Passenger boardings are up, but so are concerns over passenger service, as the Regional Airport makes the change from Delta to Great Lakes Airlines.
Great Lakes began service to Thief River Falls in May, marked by direct routes and cheaper flights, but also by cancellations and delays that have been a concern to Airport Manager, Joe Hedrick.
Hedrick outlined his concerns earlier this month when he met with Great Lakes Administration in Cheyenne, Wyoming and says the airline has responded, promising to dedicate an airplane solely to the Thief River Falls Market, “overnighting” at the Regional Airport beginning September First, while also continuing to hire additional staff to complement their Minneapolis flight crews.
Hedrick says he is most concerned about a travelers First Impression flying from Thief River Falls as boardings continue to increase. He says passengers continue to take advantage of free parking, the convenience of flying from home and dramatically cheaper ticket prices. Passenger boardings totaled 232 in June, compared to 130 one year ago.
So how cheap is cheap? Checking prices Wednesday for travelers flying Thief River Falls to Minneapolis, August 25th and returning the 27th, that ticket will cost you $99 to the cities, $94 for the return flight, for a round trip total of $193. That same ticket will cost you a $144 more – $337 dollars out of Grand Forks – plus gas, time and parking.