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"Palm Springs Airport is courting carriers"


 
Sunday, December 10, 2006

Airport is courting carriers
Incentive plan would expand, add destinations, especially to East Coast 
By Debra Gruszecki
The Palm Springs (CA) Desert Sun


PALM SPRINGS - When Lila Blane boards a plane for her Dec. 21 flight to
Washington Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., it won't be
from here.

Blane's aircraft will be taking off from Los Angeles International Airport.

"I have to leave out of LAX because the only service I can get out of Palm
Springs arrives in Dulles after midnight,'' she said. "It's the only way to
get to Dulles at a reasonable hour."

As it is, Blane will spend the night at the home of a son in Hollywood Hills
to make the 9 a.m. flight that lands in the Dulles, Va., airport at 5 p.m.
Then, it'll take a 1-hour limousine ride for Blane to reach another son's
home in Bethedsa, Md.

"It's a terrible trip,'' she said. "I'm used to flying back and forth to
London; this is almost as long."

A Palm Springs resident since 1984, Blane is among a pack of travelers who
support Palm Springs International Airport's incentive plan to attract new
air carriers, add destinations to its base of offerings and expand nonstop
service to the East Coast.

The airport commission on Wednesday approved the incentive plan. It
confirmed Palm Springs is courting Denver-based Frontier Airlines for
service in 2007. It classified as "strategic" these markets: New York's JFK
or Newark international airports, Dulles and Baltimore/Washington
International Airport.

Farrell Meisel, president of FMI Media Group, said he would welcome an
expansion.

"Almost every route from Palm Springs is a near monopoly,'' said Meisel, a
valley resident who has lived in 11 different cities around the world. "So,
Frontier would offer consumers more choice, and competition would reduce
fares - whether traveling via their Denver hub or if they chose to fly
directly from here to the East Coast."

"The more, the merrier,'' Bob Rosefsky said.

Rosefsky, who travels into L.A. five to seven times a year to catch flights
to major cities or international destinations, said he'd prefer to fly out
of Palm Springs. "In this day and age, with all the nuisance of security and
getting to the airport so early, the fewer airports I go through the happier
I am."

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