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Grand Rapids Airport (GRR) News and Developments


joeDowntown

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Almost ALL airlines charge money (for domestic flights) for each checked bag these days. I had to pay $40 to check two bags in flying from San Francisco to GRR (via Dallas).

Pretty soon there will be coin slots on the bathroom doors. :)

Joe

I've often wondered what company that Southwest is referencing in its commercials about charges for the first checked bag, booking flights over the phone, etc.

It appears that it is Allegiant. News release says that its charges $15 for the first checked bag and $10 for flights booked over the phone. Still, it will be a savings when compared to other flights out of GRR.

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I agree. I could see GRR taking flights from Lansing, Kzoo and Muskegon while Detroit may take flights from Flint. It seems like airports will become MORE regional as less people travel (bringing the need to cast a wider net).

I flew in and out of GRR in the last week on United and it was very busy. And with fuel prices taking a temporary dive, maybe air travel will pick up.

Joe

I think we are going to start to see more of these deals moving forward, as the airport management has to do something to increase passenger numbers. I think the opening of the parking garage will greatly enhance efforts to lure a 2nd low cost carrier to GRR.
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2490863888_31d4f29a6d_b.jpg

How did you catch that?

I saw an article earlier about Capital City Airport volume at a 20 year low, and now I can't find it. I would say with Allegient moving their operations here, there's a better chance they're here for the long term (no matter what NWA does). Does anyone even see Northwest trying to undercut them with the financial upheaval in the markets lately?

Ah, here it is (buried in the article):

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=87294

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How did you catch that?

I saw an article earlier about Capital City Airport volume at a 20 year low, and now I can't find it. I would say with Allegient moving their operations here, there's a better chance they're here for the long term (no matter what NWA does). Does anyone even see Northwest trying to undercut them with the financial upheaval in the markets lately?

I don't see that happening. Primarily because Northwest seems to have a cornered market @ GRR, and Allegient will only serve a certain group of customers with a limited destination list. Even with the addition of Allegient, NWA still has to feel comfortable in terms of being pretty much the go-to airline for many business travelers out of GRR. With increased regionalization (does anyone really think K-zoo and Muskegon can compete with GRR?) in the future, I would think there will probably be a big enough pie for everyone to have a slice.

However, if Southwest were to ever come to GR, with service to Midway and an east coast city, NWA would have to take action.

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How did you catch that?

I saw an article earlier about Capital City Airport volume at a 20 year low, and now I can't find it. I would say with Allegient moving their operations here, there's a better chance they're here for the long term (no matter what NWA does). Does anyone even see Northwest trying to undercut them with the financial upheaval in the markets lately?

Ah, here it is (buried in the article):

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=87294

Since Allegiant will only fly to two Florida cities from GRR, they're hardly going to be a threat to NWA or any other legacy carrier in our market. Maybe NWA will try to compete on fares for flights going to/from Orlando and Tampa, but that's it. Allegiant certainly isn't going to impact the cost of flights from GRR to New York, Boston, Washington, LA, etc.

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How did you catch that?

I saw an article earlier about Capital City Airport volume at a 20 year low, and now I can't find it. I would say with Allegient moving their operations here, there's a better chance they're here for the long term (no matter what NWA does). Does anyone even see Northwest trying to undercut them with the financial upheaval in the markets lately?

Ah, here it is (buried in the article):

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=87294

Allegiant has had 3-4 charters a month coming in and out of GRR the past year or so. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for that MD-80, from Tunica, Al.

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I don't see that happening. Primarily because Northwest seems to have a cornered market @ GRR, and Allegient will only serve a certain group of customers with a limited destination list. Even with the addition of Allegient, NWA still has to feel comfortable in terms of being pretty much the go-to airline for many business travelers out of GRR. With increased regionalization (does anyone really think K-zoo and Muskegon can compete with GRR?) in the future, I would think there will probably be a big enough pie for everyone to have a slice.

Northwest started the whole $15 for the first bag scam in the last month or two as well. I mean, where are the marketing people in this? Why antagonize everyone with this added fee? Incorporate the fee into the ticket price and offer a discount bonus if you don't check any luggage. What sounds better: a fee or a discount, the stick or the carrot?

Also, don't forget that Northwest will become Delta in the near future - reducing choice at GRR a little more even though the current Delta Connection wasn't exactly outstanding.

We could definitely use another low cost carrier with a wider range of destinations. But kudos to the folks at GRR for landing Allegiant. That's a good start.

edit: Do you think Allegiant will eventually add the flights to Vegas that they ran out of Lansing?

Edited by wingbert
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I'm currently trying to make travel plans to get back to Omaha in early January to visit my parents and other relatives. On Travelocity and Expedia, my flight from GRR is currently $340 each. Last year we paid about $250 each. The $340 is just too much and we are exploring other options, one of which is to take the train to Chicago and spend New Year's there and then fly from Chicago. Southwest from Midway to Omaha is only $70/each way, $200 LESS! This amount makes travelling to Chicago to fly very attractive.

We'll also consider Greyhound, but that appears to be about $200/person (only $117 from Chicago?!?). This is more than it has been in any past year I've checked this option.

Amtrak between GR and Omaha runs about $240/person, but doesn't connect very well (their reservations system doesn't even work for a GR to Omaha trip, you'd have to book each separately, the Chicago to Omaha leg being about $205).

So, in summary, right now we're leaning towards taking a day or two in Chicago to do some touristy stuff, flying to Omaha and from Omaha there, taking the train each way to get to and from Chicago, or possibly doing the drive to Michigan City and take the Metra in. It's just hard for us to justify such a large cost difference. A discount carrier that could bring in some more competition in fares would be great in my opinion. I realize that it's still going to be more expensive than much larger markets, but at least they could hopefully close the gap a bit.

Edited by fotoman311
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I have a few friends in Tampa, and have flown numerous times from Lansing to Tampa on Allegiant. From my experience, it's quite the deal. You can only fly on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so its not very flexible. The $89 thing seems to be a catch. I've always gotten one way for $89, but the return flight has always been around $129. On the flip side, I've seen tickets as low as $29 for one-way. Flights only take a couple hours with no layovers. On the way back last time, they did a raffle. They even let kids buy $1 tickets because they were in "International Skies," haha. Drinks (even water) will cost you, there are no free peanuts, and everything besides your carry-one will cost $20.

I'm happy to see this in GR. Now I can save the $40 weekly parking rate at Lansing. Allegiant flies all over the country, so hopefully we'll see their flights expand if the Florida thing works well for them.

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Good article.

Tampa Bay Business Journal has details on the days and times of the flights:

http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/storie...10/daily12.html

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Sorry Lansing. You may be the state capital but you are smaller than GR and probably always will be. Deal with it. :dontknow:

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Sorry Lansing. You may be the state capital but you are smaller than GR and probably always will be. Deal with it. :dontknow:

Allegiant left because it's too close to Metro, and because Ford International outbid Capital Region International, not because it was too small. The only way Capital Region International will work squeezed in between Bishop, Ford & Metro is to do what Bishop did and find a specialized niche and to pursue more cargo operations. Ford is a bit more isolated, geographically, so it has a much bigger area to pull from. But, thanks for the needless bashing, anyway.

Edited by Lmichigan
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Sorry Lansing. You may be the state capital but you are smaller than GR and probably always will be. Deal with it. :dontknow:

Ouch! GR hates it when Detroit plays the "Bigger" card so be mindful of Lansing now that they're in the same situation. Such divisive dialogue does nothing to support and nurture the necessary linkages that need to occur between the Capital area and its two largest metro areas for Michigan to grow the central "coast-to-coast" infrastructure spine it needs flourish.

Let's brainstorm with Lansingites some ways for them to become the hub of a Grand Rapids-Lansing-Detroit I-96 commuter rail corridor. Something like that may be a little more proactive and a more positive way for than to "deal with it" than just being flip. :huh:

Edited by metrogrkid
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Ouch! GR hates it when Detroit plays the "Bigger" card so be mindful of Lansing now that they're in the same situation. Such divisive dialogue does nothing to support and nurture the necessary linkages that need to occur between the Capital area and its two largest metro areas for Michigan to grow the central "coast-to-coast" infrastructure spine it needs flourish.

Let's brainstorm with Lansingites some ways for them to become the hub of a Grand Rapids-Lansing-Detroit I-96 commuter rail corridor. Something like that may be a little more proactive and a more positive way for than to "deal with it" than just being flip. :huh:

Agreed. Great points. The last thing Michigan needs right now is unenlightened cannabalism. The airline that GRR attracts today may well be the airline that LAN or KZO steals tomorrow.

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I may be in the minority on this one, but I tend to think that with pressure to reduce operating costs, airlines will be consolidating regional airports that are in close geographic proximity. Thus, within the next 5 years, I wouldn't be surprised to see carriers consolidate even further in Western Michigan. I would assume that Muskegon and/or K-zoo would probably not last through a consolidation. I've held this belief for quite a while, and I think that the Parking Garage project at GRR only solidifies Grand Rapids' position in the market.

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I may be in the minority on this one, but I tend to think that with pressure to reduce operating costs, airlines will be consolidating regional airports that are in close geographic proximity. Thus, within the next 5 years, I wouldn't be surprised to see carriers consolidate even further in Western Michigan. I would assume that Muskegon and/or K-zoo would probably not last through a consolidation. I've held this belief for quite a while, and I think that the Parking Garage project at GRR only solidifies Grand Rapids' position in the market.

That point is becoming inevitable. Still, as the "next big city" region in Michigan, let's show some stewardship and assist Lansing, Kalamazoo and the Muskegon portion of Metro GR with tying in economically and infrastructurally with the Kent County portion of the Grand Rapids Metro Triplex. The resulting regional integration and cooperation will help to minimize any short-term losses such as those discussed here.

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Landing Allegiant Air isn't exactly something to sing from the rooftops, It's good that GR is getting more options and maybe more competition. But them leaving the Lansing market shouldn't be the focus, and I think it'll be a cold day in hell before Kzoo loses passenger service from it's airport, even if there were further consolidation. That Airport serves way more people than hundreds of other airports in other states. Kzoo may be smaller in population, but it suffers from the same thing that ails all midsized Michigan cities, including GR. A tiny land area, and with no way to expand on it. They are all misrepresented by how big they are because of limited civic boundaries. Most people outside GR (and really even in it) have little concept of how big it is. I remember when I managed a restaurant by the airport on 28th st a few years ago, back when Showcase Cinema was still where costco is now and empty. I had a couple out of town travelers ask if Grand Rapids had lost it's movie theater. When I explained to them, that there were about ten other cineplexes scattered thruout town, they couldn't believe it. Same thing happened with Costco, a guy from Lansing asked me when Lansing was going to get a costco. I made the mistake of saying that I thought the Lansing market might have been to small at the time. I was curtly informed that Lansing was twice the size of GR. I guess my point is, I think we should extend a little more curtesy to our inner state brethren, as while GR is bigger, it ain't that much bigger, and yes it is the second city, but the difference between, size of second city and Flagship city is huge, and we all live in the shadow of Detroit.

:offtopic: take this back to GRR news.

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Landing Allegiant Air isn't exactly something to sing from the rooftops, It's good that GR is getting more options and maybe more competition. But them leaving the Lansing market shouldn't be the focus, and I think it'll be a cold day in hell before Kzoo loses passenger service from it's airport, even if there were further consolidation. That Airport serves way more people than hundreds of other airports in other states. Kzoo may be smaller in population, but it suffers from the same thing that ails all midsized Michigan cities, including GR. A tiny land area, and with no way to expand on it. They are all misrepresented by how big they are because of limited civic boundaries. Most people outside GR (and really even in it) have little concept of how big it is. I remember when I managed a restaurant by the airport on 28th st a few years ago, back when Showcase Cinema was still where costco is now and empty. I had a couple out of town travelers ask if Grand Rapids had lost it's movie theater. When I explained to them, that there were about ten other cineplexes scattered thruout town, they couldn't believe it. Same thing happened with Costco, a guy from Lansing asked me when Lansing was going to get a costco. I made the mistake of saying that I thought the Lansing market might have been to small at the time. I was curtly informed that Lansing was twice the size of GR. I guess my point is, I think we should extend a little more curtesy to our inner state brethren, as while GR is bigger, it ain't that much bigger, and yes it is the second city, but the difference between, size of second city and Flagship city is huge, and we all live in the shadow of Detroit.

:offtopic: take this back to GRR news.

Not to parse details, but Kzoo/BC airport has less passenger volume than Lansing, and their volume is way down in 08 over 07 (-10%).

http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?...p;carrier=FACTS

As far as the guy who said Lansing was twice as big as Grand Rapids, I wouldn't even have known what to say to someone so ill informed. :huh:

BTW: Allegient was 13% of Lansing's passenger volume last year.

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Not to parse details, but Kzoo/BC airport has less passenger volume than Lansing, and their volume is way down in 08 over 07 (-10%).

http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?...p;carrier=FACTS

As far as the guy who said Lansing was twice as big as Grand Rapids, I wouldn't even have known what to say to someone so ill informed. :huh:

BTW: Allegient was 13% of Lansing's passenger volume last year.

i'm sure passenger traffic is down, all I was saying was I just can't see passenger traffic leaving Kzoo all together I just don't think they'll be shutting down AZO anytime soon. As for the guy who said that, I just smiled and wanted to give him an almanac.

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