While the beginning on Friday of Allegiant Air’s non-stop flights between Duluth and Orlando is welcome news, there’s a catch.
The flights do not go to the Orlando International Airport but to the more distant and smaller Sanford International Airport, 18 miles northeast of Orlando.
That means extra costs if you take a taxi to Disney properties in Orlando. One commenter on this blog claims the taxi ride costs about $140.
While we can’t confirm that, Brian Ryks, executive director of the Duluth Airport Authority, says the secondary travel cost depends on where you’re going. Orlando Beach, for example, isn’t that far, he says.
He said Allegiant flies in and out of the Sanford airport because it’s less costly for the airlines and allows it to offer its signature low rates. Flights between Orlando and Duluth generally cost $99.99, but a special one-way fare of $79.99 is being offered for many flights taken by March 1 when tickets are purchased by Dec. 2.
“The one thing you’ve got to remember, is this is a low cost carrier service,” Ryks said. “They go there (Sanford airport) so they can offer a lower fare.”
Ryks says people like flying in and out of Sanford airport because it’s smaller than the main airport while still offering amenities such as car rentals.