All three airlines use the same style 50-passenger jets with the Delta Airline colors and logo.
"I didn't think passengers would notice a change," said Mike Wilson, airport manager. "The crews wear the same style uniform, and the planes are the same. The only thing visually different is that on the side of the plane in small writing it says 'operated by SkyWest.’ ”
Passengers still book their flights through Delta.
Shirley Dittman of Highmore was one of the 26 passengers who arrived on the 2:20 p.m. flight. She had flown out of the Aberdeen airport eight days before on a Pinnacle plane to Minneapolis and then to Nashville, Tenn. She returned on SkyWest.
"I didn't notice anything different," she said. "Everybody was very friendly on both flights."
Eileen Holmes from Skiatook, Okla., said she was not aware of the change of carriers. She had flown to Aberdeen to attend the funeral of her mother.
"I flew here last week, and I did not notice anything different from that time," she said.
As long as the planes are jets and not turboprops, which used to fly out of Aberdeen a year and a half ago, she said she is happy.
"Oh, I hate those propeller planes," she said. "They shake. My daughter said she would not fly to Aberdeen on a propeller plane again."
Reason for switch
The switch in connecting carriers came after Delta announced in the summer that it was dropping service to 24 small cities that had money-losing flights.
While Delta never intended to drop Aberdeen, Wilson said, it was the first step in a process that allowed airlines to bid on serving airports with federal subsidies.
Sky West was the only bidder for the Aberdeen flights. The airline will receive a $1.2 million subsidy per year to provide 14 round-trip flights per week to Minneapolis. That is $840 per flight, Wilson said.
On Friday, while only 26 passengers were on the arriving afternoon flight, 48 were on the departing afternoon flight.
Wilson said that on average, passengers counts have been good. In January, there was a 14 percent increase, he said.
Wayne Miller of Aberdeen arrived on the SkyWest flight after vacationing in Maui, Hawaii.
"The only thing I noticed that was different was that, at the Minneapolis Airport, our gate was about two gates away from the usual one," he said.
The airlines had lost a piece of his luggage, but he was not sure at what point in the return trip that it happened. He said he did not blame SkyWest.
Lynn Reber, Aberdeen, said that the flight was the same as other connecting flights she has taken out of Aberdeen. The only difference was that she seemed to get more emails or text messages announcing slight changes in departure times, she said.
Cody and Justin Fredrickson, brothers who formerly lived in Aberdeen who came to visit family, said they did not notice anything different about the flight.
"It landed safely; that is the main thing," said Cody Fredrickson. "And it was 15 minutes early."