A "Flying Fresno" Price Check

May 15, 2009 12:15:57 AM PDT
With summer just around the corner, more and more families are trying to plan trips, and save money if they can. But sometimes that means booking a flight from a big-city airport, or does it?Flying out of a smaller airport is often times more expensive. But officials here say they're working on ways to make it cheaper hoping more people will realize flying out of Fresno may be worth more than you think.

Officials at Fresno Yosemite International Airport are celebrating a new addition, giant sequoia trees. They're part of an ongoing project to beautify the airport and entice more people to fly out of Fresno.

"What a great concept. I mean we're so close to three national parks and it will lead passengers and visitors with a first and lasting impression of Fresno," said Vikkie Calderon.

Airport officials hope a new TV ad campaign will get people to think about the benefits of FYI versus other airports farther away. So, we decided to crunch the numbers to see how FYI stacks up.

According to Expedia.com, a round trip ticket to Las Vegas from San Jose will cost you 275-dollars. From LAX, 127-dollars. And from Fresno, 185-dollars.

A round trip ticket to Denver from San Jose will set you back 178-dollars. From LAX, 156 dollars. And from Fresno, a whopping 493-dollars.

And if you're heading to Orlando, it will cost you 409-dollars from San Jose, 352-dollars from LAX, and 377-dollars from Fresno.

In all, Fresno flights are a bit more expensive, and in some cases, a lot more. But not always when you factor in gas, parking costs and time saved.

"It's just a matter of convenience, yeah. You're close, you're here and you can always get someone to drive you to the airport, you don't have to pay for parking," said Angie Soriano.

The push for more Fresno passengers is far from over. Airport officials are currently pursuing low cost carriers, hoping to make Fresno's airport even more attractive.

"I will be meeting with Express jet, Southwest airlines, Delta and several other airlines just about expanding service if they're already here and maybe enticing those new ones, especially low cost airlines like Jet Blue to come and do business here in Fresno," said Rhonda Jorn.

Airport officials are working on a pitch campaign for those low cost carriers. They will be meeting with them at the end of this month.

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