The Research Valley Partnership wants to attract more travelers to Easterwood. A study showed the local community has what they consider to be misconceptions about the Airport.
"We did research to get a feel for what people think about the airport and we discovered so many people think that's it's a lot more expensive to fly out of Easterwood," said Celia Goode-Haddock, Research Valley Partnership.
Goode-Haddock says many residents travel just to travel. They drive to Houston or Austin because they think the flights are cheaper. But Goode-Haddock says after the cost of gas and parking, the savings are usually diminished.
"With the two airlines that we currently have out of Easterwood it may cost an additional $40 and sometimes it's the same price," she said.
"I think it depends on the rates," said Lisa Norris, local resident.
Norris says her family prefers to use Easterwood because of convenience, but admits she does comparison shop before making a decision.
"A travel agency will be able to tell, there are times when its like $60 to fly from College Station to Houston," said Norris.
Using the popular travel site Expedia, we did a little comparison shopping on flights ourselves.
A round-trip flight from Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport to Washington DC National with 14 day advance purchase is $229.
Using the same dates and a flight from Easterwood to Washington was $285, that's a $56 difference. In this case, the convenience of Easterwood probably holds more weight.
A flight from Bush to LAX, also with 14 day advance purchase, is $219. But a flight from Easterwood to Los Angeles is $358, that's a $139 difference. An amount some might consider driving to Houston to avoid.
Goode-Haddock hopes that's not case for most flights, because more local passengers equal more local money, and lower fairs.
"We're looking for enplanements and the more enplanements we have the more money we have coming into the community," said Goode-Haddock.
Easterwood currently has just under 90,000 enplanements per year. Waco Regional Airport, which is similar in size, has about 71,000. Which means Easterwood is well ahead of the others in the area. Community leaders, however, want more.
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