Chicago Rockford airport celebrates a decade of passenger flights

Discussion in 'ORD/MDW | Chicago Area Airports' started by sobore, Aug 27, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.airport-world.com/compon...port-celebrates-a-decade-of-passenger-flights

    Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) is marking the 10th anniversary of reviving passenger operations.
    On August 29, Chicago Rockford airport will operate ‘official anniversary flights’ to Tampa and Las Vegas to celebrate a decade of hosting passenger flights.

    In 2001 the airport had been left without any passenger services until, in August 2003, TransMeridian Airlines launched flights to Las Vegas and Orlando.

    International flights started in 2005 with flights to Cancun.

    RFD attributes the return of passenger flights to a community-backed fundraising effort.

    The initiative launched in May 2003, raising $272,000 over 20 days to convince TransMeridian to invest in Rockford.

    More than 4,500 local people and 430 businesses gave to the fund, said the airport.

    Mike Dunn, RFD’s executive director, said airlines respond to local support for the airport.


    Read More: http://www.airport-world.com/compon...port-celebrates-a-decade-of-passenger-flights
     
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  2. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    I really don't know how RFD gets away with calling itself Chicago Rockford Airport.

    Rockford is NOT a Chicago suburb, and quite a drive.

    The distance from RFD to downtown Chicago is a longer distance than the drive from downtown Chicago to MKE.
     
  3. xFF

    xFF Gold Member

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    Well, it is a push; I'm surprised about the distance relative to that to MKE, though. But, two things in the defense of the name.

    First, it is in IL still, and on relatively low traffic density expressway/tollways. Just a little over an hour to ORD by car.

    Second, some of Chicago's high volume cargo operations are actually out there; UPS has a far larger operation there than at ORD, I believe.

    In the "old days" (the 90's), there were some legacy carrier flights that had RDF as the origin or dest. Of course, a number of those used a bus to get you to/from ORD. But that's a model that still works with trains and UA, though, right?
     
  4. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Comparatively, CVG is actually located in Kentucky, and bills itself as Cincinnatti/Northern Kentucky International Airport . It makes sense to call itself such since it's not over 80 miles from CVG to downtown Cincinatti. Obviously MKE is not going to call itself Milwaukee/Chicago Internaional Airport for a myriad of reasons, partially including the rivalry that exists between Chicagoans and Wisconsinites.

    OTOH, I can assure you when the discount charter airline served Europe to RFD, that there were some passengers from Europe that had a rude awakening when they found out that they landed in Rockford which is quite a drive to Chicago.

    It makes sense for UPS to have a cargo facility at RFD due to the closeness of more than 1 metro area: Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago, where just having a cargo facility at ORD would limit it to just Chicagoland. Plus I'm guessing there are some tax incentives for UPS to use RFD. [if not cheaper landing fees than at ORD]

    I'm aware of the UA ORD-RFD code-share bus service in the 90's. Obviously it didn't make sense for UA to serve that short of a route via plane, but UA's short lived DEN-RFD wasn't profitable enough either. Shame that UA doesn't still offer the bus service.
     
  5. xFF

    xFF Gold Member

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    Other than correcting your typo as noted above ;), agree with your points, particularly the point about CVG.

    I did use RFD a couple times in the 90's because of fare arbitrage v. hidden-ORD. Once, I used it as an excuse to go on up to MSN with additional fare collection on the bus. Another time, the rental car rate, as well as the surcharges/fees/taxes, made it both economic and travel-time mitigated, as the final destination was Lake Geneva.

    We did go into the terminal (probably for the rental car paperwork). It was a nice, new-ish regional airport facility. Have not been back in - what? 15 years?
     
  6. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    LOL @ your accurate correction of the true rivalry.

    BTW--- can you remember the approximate fare for RFD-ORD? [or was it included in your xxx-RFD fare?]

    That would have been an interesting way on making status with UA-- doing RFD-ORD "bus runs".
     
  7. xFF

    xFF Gold Member

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    I'm virtually certain that there was no posted RFD/ORD. IIRC, it was promotional fares with RDF as dest/ORD as air-leg dest.

    There's no way I can check, but I think it was at least UA, AA, and maybe NW, who were having/matching the promo fares. The airport probably has that history, if one were really interested, I suppose.
     
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  8. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    IIRC, in order to book the UA ORD-RFD bus ticket, there had to be a segment out of ORD-- but could be wrong.
     

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