Federal report says McGhee Tyson airfares dropped 14.3%

Federal report says McGhee Tyson airfares dropped 14.3%

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A recent study shows airfares at McGhee Tyson Airport have dropped significantly.

The Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which ranks the top 100 airports according to their average airfare, recorded a 14.3% decrease in average airfare at the airport during fourth quarter 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.

"We have seen more low fare service coming to our airport and our community is supporting it," said Jim Evans, Vice President of Marketing and Air Service Development at McGhee Tyson.

The report also found TYS saw the second largest decline in average airfare among the airports included.

"It's difficult as a student to get where you need to be especially when you don't have the money to travel the way you typically like to travel," said traveler Kimberly Heines.

The survey ranked McGhee Tyson as 36th on its list of average airfares for the top 100 airports, a significant decrease from its third place ranking in 2009. The report also found airfare at the airport has decreased over 28 percent since 2000.

The airport is hopeful that its place on the BTS list will continue to trend downward with the lowering of airfares with the launch of Frontier Airlines’ low fare service to Chicago’s Midway Airport on June 15, 2014.

6 News compared prices between McGhee Tyson and surrounding airports to some of the "low cost" destinations.

A round trip ticket to Chicago costs on average $477 from TYS, cheaper than Atlanta and Chattanooga but more expensive than Nashville.

A round trip ticket to Denver could cost $711 from Knoxville, topping the list of the airports we checked.

"We're still higher than we'd like to be. We're never going to be satisfied with where our slot is on that list," said Evans.

Some travelers say shopping for the best price could mean it is worth it to drive to an out-of-town airport.

"As long as it's not totally inconvenient. Sometimes the price and the distance even out," said traveler Betsy Reinhard.

According to the report Huntsville has the highest fares.

Long beach, Calif. has the lowest.

Atlanta saw the second biggest increase in prices up nine percent from last year.
More online: Read the full report  

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