I have flown out of Las Vegas, and I have flown out of St. George. I think you would agree that the local airport is a much better experience. It’s close to home and a whole lot easier to get through security. So, why do we still drive two hours to fly out of Nevada? Because we are cheap. If the ticket price isn’t close, we usually take the longer drive.
Is it really cheaper though? Time wise it is no contest. Depending on what you think your time is worth, four hours down and back to Harry Reid International is a lot longer than 40 minutes to St. George Regional. Now, with gas topping $4 per gallon, that starts to factor in as well. It can run upwards of $60 to fill my economical car.
I talked to Richard Stehmeier Manager of the St. George airport. “To park at St. George for a week is $40,” said Stehmeier. “In Vegas, it’s $140.” Then you grab road snacks and a stop for food and all these things start adding up.
Even more than the money is how I feel after a long flight home from the east coast. The last thing I want to do is get in a car and drive home for two hours. Even more so if there is construction on I-15.
I’m sure you total all this up in your head as I have done. Sometimes, if all my kids are going, it still might make sense to travel south, though they better be quiet on that long return trip. And no, I’m not stopping for burgers. Don’t you know I’m cheap?
Here’s something else to factor in. Jen Jensen, Airport Operations Specialist for the airport said, “If we use our airport more, then the airlines say hey, they’re ready for more. They are growing and that community is using the airport. Let’s throw new planes, let’s throw in bigger planes, let’s put new flights, new destinations. They’re ready for it.”
In other words, the more we use it, the more flights we’ll get at better prices. So, sharpen your pencil and make sure you really are saving money the next time you think of driving to Vegas.