Flight Blog


To say it's pricey for airlines to fly from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is an understatement! Check out this story in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch...

The airport "has struck a new five-year deal that will force airlines using Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to shoulder some short-term financial burdens but hand them more control over airport spending. The agreement, which was endorsed Wednesday by the St. Louis Airport Authority, did not ease the high landing fees at Lambert that are projected to be $8.96 per 1,000 pounds of landed weight for each aircraft. The rate is four times that charged to major tenant airlines landing in Kansas City or Indianapolis."

The landing fees at our airport currently stand $1.22 per 1,000 pounds of landed weight. This is all worth mentioning because there's a vocal minority in Springfield who are convinced that our airport charges "outrageous" landing fees, thus forcing the airlines to charge higher fares. Here's how we compare to some other airports, according to the Post-Disptach:

  • Lambert-St. Louis International: $8.96
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International: $4.09
  • Pittsburgh International: $3.51
  • Des Moines International: $2.34
  • Kansas City International: $1.96
  • Indianapolis International: $1.95


Mar 31 2011 Seat Puzzle BY sgf-adminTAGS Customer Service


Want to know which airline seat has the most leg room? There's a new web site that has the answer.  It's called seatguru.com. Just plug in your flight information and hit return, presto! You get a layout of the plane and all sorts of useful customer service information.


"The U.S. House will vote on a bill today that would eliminate the Essential Air Service program by 2013 in all states but Alaska and Hawaii."

That news has small cities across the country bracing themselves today. We stay out of politics around here, but today we will make a political prediction: if Essential Air Service funding is eliminated the political fallout will be brutal. Leaders in small cities, both democrat and republican, will assail their federal lawmakers with a vengeance.

Get the small town perspective from the Southeast Missourian. Read more about Essential Air Service here.




Gary Cyr, left, and airport board member Jim Enyart, at Garys retirement bash

Gary Cyr, left, and airport board member Jim Enyart, at Gary's retirement bash

Today the airport bids farewell to Gary Cyr. Late today he's climbing in his overloaded truck and driving to Greeley, CO. Gary came to the airport in 1995. Since then he's served as assistant director, and director of aviation. During his tenure he directed the largest capital improvement program in the airport’s history, culminating with completion of the midfield terminal in 2009. Other projects included a new fire station, fuel farm, taxiway, and rental car facility.

From Springfield Gary moves to the Greeley-Weld County Airport Authority, in Greeley, Colorado, where he’ll serve as airport manager. He says he wasn't  planning to leave Springfield for another five or six years, but when this opportunity came up the Cyr family couldn't pass it up. As he put it, "We’ve always planned to move back to Colorado, our first home.”


2007: Gary meets the press during construction of the midfield terminal


Gary will tell you he was born “out of time.” His co-workers would agree. It’s not hard to imagine him riding the prairie with a cattle drive in the in the mid 19th-century with a six-shooter on his hip. Interestingly enough, those qualities make him uniquely qualified to run airports — his horse trading skills are legendary. Recently he coaxed $14.8 million in federal stimulus money from the feds for a new airport taxiway. 337 airports received stimulus money. 332 airports got less money than Springfield. As Gary would say, “I was all over that like white on rice. I cut a fat hog!” Dave Nokes, airport police supervisor, sums up the Cyr experience this way: “He drinks weak coffee (I find surprising for a cowboy) and some of his sayings I like the best could not be printed. Great boss and I enjoyed working for him. A straight shooter — I liked that, but did not care for his coffee."


Staff presents Gary with a Flyspringfield.com 757

Staff presents Gary with a Flyspringfield 757




Mar 22 2011 Allegiant Question BY sgf-adminTAGS Allegiant


Michael wants to know...

"I just noticed that Allegiant now lists Springfield-Branson, or should I say Branson-Springfield Airport, as Featured Destinations on their homepage.  Additionally, when looking at their route map of destinations, SGF is listed both as Branson-Springfield and Springfield-Branson. Is Allegiant looking to expand services, making this more of a "Destination" or just trying to take advantage of the locations that serve SGF now?  I have noticed that several flights I've taken, especially LAX, has travelers from the "Destination" traveling to SGF. I hope this is not a revelation to you and there has been discussions.  Please share your thoughts, as best you can."

Allegiant began offering "Branson-Springfield" as a destination late last year. At first blush it definitely seems a bit strange, doesn't it? It makes perfect sense, though, when viewed from the Allegiant business perspective. The first thing to know about the "Allegiant business perspective" is that the airline does everything it can to maximize productivity and profit. It's probably the only airline in the world that keeps track of costs down to a fraction of one cent (we know this from first hand experience!). Keep this penny pinching in mind as you read on.

In the fourth quarter of last year the average Allegiant flight to/from Springfield had a 92 percent load factor —meaning that the average flight had 92 percent of its seats filled. Each flight has 150 seats, so on average there were 12 empty seats on every flight. Keep in mind it's just a average — the flights are often sold out. As you noted, there are customers on the Allegiant flights who don't live in or near Springfield that use the service to fly to Springfield. It's been our observation that it's particularly true on the flights from Los Angeles and Phoenix.

Given all this information, it's easy to figure out why Allegiant is now offering a Branson-Springfield destination...it's doing everything it can to fill those 12 empty seats. Other airlines would be content to let those seats sit empty. It's this sort of aggressive, out of the box thinking that sets Allegiant apart from all other airlines. The only downside, that we can see, is that it's confusing to some customers who live outside the market. "Springfield-Branson?" "Branson-Springfield?" And then there's the airport south of Branson, the "Branson Airport?"

Kind of makes your head hurt!