Air travel on the rise during spring break

TSA workers screen flyers through Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport (WBAY photo)
TSA workers screen flyers through Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport (WBAY photo)(WBAY)
Published: Mar. 20, 2019 at 4:09 PM CDT
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Spring officially begins this week and that's welcome news after a rough winter full of snow and cold. Many school districts in our area have spring breaks this week and next, and families are filling up planes headed to warmer destinations.

Appleton International Airport is bustling more now than any other time of the year.

According to Abe Weber, airport director at Appleton International, "It's been our busiest spring break we've ever seen. We have 1,500 people a day coming through the airport and heading out to warm weather destinations."

With the demand for air travel at an all-time high in Northeast Wisconsin, Allegiant, which usually flies twice a week to both Orlando and Arizona out of Outagamie County, has added an additional five flights a week: three more to Florida and two extra to Arizona.

"They put a big focus on spring break understanding that we had some really rough winter weather. They're up over 30 percent in seats through our airport," says Weber.

Other carriers at Appleton and Austin Straubel in Green Bay are either adding flights or flying larger planes to accommodate the additional travelers.

And despite the increase in demand, passengers say fares have stayed the same.

"I thought they were pretty fair, about the same as usual, so I was surprised. I thought it would be a little more expensive this time of year, but it wasn't bad," says traveler Jackie Quade.

Traveler Shawn Esslinger adds, "Pricing was good. And Allegiant we've flown them many times so, it's direct and that's the main consideration."

In addition to more flights and easier access to destinations, Appleton International has sweetened the deal by adding valet parking.

"It was just very convenient, very convenient," says Esslinger.

And that's the goal, as airports try to appease all of those vacation-bound travelers.

Weber adds, "Our goal was really just to elevate the customer experience that much more and be the most convenient airport in Northeast Wisconsin."

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