Airfares in line with other ski destinations
October 9, 2007
ASPEN Many Aspen travelers have hoped that the addition of Frontier Airlines to the local air service mix would lower prices. Extra competition was expected to drive down airfares since United Express controls 84 percent of the market.Frontier’s anticipated new service to Colorado’s Western Slope hasn’t materialized yet, and it is unknown if the company’s new low-cost carrier will fly into Aspen this winter.However, there is no sign of predatory pricing by United Express for this winter. Prices from Aspen’s major destinations are in line with fares being charged to other Colorado ski resorts.In February, for example, United Express is charging $508.80 for a round-trip ticket between Los Angeles and Aspen, with travel dates on Saturdays for a one-week vacation. A recent check of United’s website showed the fare was higher for service into the Eagle airport, which serves Vail, and the Hayden airport, which services Steamboat. The price for a trip on the same dates was $549.60 to Eagle and $560.60 to Hayden. In addition, the flights are nonstop from Los Angeles to Aspen but require a connection to the other two mountain towns.The comparison was mixed on flights from Chicago. The nonstop service was $660.60 to Aspen for a mid-February vacation compared to $758.60 to fly to Hayden but only $460.60 to Eagle on one-stop flights.A third spot-check showed it is expensive to fly anywhere from Miami. The airfare was $988.60 to Aspen, $567.60 to Eagle and $651.60 to Hayden.