It is essential the community support low airfare carriers so these fares will stay in place.
Our region is at a very critical time for low fare service at McGhee Tyson. With the arrival of Frontier Airlines, air fares to the west coast have dropped considerably from where they were before Frontier announced service. All airlines have responded to Frontier’s competitive fares by dropping their west coast fares by 50% or more. This is exactly what we had hoped for and why we work so hard to support the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority’s efforts to bring in low fare carriers.
What can you and your organization do to help? Make sure the people that travel in your company are aware of the need to support Frontier Airlines and why. If you have a travel manager in your company or a travel agent that you use, make sure they know of your desire to support Frontier Airlines. A phone call or email to the people booking your travel can let them know that your company wants to support Frontier and to make sure they look for those fares. Remember that the competition will do anything to run them out of town so that they can keep us hostage to the high fares.
If you have clients that are outside of Knoxville and are flying into McGhee Tyson from the west coast, tell them about Frontier and how they can support the continued offerings of low fares into McGhee Tyson. They don’t like paying those high fares either.
It is essential that our community support the low fare carriers so that these fares will stay in place. Frontier is particularly important because it opens up the entire west coast to lower fares. Without Frontier, we would not be seeing fare reductions. We would be seeing fare increases just like what is happening to the rest of the country.
ETAC’s biggest challengeis making sure our travelers do not make the mistake of thinking it does not matter which airline they fly, just getting the lowest fare. All the airlines will drop their fares to compete with the hope of running Frontier out of town. They might even drop their fares a few dollars lower than Frontier so that they can take the business away from Frontier. This will not serve our community and region well in the long run. By not supporting the carrier that brought the low fares, in this case, Frontier Airlines, we risk losing them and having our fares soar higher than ever.
Even more important is the impact this has on the airport’s ability to attract Southwest Airlines. Southwest will be watching every move we make as they begin to make decisions about where they offer service. If we do not support Frontier, we will not get Southwest. It is just that simple. There is tremendous competition for low fare service throughout the country and no airline is going to take a chance with a community that does not “get it” and does not support the low fare service they already have.
It is up to you, the travelers in our region, to make this successful. Bringing in a low fare carrier is only the first step. They must be supported so that it is financially successful for them. Please be a part of making McGhee Tyson Airport a great place for low fare air service.
Check www.frontierairlines.com for travel information.
Source: East Tennesseans for Airfare Competition
Photo: East Tennesseans for Airfare Compeition