The Lincoln Airport is aiming to lure Lincoln-area travelers with a new cost calculator tool on its website that compares the costs of flying out of Lincoln vs. Omaha's Eppley Airfield.
The calculator allows travelers to plug in the cost of not only their flights but also mileage to and from each airport and values of the travelers' time and parking options, including garage, surface and short-term parking at each airport.
“The price of a plane ticket doesn't tell the whole story when it comes to travel costs,” John Wood, executive director of the Lincoln Airport Authority, said in announcing the calculator.
Wood says a narrowing gap between airfares from Lincoln and Omaha contributed to a 5 percent increase in passengers using the Lincoln Airport in 2013. The airport also saw a 9 percent increase in traffic in December.
“Ticket prices from Lincoln can be less than comparable flights from Omaha,” Wood said. “But even if the ticket costs more, it may be a better deal to fly from Lincoln.”
For example, the calculator shows that parking at the Lincoln Airport is less expensive. Surface parking is about $3 less per day in Lincoln and garage parking is about $5 less per day.
He said the calculator is aimed toward Lincoln residents and those who live in surrounding communities, such as Seward and Beatrice.
Chris Martin, director of airline affairs and airport operations at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, said Eppley officials typically don't comment on what other airports are doing.
“Travelers today are pretty sophisticated and they're able to determine what their best choices are,” Martin said. “We have seven airlines providing 18 nonstop destinations, and I think travelers appreciate the options out of Eppley. We certainly appreciate the travelers no matter where they're from.”