. They have a tower, ILS, VOR and GPS LPV approaches, well maintained runway, and a recently paved ramp. The FBO runs a good business with lots of transient traffic including mid-sized jets, turboprops and high-performance pistons. The tower crew was friendly and are use to working aircraft not familiar with the area.

Pnnacle Air FBO
The FBO staff is eager and helpful. They will assist with anything you might need, but they do tend to get a bit overwhelmed if they are busy. The fuelers and ramp personal are young collage kids; however, they seem to hire people that want a future in aviation not just a summer job.

The staff was excited to see our Mooney and asked a lot of questions about it. They were also very careful fueling the plane. They followed proper procedures, they used a bonding cable, they covered the wing with a scratch mat without being asked, etc.

Springdale Airport Cafe
Springdale Airport Cafe is clean and has a good view of the ramp as long as you sit at a window that isn't fogged over. They have a nice outdoor sitting area as well. The food was ok, but the water is horrendous. Stay away from the ICE tea, coffee or water.

The restaurant also runs in their own time. They often close without notice. I highly recommend calling ahead (479-756-3339) before planning a $100 Hamburger trip; however, there is still no guarantee they will be open when you arrive. They appear to serve more breakfast than lunch. The chances of getting served are probably better in the mornings than afternoon.

Recommendation -- 3 Stars

I rated the overall experience at KASG 3 out of 5 stars. If it were not for the top service at the FBO and the excellent facilities, they would have been rated a 1 or 2. The downward rating is primarily due to our experience with the restaurant, which was the primary reason we chose Springdale as a stop in the first place. Here's what happened...

On our way out to the MAPA convention in San Antonio we stopped on Wed about 1:30 pm. They were open and only a couple of tables were occupied. The service wasn't overly friendly, but we got our food fast and it was decent. However, when we returned on Sat we arrived about 1 pm and they were closed! They locked the door and would not let anyone in. Turns out the son of the owner broke his glasses, so she closed the entire restaurant -- even though we called ahead and they knew we were coming! The owner was very rude when I asked to get something quick. She said, "she is the owner and can close the restaurant anytime she wanted to."

The Springdale Municipal Airport is an excellent quick stop. However, if you are traveling cross country with hungry passengers I would not count on the restaurant being open when you get there. Calling ahead certainly helps, but the owner clearly does not subscribe to the "customer is always right" philosophy. Unlike the FBO, the restaurant seems to cater more to the local drive-in than transient fly-in customer.

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