Public transportation options from Charlotte or Knoxville airports?
December 8, 2008 11:10 PM   Subscribe

What type of public transportation is available in rural Tennessee and North Carolina?

Writing from Japan; my lady here has a dear friend who lives in Tennessee, near a small town called Butler (airports are Knoxville TN and Charlotte NC). This friend has recently been quite ill, and my lady would like to fly over from Japan and visit her (again). On past visits, the American friend has driven down to Charlotte airport to pick her up, but due to the illness, this is no longer an option.

The 'obvious' solution would be for my lady to rent a car, and drive to Butler herself, but she is unwilling to attempt this (unfamiliar highways, 'wrong-side' steering wheel, etc. etc.). Are there public transportation options for this kind of trip? Rent-a-car with driver? Any recommendations from locals would be much appreciated ...
posted by woodblock100 to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Avis offers chauffeur service from Charlotte.
posted by Frank Grimes at 11:18 PM on December 8, 2008

Best answer: Actually, there is a small regional airport in the Johnson City Airport (Tricities Regional), which looks to be a lot closer to Butler. It looks like you can get connecting flights into Tricites from Atlanta, Memphis, or Charlotte, and then she could probably hire a limo/taxi service from there to Butler. Other than driving directly from one of the major airports that looks to be the only option, since Amtrak doesn't go anywhere near that area.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 11:35 PM on December 8, 2008

Yep, Tri-Cities is closest (and AVL is second-closest, though not by much from Charlotte). The regular taxi service will handle that sort of distance.

While the short-hops between regional airports (TRI/AVL/GSP) and the hubs are expensive on their own, they generally don't add a huge amount when part of a long-haul itinerary, especially if the alternative is paying for a long chauffeur ride. They can, however, be the leg that leaves you stranded because of cancellations or delays, so try to avoid ending up on the last flight of the night.
posted by holgate at 12:53 AM on December 9, 2008

Public transportation? Just about nothing. There isn't even much in the way of public transport inside most cities of that size in the South.

Fortunately, most airports have a limousine service or three. They're all privately-owned, for-profit outfits, but they get the job done. They'll pick you up at the airport and take you wherever you need to go, or vice versa. This isn't a regular taxi--they only go to and from the airport--but they tend to be a bit more professional.

Check out Fantasy Limo, which operates out of the Tri-Cities airport mentioned above. They'll give you a free quote. Check the ground transportation pages at Knoxville and Charlotte too, because there's a possibility that it'd be cheaper to fly into one of the bigger airports and take the longer car ride than it would be to fly into Tri-Cities. Do some checking.
posted by valkyryn at 2:54 AM on December 9, 2008

woodblock100, I'm afraid the chauffeur/limo route may be the only viable option. I have been in this area about six months, and boy do I miss public transportation.

Personally, I think DiscourseMarker's idea of flying into Johnson City is the best idea.

One other thing, I will be here (near Knoxville) through the end of the year. If her trip is before I leave to head back to Denver, I'd be happy to help anyway I can. Seriously (contact information is in profile).

I wish her friend well.
posted by -t at 4:53 AM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wonderful information ... I had no idea there was another airport there (although I did scan around for a while in Google Maps looking for another one in the area). The schedules show some daily connections to Tri-Cities from Detroit, so a two-stage flight from Japan seems possible, followed by a local taxi/limo ride ... very much do-able!

I'd be happy to help anyway I can. Seriously

She would never want to lean on anybody like this, but thank you - very much - for the offer to a complete stranger!

Thanks to everybody for all the advice!
posted by woodblock100 at 5:29 AM on December 9, 2008

« Older Download link for Lena Horne MP3?   |   Sounds out of Place Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.