Independence Air brought options, and thus competition to Lansing. Spartan Travel President Kevin Hamilton estimates prices for all airlines, especially to Washington D.C. where Independence is headquartered, dropped from $300 and $400, to less than $200.
Independence is what is known as a low-cost carrier, meaning they cut overhead and charge less. The competition forced all the airlines in Lansing, especially Northwest, to charge less as well.
The carrier also brought more traffic. Capital City Airport's Helen Schllentz says the airport saw phenomenal numbers since Independence came to town. Even the competition had huge passenger increases--25 to 30% for Delta and Northwest Airlines, and 8% for United Airlines.
With Independence leaving, the benefits of competition disappear as well. Hamilton says prices will definitely increase. Schllentz says Capital City Airport will look for other airlines to bring to town, and they are thankful for what Independence did in its short time here.
Independence Air will limit flights through December. January 2 is their last day. Customers with tickets they can't use are invited to call the airline at 1-800-FLY-FLYI. You will be able to trade your tickets for flights leaving from Detroit, or get a refund.