Delta drops some fares at Savannah airport

tbarton@islandpacket.comJune 26, 2012 

Some flights to and from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport should get a little cheaper for Delta Air Lines customers.

Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said the airline has agreed to "tweak" certain fares and rates to select markets after being lobbied by airport and area chamber of commerce officials.

Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce president Bill Miles, along with Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce president Bill Hubbard and airport executive director Patrick Graham, sent a letter to Delta voicing concerns about "the growing disparity between Delta fares and rates for neighboring airports."

They met with Delta officials in March, three years after a similar meeting led Delta to drop fares by $50 to $60.

Miles said the airline's prices rose slowly but steadily since they were slashed after the 2009 meeting. Surrounding airports are being served by lower-cost airlines, he said, which influences companies and organizations deciding where to hold conventions and retreats.

"And we wanted to be on equal competitive footing," Miles said. "The good news is Delta saw there were adjustments that needed to be made.

"And we'll continue to monitor the fare structures and alert them in the future if we feel there are discrepancies in their pricing as time goes on," he said. "We want to make sure we're competitive as a destination for our visitors and residents."

Delta offers more flights from Savannah than the four airlines serving the airport, including 12 nonstop daily departures to Atlanta and three nonstop daily departures to New York LaGuardia.

Unlike the reductions after the 2009 meeting, though, not all prices will be lowered, Banstetter said. Neither he nor Miles could say which rates, fares or flights would be affected.

"We'll be making some tweaks as opposed to a more broad across-the-board restructuring ... so Savannah is not out of line with fare levels at surrounding regional airports, such as Jacksonville and Charleston," Banstetter said Friday.

Graham said a recent weekly analysis by airport officials found Delta ticket prices fell from $10 to $150 per ticket, depending on the destination and the number of days in advance they were purchased.

"Delta was very open and upfront with us and admitted that fares do get out of whack every once in a while," he said.

Related content

  1. Hilton Head chamber to lobby Delta for cheaper airfare: March 26, 2012
  2. Savannah Hilton Head International Airport
  3. Delta Air Lines

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service