Wednesday, July 12, 2006


In 1995, newspaper headlines read "DIA slipping as Springs airport soars," and "DIA market is fare game for Springs."

The articles go on to describe travelers driving an extra 60 miles south and by-passing Denver to fly out of Colorado Springs to capitalize on cheap flights, mostly from Western Pacific. The airline, which has since gone bankrupt, was advertising one-way fares from Colorado Springs starting a $39 to major hubs such as San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas. Passenger traffic at the Colorado Springs Airport was up 28 percent and there were talks of adding a $50 million (in 1995) new concourse with as many as 12 new gates.
DIA could not compete since they had per-passenger costs four or five times higher than the costs out of Colorado Springs.

Now, it seems many people are making the drive north to fly out of Denver and capitalize on cheap air fare. So when did every thing change? Perhaps it happened when Western Pacific went belly up and left Colorado Springs, or maybe when Colorado Springs lost Southwest to Denver? The Gazette wants to know what you think? What airport do you decide to fly to and from? And why?


Anonymous said...

Let's see: just checked prices on United Airlines website for flights to Chicago for July 26, returning August 2nd.
Fly out of Denver: $216-$261 roundtrip
Fly out of Colo Spgs: $261-$407
Yep, there is a big difference, especially during certain times of the day!

V said...

While COS has some of the major carriers - they typically have to connect through DIA anyway ... So why not drive an hour, save a 15 min flight (which could be delayed), and simplify your trip by 1 stop!

Now - for the routes where there is a COS to XYZ direct flight - I'll pay extra for the shorter lines at check-in & security (and easier parking) at COS every time!

Anonymous said...

Let's remember what started the slide. Western Pacific was growing mostly by word of mouth, and putting COS on the map. It was fun, different, casual and hip. (Remember the secret weekend getaways, where you'd book a trip on WestPac not knowing where you were going until you got to the airport?) Then a bunch of bloodless gray suits bought the airline and tried to turn it into an upscale, elite business-oriented airline. The hipness was gone, the fares skyrocketed, and the airline predictably died. COS had lost its allure, and has never recaptured it.