Local News

More Fayetteville Travelers Heading To RDU International

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FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville Regional has had a tough competitor inRDU Internationalfor a long time, but a new survey shows Fayetteville travelers may be making the trip to the Triangle for nothing.

When Dunn resident Archie Bartlett flies, he always chooses Fayetteville Regional.

"Really and truly, it's easier to drop off and pick people up from Fayetteville," Bartlett says.

Some people do not see it that way. In the last 10 years, air travel from Fayetteville Regional Airport has decreased by nearly 85,000 passengers. More and more travelers are choosing to go to RDU International.

"It's just cheaper to fly out of Raleigh," says Fayetteville resident Mari Rydland. "The prices can range from $50 to $200 per person roundtrip."

However, a newAAAsurvey says that is not always the case.

In a recent comparison, many fares for RDU and Fayetteville were competitive. OnUS Airwaysfor example, 19 flights were the same price. Another 12 were within $50 of RDU. Four were actually cheaper from Fayetteville.

"Maybe they did a price comparison in the past be it a year ago or six months ago, and they see the distance was greater," says AAA travel agent Dawn Gibson. "They just assume Raleigh is a cheaper market."

With an educational campaign, airport and travel agents are trying to get people to compare, but it will take more than that to make up for lost passengers.

Airport Director Brad Whited says it is a community effort to recruit new business to the area.

"With a more diverse base of industry and corporate headquarters, we'd have more air travel as a result," Whited says.

Airport leaders say the discount airlines, likeSouthwest, are hurting Fayetteville service as well.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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