Eagle airfares competing with those of DIA | VailDaily.com

Eagle airfares competing with those of DIA

Veronica Whitney

If you want to fly from Eagle to Atlanta on July 23 and come back on July 27, it will cost you $332, reveals a recent search on American Airlines’ Web site. The same trip from Denver, however, costs $297.

That’s one sample of what American Airlines offers with its new daily summer flights program between Dallas and Eagle County Regional Airport. The program, which began June 14 when the airline’s first Boeing 757 of the summer landed in Eagle, is doing well, having sold more than 6,500 of 14,000 seats available through Labor Day.

“Now that the program is taking off with second-home owners and tourists, locals should also start profiting from the fares and convenience of the service,” said Kent Myers, of Airplanners LLC, a consultant hired by the county last year to organize the program. “A lot of locals think that flying out of Eagle is more expensive than flying out of Denver. Some people, instead of paying $50 more, say, “I’ll fly out of Denver.’ But when you add the cost of the gas and parking, it makes sense to pay a little more.”

American Airlines’ Dallas-Fort Worth hub connects travelers from Eagle County to 28 cities in the United States, including, Boston, New York, Orlando, Miami, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta, as well as Zurich, Switz.

Eagle County Assistant Administrator Becky Gadell said there are bargains for those flying out of Eagle on weekdays.

“We’d love for people to take advantage of that,” Gadell said.

The fact that most of the seats inbound are booked for Wednesday and Thursday and outbound flights are booked on Sundays – in July, for example, outbound flights on Sundays are sold out – leaves empty seats on the reversed direction, Myers said.

“We want locals going out on those days, when they’ll find competitive rates,” he said.

So Myers recommends locals try to leave Eagle on Wednesdays or Thursdays and return on Sundays.

“As promised, we said it would be $50 to $100 more over the cost of flying out of Denver,” Myers said.

Although flying from Eagle is more expensive, there are some destinations, like Miami, that are cheaper to fly to from Eagle than from Denver.

“It’s always cheaper from Denver, but you have to add the travel time; if the flight leaves early in the morning, you have to spend the night there,” he said. “If we can sell these outbound seats, the program will be very successful.”

On the Web: http://www.flyvailsummer.com. For American Airlines reservations log on to http://www.aa.com

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.

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