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Could flying from Brainerd actually save money?

■ Could flying from Brainerd

actually save money?

By SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER

The Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport wants potential flyers to know flying out of the lakes area is a reasonable option when it comes to taking a trip away from Minnesota. Driving to the Twin Cities for departures from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is often less expensive — until travelers factor in the cost of gas and parking for the length of their trip.

Airport Manager Jeff Wig said for the past four months Brainerd’s Delta staff have tracked and compared airfare cost to 25 destination cities for a five week period. The Delta team calculates the cost difference compared when starting a round trip from Brainerd versus starting a round trip from Minneapolis. On average, the difference is between $104-124 more when starting a trip in Brainerd compared to flying directly from MSP. But even with the additional cost, flying out of Brainerd tends to lend a savings when factoring in the added expense with gas and parking.

Wig said the most recent comparison shows an average price difference being $92.40 more to fly out of Brainerd versus flying out of Minneapolis. For some markets, flying out of Brainerd is actually cheaper than starting a round-trip flight from Minneapolis.

“We can’t say exactly why the fares were lowered now but we are certainly happy about it,” Wig said.

Wig explained that airlines adjust fares continually.

“It’s in a response to a number of factors, including supply and demand as well as fuel and other cost changes,” Wig said, adding that sometimes marketing promotions are instituted to stimulate demand. “It should be noted that fares can change frequently — even hour to hour.”

For more details on the latest airport study visit www.brainerdairport.com and find the “View Fare Comparison Study” link.

SARAH NELSON KATZENBERGER may be reached at sarah.nelsonkatzenberger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5879.

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