WATERLOO — City officials are touting a new survey showing the Waterloo Regional Airport’s leisure travel fares compete well with Iowa’s two largest airports.
Airport Director Keith Kaspari cited the January 2017 air fare comparison completed by the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation, which covered leisure, business and walk-up fares to a dozen U.S. destinations.
“When calculating the cost of a passenger’s time, wear and tear on their vehicle, the cost of fuel round trip, traffic delays, the time to find and the higher daily cost of parking, getting checked into their flight, moving through longer security lines and oftentimes adverse winter weather, flying ALO is cost-effective and convenient,” Kaspari said.
“Plus, service to Chicago O’Hare on American Airlines provides nearly an endless list of domestic and international connections from one of the best gateway airports in the U.S.,” he added.
The IDOT survey showed Waterloo’s round-trip leisure rates to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington, D.C., were all cheaper than airfare from Cedar Rapids. Rates to Orlando, Fla., and San Francisco were more costly from Waterloo.
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The average cost of a leisure ticket from Waterloo to those 12 designations was $33 cheaper than Cedar Rapids and $3 less costly than Des Moines.
Waterloo still trails Cedar Rapids when it comes to business travel, with the average ticket being $93 more, and walk-up tickets being $126 higher. Business travel also was less expensive, on average, from Des Moines.
Kaspari said airport staff monitors competitor’s air fares.
“We work with officials at American Airlines to help achieve a competitive balance for all classes of airfare,” he said. “Increases in passengers using the airport for both business and leisure travel and continued increases in the overall load factor of aircraft over an extended period of time will help prove to American Airlines that Waterloo is an excellent location for expanding their current flight schedule.”
The Waterloo Regional Airport saw growth in outbound passengers in 2016, which represented the largest increase in travelers there since 2008.