Like GRR needs more expensive flights…

For six months in 2010, I flew into GRR airport (Grand Rapids, Michigan) every week.  The thing that got me?  I was paying a buttload of cash just to fly into there, or the tiny AZO (Kalamazoo) airport to the South.  Never failed; there were about a dozen consultants, though I was coming from the farthest, since I’m West Coast based, and my tickets were always around $1,000 per week.

A few times I flew on Frontier, one of the only LCCs to fly into GRR.  And now, Frontier just announced that they’re getting out of the GRR market.

Sources say that it’s because Southwest is going in there.  AirTran has been in GRR for a while, but apparently now parent Southwest is going to move in as well.  Will it have an effect on the $1,000 airfares?  I doubt it.  Why?  Because it’s not really had an effect in Atlanta.  So why should it have an effect elsewhere?  Higher fares – and fewer flights, on more and more unreliable aircraft (can you say ‘maintenance delay’?) – are here to stay, it seems.

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  • Just my opinion but I think the WN @ ATL comparison is too early to make. Their presence there is tiny compared to what will be much bigger at GRR.

  • Very true… I was a bit surprised that the AJC came out with the article already – I mean Southwest is only at 2% in ATL, whereas in DEN they are at almost 25% (as of Jan 2013).

    That said, ATL – specifically Delta – is definitely going to feel the heat once Southwest kicks into gear. Right now I can fly PDX->ATL via SEA for $600 on AS and get upgraded to first class for the coast-to-coast trip – and then turn around and have to pay $375 round trip on DL for ATL->AVL, which is a 30 minute flight.