Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Eliminating Our Onerous Travel Tax

Five years ago, I saved myself about $1,000 by driving to Dayton, flying to Cincinnati, and then flying again to my ultimate destination. I wrote the President of Delta Airlines a letter at the time, and stated the obvious--this just didn't make sense. And I know this sentiment is one almost all citizens in this area share.

More than just not making sense, this situation is becoming a greater and greater disadvantage to our region, its citizens and businesses. While we often deliberate, debate and vote as a community on fees and taxes that may cost a citizens several or tens of dollars a year, at our airport we have a travel "tax" that costs hundreds of dollars per flight. For businesses, or citizens and families, that travel often, the "tax" will total thousands. This puts a squeeze on our citizens' budgets, not to mention our businesses' competiveness. It also poses a clear hurdle to attracting as many visitors and tourists as we would like.

Sadly, since my flight five years ago, the situation hasn't gotten any better.

Hamilton County has an appointment to the CVG Airport Board. And I met early last year with the leadership of that board. My primary message was clear--we should do all we can to invite lower-cost competitors into the marketplace. We have to lower prices. And my message was the same to our appointee on the board, James Miceli.

I was thrilled to see today that the board is working on this goal. They are trying to get a low cost carrier to come to CVG, and figure out ways to keep them here once they get here (in the past, Delta would knock them out of the market by reducing fares):
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20080909/BIZ01/309090068/

I talked to Mr. Miceli, and told him how much I supported and encouraged what they are doing, to keep me updated, and to let us know if we can help in any way.

We've been at this point before, and I know we'll all believe it when we see it. But one way or another, we've got to fix this unacceptable tax on our region.

3 comments:

Bearman said...

As a lawyer, is there a case against Delta for predatory pricing based on their repeated efforts to drive out low cost carriers.

Also because of this, I think a low cost carrier is the wrong choice. Go for a high service airline with good cabin leg room and Delta will never be able to match it. Virgin America anyone?

Quim said...

Don't count your chickens before their hatched, bub.
Mr Weikle has also said, "I would not be surprised to see (Springfield) eventually become the airport of choice for Dayton and Columbus travelers".

David Pepper said...

Trust me, I have definitely not counted any chickens on this.

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