We finally did it! We broke our all time monthly passenger record in July. Check out the presser. We were just shy of the 150,000 passenger mark (darn it, I would have like to break that barrier too!).
When we released the story to the media, my friend Marcie at WAKR called me and really tried to understand why and how we did it. She said "it seems like everything is working against you and still you are breaking records…how can this be?" Now, I'd like to claim brilliant marketing and a carefully executed communications plan, but that doesn't tell the whole story. So, here is the rest of the story…
1. We have the lowest average fare in Ohio and when folks are really watching expenditures, they tend to check multiple airports when searching for flights. More checking means more passengers finding lower fares at CAK compared to Cleveland Hopkins (CLE).
2. Folks really like flyingAirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines (as evidenced by their high load factors). These carriers really do it better. AirTran offers business class seating and XM Satellite Radio on every flight; and Frontier offers LiveTV in every seatback and 2 extra inches of leg room. That is HUGE when you are flying across the country. Folks are also smitten with US Airways from CAK. Their passenger figure was up 47% compared to last year. So having a great product/ airline mix helped too.
3. This might sound trite, but I do think our more relaxing airport experience makes a difference too. It's nice to know that everyone from the shuttle driver to the TSA to the airline crew is working hard to make your trip a bit easier here at CAK.
Now you might think that we are woopin' up on Cleveland Hopkins. Actually, truth be told, they had a great July too. So, that means that the air traveler pie actually grew this year compared to last. That's good news for the region.
Ok, I've rambled on long enough. Let's let the good times roll.