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Lower airfares possibly flying into McGhee Tyson Airport

8:11 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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For years, travelers have known flying out of Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport could be costly, but Knoxville's mayor has a plan to cut the price tag and increase the number of people who can buy a plane ticket.

Jake Boone of Bandera, North Carolina was flying out of McGhee Tyson Tuesday afternoon. While talking about ticket prices, he asked, "I mean, isn't flying enough of a pain? Why do they rip us off?"

It's a feeling shared by many who fly out of East Tennessee as they buy plane tickets.

Elaine Fisher of Maryville said, "Oh how I would love to have lower airfare."

Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport is currently ranked as having the 7th most expensive domestic airfares.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average domestic fare for travelers at the airport in 2012's 3rd quarter was $460. That's an 8.9% increase over the same time in 2011.

"My daughter lives in Florida and most of the time I get her up here I usually pay for the airfare, but if it were lowered then I could get my husband and I on the plane and we could go down there and make her pick us up," Fisher joked.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero is including in her proposed budget for the next fiscal year $170,000 to go toward lowering airfare costs.

Mayor Rogero said during her budget address Friday, "Low fare airfare service will allow us to compete more effectively to attract businesses, conventions, and tourists."

Not much is being said about the program that is expected to be a regional public and private partnership. A spokeswoman for Mayor Rogero said more details will be revealed in a few weeks. A representative for the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce also said more information about the program aimed at lowering local airfare will be revealed in a few weeks.

But the idea alone is taking off, as passengers get excited about the possibility of having to pay less.

"Definitely save money and I feel that flying is such a pain that it's like they owe you something anyways, you know," said Boone.


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