Where do people go when they fly out of Lansing?
In a word: Florida.
Orlando and two other cities in the Sunshine State accounted for three of the four top destinations for passengers leaving Capitol City International Airport in the five-year period from 2017 to 2021.
Florida has always been a popular destination, said Katherine Japinga, a spokesperson for the Lansing airport.
She said people fly out for vacations to warmer weather, which shows up in other destinations such as Las Vegas, as well as some of the nation’s top vacation spots and spring break locations. Passengers also include people who have second homes or otherwise want to escape Michigan’s winter for a bit or longer.
The airport is convenient and easier to navigate than larger ones, said James and Roxie Berry, who were at Capital Region International Airport to pick up one of their daughters who was flying in from Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
The Berrys live in Battle Creek and between them and their three daughters, they spend time at several airports — in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Detroit and Chicago — that are within easy driving distance.
Having smaller airports in Grand Rapids and Lansing makes the flights, or the pickups, easier, James Berry said.
Capital Region International Airport records track air travel out of airports within 60 miles of Lansing. And while it’s further than 60 miles, Detroit Metro Airport is too close to be counted as a destination so a passenger who makes a Detroit layover who ends up in Orlando is considered an Orlando flight from Lansing.
Lansing’s Florida love was a big factor behind Avelo Airlines opening a new regular route out of the city this fall, to Orlando. A second route, to Fort Myers (the No. 4 destination for Lansing travelers) was also announced but has been delayed due to hurricane damage.
Direct flights from Lansing to Orlando to begin later this year
Outside of Florida, the next top destinations for Lansing flights were Las Vegas (No. 2), Atlanta (No. 5) and Denver (No. 6).
Here are the top destinations where people end up after flying out of Capital Region International Airport:
1. Orlando International Airport2. Harry Reid International Airport – Las Vegas3. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport4. Southwest Florida International Airport – Fort Myers5. Hartsfeld-Jackson Atlanta International Airport6. Denver International Airport7. Tampa International Airport8. Los Angeles International Airport9. LaGuardia Airport – Queens, New York10. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Source: Capital Regional International Airport figures.
Contact Mike Ellis at [email protected] or on Twitter @MIkeEllis_AIM