As a driver of economic development, Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) has been an unmitigated success story in recent years.
However, the airport still has a long way to go when it comes to one of its major goals – becoming a thriving center of air passenger traffic.
While the latest announcement that Boom Supersonic will build a $500-million supersonic jet factory at the airport is just a continuation of the success, promotional material from the airport calls for locals to support the airport’s flight services.
A note in this month’s PTIA newsletter even suggests that area flyers could see a loss of flights and carriers if passengers in the area don’t show PTIA more love.
“The only way to keep local air service at PTI is for Triad residents to use that service to show airline network planners that our community has a demand for travel,” the newsletter states. “If residents do not use the air service being offered at PTI, then the community risks losing that service.”
Last month, hundreds of people attended the announcement that Boom Supersonic had chosen PTIA as the site for its new jet factory. Outside at the presentation, there was a mob of people, however, inside, on a Wednesday afternoon, the terminal (seen in the picture above), was a virtual ghost town – not the hub of activity that airport officials want to see.
Before COVID-19 hit, PTIA was making steady gains in passenger traffic, but COVID-19 knocked that trend back. Now that people are once again starting to fly, airport officials want you to know that it’s a good time to change your flying habits if you’re not already using PTIA.
“As more people return to air travel, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority encourages Piedmont Triad residents to Fly Local, Fly Easy, and Fly from PTI,” states the new promotional material. “Continued progress in combatting COVID-19 is prompting airlines to re-start service that was suspended during the pandemic. We encourage local travelers who are ready to fly to be sure to take advantage of the service available at PTI.”
With gas prices shooting through the roof, it gets harder and harder to justify driving to Raleigh or Charlotte and back just to save money on an airline ticket. Between gas cost, long-term parking fees and fighting long lines and crowds, airport officials argue that any money saved on a ticket really isn’t worth it in the end.
“One of the primary missions of the airport is to ensure that passengers have the best experience possible when they travel through PTI, and we take this mission very seriously,” PTIA’s February newsletter states.
The airport’s promotional material goes on to remind locals that the airport has a host of “great non-stop and one-stop flight options out of PTI,” and it emphasizes the value of “flying local” in order to support local airline operations, the local economy, and the jobs that a thriving airport brings.
“Allegiant, American, Delta, and United offer great flight options that can take you all over the world,” the press release states.
Only flights offered out of PTI are flights to real airports that actually fly to destinations other than airport hubs in a few major cities. The time savings by flying out of Charlotte is that Charlotte has direct flights to a significant number of cities. By driving to Charlotte I can be onsite for work by 10am in almost any East Coast city and by noon for any Central US city. And it’s cheaper.
It’s worth using RDU or CLT if you can eliminate a connecting flight (which you can miss).
There are a lot of direct flights to the Caribbean and to Europe but not from here.
Savings can be substantial, regardless of auto & parking costs.
Another thing. Flying used to be fun. No more. Pack-em in shoulder-to-sholder & belly-to-belly. Uncivility on board.
I’ll fly if I have to.
Hey PTI….great airport, great parking, great people working at the airport! Problem is and has been, I get cheaper flights with no stops at Raleigh. I fly from PTI with 1 many times 2 stops which blows an entire day. Not feeling any love based on price comparisons and time saved.
With more people working from home, and not traveling as much, they are saving their money and their employers money as well. Ever heard of Zoom or Teams?
Also, the price of airline tickets are horrible and the people you have to put up with on the airplane makes me want to drive wherever I go. And forget the issues of people causing problems after takeoff, or with screaming babies (yes, I had 2 children), or those who want to laugh and party, and people who are drunk before the get on the flight. If the airlines can figure out how to resolve those issues, more of us would fly again.
Please don’t lay this all on the public. The airlines are also responsible. If fares out of GSO were more competitive, why would anyone drive to RDU?
Fares are far cheaper out of Raleigh & Charlotte, the Covid BS is ridiculous, and that’s if you even fly anywhere since 9/11/2001. I just drive most places. It’s less hassle. I’m a licensed pilot and won’t fly commercial unless its a dire emergency. That’s how pathetic all the extra “security” etc. has become.
I will not fly again as long as masks are required! It is stupid and ridiculous to pack people into a confined space wearing cloths that do not stop air flow, and the cloth may be removed for eating and drinking. Anyone that thinks those masks are preventing anything should educate themselves better.
We appreciate your not flying.
Tell us how she’s wrong Chris. People packed shoulder to shoulder, who are also allowed to unmask while eating and drinking, if they bothered to wear a mask that actually stops germs in the first place. How is any of that sanitary?
Airplanes and airports have always been the greater spreader of illness. I have not been sick once since I started working from home versus traveling. Masks while not perfect do help and really aren’t a big deal except for Karen’s who are selfish and whinners.
FYI – for those who fly to the UK, United offers an option from GSO that arrives in London on the same day you leave Greensboro. You don’t have to deal with the dreadful jet lag that comes with an overninght “red eye’ flight that arrives in London around 7:00am
Greensboro to Washington Dulles, and then a direct flight to Heathrow. You get there about 9:30pm… and it’s straight to the pub for a few pints.
International, my foot.
We prefer PTI over RDU or CLT, but we are normally travelling for leisure. Allegiant is great because there are no stops but they only offer two destinations, whereas AVL has multiple. The stops with the main carriers are an inconvenience but driving to another city and paying for parking is worse. Uber to PTI and save the hassle.
PTI can’t even keep the escalators working. Sad
Love PTI/GSO and why would anyone drive and park to CLT or RDU when there are non-stops from GSO?
If GSO does not have a non-stop, easier to fly GSO CLT and nonstop from CLT than to drive to CLT and all parking at CLT seems like a long forced march to the terminal and longer walk to a plane.
I’m sure the end escalator will be fixed soon.
There are low fares from GSO but I think they need to be advertised.
Those who work at GSO are friendly and helpful.
Parking at GSO is very good.
I’ll pay a little more to fly out of PTT but I do not have time for connecting flights. We need daily direct flights to cool destinations. My whole family and I would LOVE to be in myrtle beach in 30 minutes. Or quick commuters to Asheville, Nashville, Austin, Greenville, Wilmington. I was trying to book 2 tickets to Washington DC on may 24th 2022 and couldn’t even find tickets that didn’t have layovers. Please PTI, survey the million+ residents of the triad and surrounding counties. See where’d we like to go and GET DIRECT FLIGHTS! Don’t cancel the flight if it’s not fully booked. Institute direct flights to great destinations. Everyone I know is dying for a change of scenery and would utilize PTI a lot more if PTI could pull it off.
That is a great idea. PTI should stop trying to capture the business travel market and be what they are…a small regional airport. I think if they choose to be a niche and promote short flights to get away spots for a fair price would really help their traveler counts.