Columbia Metropolitan Airport faces fewer flights and higher fares
Columbia Metropolitan Airport Director Dann Mann says business has decreased becuase of the rising cost of tickets.
USC Student Alix Shapiro says she will no longer fly out of Columbia because of the higher fares.
By: Tonni Murrell
Passengers who fly out of Columbia Metropolitan Airport may be facing higher fares because of the rising cost of fuel and fewer direct flights to other destinations.
Airlines are using fewer small jets, like the ones that fly out of Columbia,in favor of larger planes that fly out of larger airports like Charlotte. That means fewer direct flights and more connections through major hubs like Atlanta and Charlotte for Columbia passengers.
Columbia Metropolitan Airport Director Dann Mann says that business has been declining for the past few years.
"It's low fares and non-stops that the customers are after. Fare first and then all of those non-stops where you don't have to switch planes unlike when you fly out of a smaller airport like ours," said Mann.
Those connections mean higher ticket prices for people flying out of Columbia.
USC student Alix Shapiro says she will be flying out of Charlotte instead of Columbia when she goes home to Boston.
"I used to take Columbia's airport, but I don't anymore because it's a lot less expensive to fly out of Charlotte," said Shapiro.
She says she does miss some of the benefits.
"Usually when you fly out of Columbia there are no lines or a wait, but the problem is that Columbia doesn't fly straight to Boston," said Sharpiro.
Mann says that he hopes things will start to look up for the Columbia Metro Airport.
"We have the state capital, University of South Carolina, and a large military presence with Fort Jackson. We think we are going to see a 1 and a half to 2 percent growth in the next five years," said Mann.
Mann says its always a struggle competing with larger airports but he believes that the gap in fare prices between larger airports and smaller airports will eventually go down.