Let the California vacations begin! The Provo Municipal Airport recently added a direct flight to the Los Angeles International Airport.
Beginning Sept. 26, Provo will offer direct flights to the Los Angeles International Airport twice per week. Allegiant, the airline servicing the Provo Airport, already included flights to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Arizona and the Oakland International Airport in California.
Steve Gleason, the Provo airport manager, has been working on this deal for six to seven years and said the need for the new flight was obvious.
“We know where the market is and LA has always been our second largest market segment,” Gleason said.
Both Allegiant and Provo city government are excited with the change and expect it to draw new customers.
Kenny Baldwin, a senior studying public relations, lives about 45 minutes from Los Angeles and has begun spreading the word about the new flight.
“I told my parents about it in particular because they especially travel (to Provo) often. … My wife and I already plan on booking a flight to visit my family,” Baldwin said.
To catch attention and create buzz, Provo City has been working hard to inform the public about the new flight. According to city spokesperson Whitney Booth, the airport offered promotions to incentivize the public to book a flight.
“Tickets were offered at $54.99 (for a limited time) and the mayor gave away an entire row of tickets for free, which is awesome,” Booth said. “I just get to have a lot of fun spreading the word.”
For most BYU students and Provo residents, a trip by plane means asking friends or family to sacrifice the two-hour trip to and from the Salt Lake City Airport. Now, passengers to LA won’t have to feel so guilty about asking for a ride.
Though the Provo airport is just a few miles away, some students are still nervous about its value as the promotional rates expire.
Senior Natalie Asay is also from California and said flying out of Provo is ultimately a question of price.
“It sounds like it’s a lot more convenient, but if it’s not cheaper it may not be worth it. Luckily there are a lot of airports near my house (in Southern California) so I have options,” Asay said.
There are only three regularly scheduled flight destinations out of Provo, but the city government is striving to increase flight destinations in the future. Gleason said working closely with the needs of university students will be critical.
“BYU generates as much flight traffic as any business in the county, which is saying a lot,” Gleason said. “And as (students) use this service, they will increase the destinations and services.”