Travelers are jumping aboard a bonus program to encourage more travel out of the Dubuque Regional Airport in Iowa, located near the Mississippi River at the Iowa/Illinois border. More than 200 people have registered online for the FlyDBQ Rewards program since it began on Jan. 11., according to the Telegraph Herald and Colloquy.com.
The program offers discounts and coupons from six area businesses, including the airport. The more flights, the higher the value of the coupons. Just for signing up, the program sends members a passport with $50 worth of coupons. The program has four levels and tops out with coupons worth up to $500 for those that make more than 20 trips per calendar year.
Those who join receive the coupons along with a proximity card. Members swipe the card through a reader in the airport and it updates the number of trips they have made.
As the airport continues to recover from the downturn in the air travel industry and the competition from other airports, such programs are critical, according to Steve Accinelli, co-chair of the Dubuque Airport Commission.
“We do have a lot of leakage to other airports,” he said, partly due to the fact that the current air carrier, American Airlines, doesn’t serve some parts of the country. “But the reality is, a lot of folks feel that there are potentially better deals somewhere else.”
The program, he said, adds value for those area travelers who frequently fly and hopefully increases enplanements.
“It benefits us here by utilizing the airport and allows us to potentially expand our services to a another (airport) hub,” Accinelli said.