CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - By the time you book your flight, pack your bags and lug the family to the airport, you've already spent hundreds of dollars.
But now that Southwest Airlines is scheduled to start service out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport later this year, there's hope that the price to fly will go down.
"We really are the West Michigan airport today, so Southwest coming and expanding their service confirms that," said Dick DeVos, a member of the West Michigan Air Alliance.
Southwest is known to cause other airlines flying out the fame airport to drop their prices, a phenomenon known as the "Southwest Effect."
"Every airline tends to increase their business when Southwest comes to town," said airline industry expert Terry Trippler.
24 Hour News 8 crunched the numbers to show flyers how and where to save money, mapping the difference in prices online for a family of four with four carry-ons and two suitcases on a Labor Day weekend trip to Orlando. That's the first holiday weekend after Southwest will start service out of Ford Airport.
To fly US Airways, requiring one layover each way, tickets are about $454 each. The first suitcase will cost you $25 and the second will cost $35.
Delta also has a layover in both directions. Tickets cost about $329 each and the suitcases will cost $60.
Tickets with United Airlines, again with a layover each way, are about $260. Like US Airways, the first suitcase costs $25 and the second costs $35.
Tickets for the Southwest flight, a non-stop trip to Orlando, are about $283 each. The carry-ons and two checked bags would be free.
- US Airways: $1,936
- Delta: $1,426
- United: $1,160
- Southwest: $1,132
That makes Southwest the cheapest by about $30.
"It would influence our decision probably to fly more," said flyer Dan Plasman.
Southwest is scheduled to start flying out of the Ford Airport in Kent County's Cascade Township on Aug. 11. It will have three daily nonstop flights to Baltimore and one non-stop trip a day to Orlando, Denver and St. Louis.
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
Police say snow made roads "treacherous" Sunday and urged people to stay home if possible.