Columbia airport a ‘rip-off,’ Forbes says

It’s the third-most expensive in U.S. for commercial airline passengers, magazine says


Travelers using Columbia’s airport pay one of the highest average fares in the country, according to a popular business magazine.

Forbes said Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the third-most expensive airport for commercial airline passengers last year, tied with Johnson City, Tenn.

In an article headlined “America’s Rip-Off Airports,” Forbes calculated that the average fare per mile at Columbia costs 39 cents..........

.......... Volume and competition drive lower fares, said Mike Flack, the Columbia airport’s executive director.

For example, Columbia handles about 1.2 million passengers a year, compared with 14 million at Charlotte, Flack said.

“We have low fares in Columbia, but we don’t have as many seats as Charlotte has,” he said. “Our low fares sell out quickly.” ..........

.......... “It’s hard right now to get a new airline into the market because most of them are drawing down capacity. I’m just happy anytime we get new service or new flights.”

The State Newspaper - 2/26/09


Local Military Man Helps Ease Traveling Woes to the Charlotte Airport

July 21, 2008 (Lexington, SC) – “The Charlotte airport just got closer,” for residents of the greater Columbia/Lexington area. A new door-to-terminal shuttle service, Columbia Charlotte Shuttle (, is here and taking hold in the community as travelers search for a break in their high-cost traveling expenses. For just $49 each way, per person (children are half-price), the shuttle provides a cost-effective and stress-free way to get to and from the Charlotte airport. The service is offered to support most Charlotte airport flight times. Say goodbye to driving yourself 200 miles, wear-and-tear on your car, and parking costs.


During a one-year deployment to Iraq, local Army Major Dan Sarantopoulos developed and refined the shuttle concept as a possible career change upon his return to the U.S. Sarantopoulos and his wife frequently traveled to and from the Charlotte airport to fly home to Boston, MA. He quickly realized that traveling from Columbia to Boston was never an easy trip, and the spike in gas prices made matters even worse. But, seeing family was a must. With that, Sarantopoulos launched Columbia Charlotte Shuttle in February, 2008.

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