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.