Mike blogs these thoughts:
"I have posted a few times complaining about the cost of flying out of Springfield, but here is another example on costs. Short notice flight to San Antonio; Leave 6/30 return 7/1. Out of Springfield: $1152! Out of XNA (NW Arkansas):401. I know that planning out 3 weeks will get me the cheapest air fare, but why can other airports get reasonable fares (actually great fares for short notice trips) and SGF does not? It just does not make sense. I would not consider travel to another airport if our local fare was in the $600-$700. Here is hoping the new terminal will bring our fares inline...."
I feel your pain. Why such a difference? Well, there are those reasons that I've blogged about several times:
Supply and demand; ticket prices are higher in smaller markets (smaller supply of seats) and lower in bigger markets (bigger supply of seats). The NW Arkansas airport is bigger than us.
The longer you wait to book, the smaller the supply of seats, the higher the fare.
Those are some of the usual reasons. But in this case there's another factor: competition. Think about our situation here in Springfield—American has a monopoly on service going to a southern hub. But the NW Arkansas airport has three (!) airlines flying to southern hubs. Besides American service to Dallas, Continental and Delta provide service to Houston. We sort of have a similar situation here with both Uniited and American flying to Chicago—it's the reason why you can often find United fare to Chicago for less than $200 (I just saw United fare from here to Chicago for $150 roundtrip; flying this weekend.)