Flight Blog

 

Gourmet coffee is coming to our airport. The Springfield based Heroes Coffee Company will open an airport store in early February.

We already have two restaurants, two news and retail stores, and a full service bar. Gourmet coffee was the missing link — it has certainly been the most mentioned "want" by airport customers.

The Heroes beverage menu will include gourmet coffee, espresso, fruit smoothies, Italian sodas, and root beer on tap from Springfield Brewing Company. Food items will include custard bars from Andy’s Frozen Custard, baked goods from Brown Egg Café, and chocolate from Askinosie Chocolate.

While airport customers enjoy their gourmet coffee they can surf the Internet using the airport’s new and vastly improved Wi-Fi system.

Wi-Fi allows computer users to connect to the Internet wirelessly. The Springfield airport began offering the service for free in 2003. We were one of the first airports in the country to do so.wif-fo logo

Back then the only people using the Wi-Fi were people with bulky laptop computers. And their numbers were few. Today it’s completely different. It’s not unusual to have a couple of hundred people connected. A few still use laptops, but the majority use tablets and smart phones. We see whole families who are wired — mom and dad with iPads; kids with iPhones and iPods. The old Wi-Fi system couldn’t keep up.

The new Wi-Fi keeps up with demand and can even regulate usage. Suppose someone is hogging the connection by downloading huge files. When that happens it can slow down everyone else’s connection. Our new Wi-Fi identifies connection hogs and cuts them back. That way everyone is assured a good connection.

 


 


It was just about six weeks ago that we told you about Allegiant's decision to "suspend" our service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning January 14. We're now pleased to say that Allegiant will bring the service back on June 7. So we'll be without the service for about six months. Why the suspension? Read on...

Last fall Allegiant began dropping its LAX service at many airports across the country. The reason, said Allegiant, included construction, and a lack of gate and counter space at LAX. Now, the airline and LAX have apparently worked out the issues. And Allegiant tells us that it's going to do its best to make the LAX situation work.

At this point you're likely asking yourself why the service will be suspended at all — if the issues are worked out, why a six month hiatus? Especially since the suspension doesn't begin until the middle of January?!

It has to do with scheduling and reservations...

It was in November that Allegiant decided to suspend our service. When that November decision was made it immediately became impossible to book an LAX flight past mid-January because those flights were cancelled. If Allegiant decided to forgo the suspension it would be operating flights that it hadn't sold reservations for! Feel free to ask questions if that explanation is clear as mud...

By the way, the Allegiant website will now let you make reservations for LAX flights occurring on June 7 and after.

 


Nov 13 2012 LAX Service Suspended BY sgf-adminTAGS Allegiant

Allegiant has officially told us that it’s suspending its service between Springfield and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in mid-January. The news was not unexpected. The airline told us several months ago that it could happen due to operational issues at LAX.

According to several media reports those operational issues include construction, and a lack of gate and counter space. As a result, Allegiant began suspending LAX service early in the fall in cities across the country. Our service is apparently one of the last to go.

Note that I’m using the phrase “suspending service,” rather than, “cutting service.” On Sunday Allegiant told me that it’s “actively working to find a way to make the route successful long term." In other words, Allegiant hopes to bring the service back. Exactly what that means remains to be seen…

My best guess is that the airline will dump LAX and fly to another airport in the Los Angeles area. There are plenty to choose from: Santa Barbara, Burbank, Orange County, Long Beach, and Ontario.

Check out this Cranky Flier post on the LAX/Allegiant issues.

 


Oct 29 2012 Take a Peek at an Allegiant A319 BY sgf-adminTAGS Allegiant

 

Earlier this year Allegiant announced that it will start using Airbus A319s. Check out this blog and its photos of a 319 in it's new livery.

 


 

Allegiant recently flew its 500,000th customer from our airport. The half-a-million milestone was reached in May; almost exactly seven years after the low fare airline began flying from Springfield.

Allegiant began service here in April 2005 with low fare flights to Las Vegas. Flights to Orlando, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Phoenix, and Los Angeles followed.

The importance of the airline to this market should not be underestimated. Because of Allegiant people fly from Springfield who wouldn't have flown otherwise. That's because it's not unsual to find round trip fare on Allegiant for less than $200. And it's not just people from this area who are doing it. People come here from Tulsa. From Kansas City. Central Missouri. Northern Arkansas. St. Louis. They come here to fly on Allegiant.

Allegiant’s passenger milestone comes at a time that finds passenger numbers up in Springfield. For the period January through August, total passenger numbers were up 4.5%. Here’s how that compares with other airports in the region:
 

AIRPORT

TOTAL PASSENGERS (ARRIVING & DEPARTING)

January through August, 2012, compared to the same period last year

   
Northwest Arkansas - 1%
Tulsa + 1.5%
St. Louis + 2%
Kansas City - 1.4%
Springfield + 4.5%

 

Yes, our passenger numbers are bucking the trend. Will it continue? Our best guess is that we'll finish the year with flat passenger numbers, or up slightly.  This forecast is based on the fact that the airlines have announced more nation wide capacity cuts (fewer seats in the air) for the rest of the year. Why cut? The price of jet fuel and the sluggish economy. While this may sound dreary, it's a whole lot better than last year...we finished 2011 with an 8% decline in passengers, and a 21% cut in capacity. So this year is much, much better.