When it comes to air travel, fare is fare.
By: Kim Bridger
Who would have thought that in January 2015, we could fill up our gas tanks for $28? That’s what I paid the last time I pulled up to the pump. For consumers, it’s been like the gift that keeps on giving. We are saving money on gas, and we are able to turn around and spend that money on something else. That’s a great way to start a new year – even though we suspect the windfall will be short-lived.
For those of you waiting for airfare to take a similar dive, it’s probably not a good idea to hold your breath. Even though some analysts predict that airlines will lower airfare due to fuel cost savings, it’s not likely that it will be that noticeable if it happens. The major airlines have settled into new ways of doing business. They are profitable now, and it is unlikely that we will ever see things go back to the way they used to be. But when it comes to flying out of Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA), there is some good news to report.
Prices out of CCIA have dropped about 10 percent in the past couple of years. This is probably because of people who travel frequently or commonly compare CCIA airfare to what is offered out of San Antonio International. Back in 2012, it was not uncommon to find airfare out of CCIA 20 to 25 percent higher than San Antonio. Nowadays, the average difference in fare between the two airports when comparing some of our most popular destinations is about $25. These price comparisons are based on a 21-day advance purchase.
There are likely a number of things that have contributed to the softening of prices out of CCIA. In 2013, American Airlines introduced some larger jets into the service mix at CCIA, which opened up more capacity for customers. More capacity can lead to slightly lower prices. The Coastal Bend has enjoyed an economic upswing that includes more jobs, higher pay for some and more disposable income in some cases. All of this has helped generate an 8 percent increase in air travel traffic at CCIA in 2014.
We make no predictions here about airfare at CCIA in the coming year. The airlines have their own formulas for establishing fares, and there are just so many variables that can have an impact on pricing. But American Airlines is bringing back a couple of larger planes in April. While it appears that for now, this increase in capacity will be seasonal, it does give us reason to be optimistic about the spring, summer and fall.
We realize that there are sometimes wider gaps in pricing depending on where you want to go. We also realize that price and convenience are important when it’s time to take a trip. And we know that travelers make decisions based on what is best for their families and businesses. We urge you to consider traveling out of CCIA when it makes sense for you. The more we use the service that is offered here, the better our chances of getting more of what we need in the future.
This community is served by three major airlines (American, Southwest and United) in a modern terminal building that can be the perfect beginning for your next trip. When it’s time to get out of town, fly CCIA! Go to a happy place.
Kim Bridger is the marketing manager at CCIA. For more information, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.