Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Remodeled Idaho Falls terminal has open house

The new TSA equipment at Idaho Falls Regional Airport. 
The Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors turned out Tuesday to help with the ribbon cutting at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport, where a $2.9 million remodel was completed this spring.

Checking in will be a lot less work, now that the TSA operation has been moved to the back, with a new conveyor system taking bags back to be scanned by a machine that reminded me of a Soyuz spacecraft.

Of the money spent, 94 percent came from the Federal Aviation Administration, with the city's airport reserves making up the difference. "Now it's up to our community to use our local airport," he said. The airport has hired Sixell Associates out of Seattle to plan its marketing, but what's most important is for people to check prices, he said.

Last Saturday, Delta started flights from Idaho Falls to Minneapolis-St. Paul and this Friday Frontier Airlines is starting round-trip service to Denver.

Checking fares to the East Coast in October to visit my mom and attend my high school reunion, this is what I found. Fares for a round trip to Philadelphia, Oct. 1 to Oct. 19:

  • Idaho Falls: $490
  • Salt Lake City: $480
  • Pocatello: $840
  • Jackson Hole: $1,090

A trip on Frontier those same dates, from Salt Lake City to Wilmington, Del. (where my mom lives), would be $385. There is no round trip from Idaho Falls to Wilmington offered, but breaking it down I discovered that I can fly Frontier to Denver then Denver to Wilmington and back and that the cost would be $356.

The drawback would be an eight-hour layover in Denver on Oct. 1, which I suppose might give me ample time to research the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, but it's probably not the best idea.