Press-Republican

Business

December 21, 2012

Allegiant sees big Las Vegas lift off

PLATTSBURGH — Allegiant Air service to Las Vegas got off to a flying start Thursday morning.

The inaugural flight from Plattsburgh International Airport had 225 passengers, mainly from across the border.

Sally Sano and Judy Halabi of Montreal were traveling to Las Vegas with a small group of friends. Sano said airfare was the main attraction, as it was hundreds of dollars cheaper than flying from Trudeau Airport in Dorval, Quebec.

Halabi said other factors making Plattsburgh her choice included clearing customs at the border rather than at their destination, low-cost parking and ease of getting to and from the airport.

“It’s much more convenient for us,” she said.

Both said they would fly from Plattsburgh again in the future.

Audrey Dussault of Sherbrooke, Quebec, was also heading out with friends to Las Vegas. This was her first time flying from Plattsburgh International.

A friend had told her about the airport, and she saved a couple hundred dollars compared to a flight from Montreal. It took about two hours to drive to Plattsburgh, about a half hour longer than a trip to Montreal, she said.

But the money saved on airfare and parking more than made up for the extra time, Dussault said.

‘REGIONAL ASSET’

Airport Manager Christopher Krieg said the airport is pulling in travelers not only from the Montreal area but also Quebec City and Ottawa. Those people often spend time in Plattsburgh before or after a flight.

“It’s good for the community and good for the region,” he said. “The airport is a regional asset. People need to understand that.”

The proposed terminal-expansion plan can only help the airport continue to grow, Krieg said.

Also offered from Plattsburgh is PenAir service to Boston, with a one-way ticket priced at between $40 and $50 compared to $250 from Montreal.

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