Valdosta - Summer is here and people are looking to take that vacation to the beach. And with almost all flights overbooked, the Valdosta airport is feeling the heat.
Airport administrators have battled oil prices and airlines to keep their prices competitive and keep their flights from being cut. But the hard work is paying off.
There's never a dull day at the Valdosta Airport.
More people are looking here to fly. "You could probably drive in our parking lot right now and see many cars with Florida plates on it," says Interim Airport Manager Patti Clark. "They are choosing to fly out of our airport, rather than Tallahassee because of our price."
If you booked a flight this weekend from Valdosta to Atlanta, you'd pay $558.00. That's almost $200.00 less than a ticket out of Tallahassee and $100.00 less than Albany.
In one month, you'd pay $378.50. That's $30.00 cheaper than Tallahassee and a whopping $122.00 less than Albany. In August, those prices are the same.
But why are Valdosta fares lower?
The airport says it's their great relationship with Delta. "There is not a day and certainly not a week that goes by where we are not in close contact with them," Clark says.
In April, ASA cut flights across the board. Albany and Valdosta were included.
But airport administrators didn't take the news lightly. "When it comes to an airline, they are no different then any other business. They have to see the bottom line. So if we could show them where they were loosing numbers and loosing revenue, that's what speaks to them."
They teamed up with Moody Air Force base, travel agents and elected officials. "We identified Valdosta's problems all the way up to Governor Perdue. And he actually made phone calls to Delta."
And in July, the cut flights will resume. They say that communication has been key and will remain their biggest tool to keep flights competitive and planes in the air.