How do airfares from Eagle compare? |

How do airfares from Eagle compare?

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – From car-buying to flying, consumers who do their homework are usually better off. That’s true when picking airports, too.

Many locals grumble about airfares into and out of the Eagle County Regional Airport. And those fares are often more expensive than fares into and out of Denver International Airport.

Sometimes the difference is substantial. The box accompanying this story shows a difference of almost $300 per person on flight from Eagle County to New York’s LaGuardia airport.

But flying into and out of resort areas often costs more, and airlines, largely, are able to get their prices.

Eagle County Regional Airport Terminal Manager Chris Anderson said much of his information about passenger numbers comes in after the fact, but said that booking numbers into the winter seem strong for now.

Still, there are some good fares available.

American Airlines has a $129 round-trip package from Eagle County to Dallas this weekend, and there are other sales available from time to time.

Anderson said he booked a Thanksgiving weekend flight to and from Dallas for less than $400, within $50 or so of the same flight from Denver.

Anderson said when driving, parking and the general hassle of getting to and from Denver are thrown into the equation, it’s worth some extra money to fly in and out of Eagle County.

But, while a difference of $120 or so on a trip to and from Atlanta might be worth it to a single traveler, those tickets add up fast when a family travels.

Gabe Shalley, manager of airline marketing and sales for Vail Resorts, said the people on the Eagle Air Alliance, the group that works on bringing more, and more diverse, service to the valley, tries to work with airlines to keep fares competitive. But, of course, fares are ultimately up to the airlines.

Anderson said other resort-area airports in the state, including Aspen and Durango, often have some lower fares, but that’s because low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines runs planes to those places. Anderson said people backing this airport are always looking for more routes or carriers, but that’s easier said than done these days.

“The airline industry is in a difficult situation right now,” Anderson said. “It’s a challenge to grow service into new markets.”

But, given the fluctuations in airfares from one day to the next, both Anderson and Shalley encouraged people to at least look at the Eagle County option when booking flights.

“There are some good fares out there if you’re willing to be flexible,” Anderson said.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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