COLORADO SPRINGS — The difference between long lines and crowds at Denver International Airport (DIA) as opposed to the smaller much less congested Colorado Springs Airport is not lost on Jenette and Gwen who are at the Colorado Springs Airport for Jenette to catch a flight home. "That's why we have time to talk to you,” said Jenette, “We're not stressed out to get in line and the hustle and bustle because it's a lot more chill here."
Patience has been required at DIA over recent weeks because of an increasing number of travelers. At the same time the airport is struggling to bring back staffing lost during the pandemic. Lines to get through security checkpoints have snaked out to baggage areas. There are also challenges with parking because some lots remain closed. The result is tense and frustrated travelers.
It brings attention to the convenience of smaller airports. The Colorado Springs Airport is also seeing increased travelers, but the single terminal airport still maintains short lines at security. "Average during the week is about five to seven minutes and during peak times they usually average 15 to 18,” said Dana Schield with Colorado Springs Airport.
Because there is only one short-term lot, and one long-term lot, parking has not changed during the pandemic. It is also quick and convenient access to the airport terminal. "Our long-term parking is about 600 steps, from the TSA checkpoint so obviously our parking is close,” said Schield.
The convenience and lower cost of parking in Colorado Springs compared to DIA is part of a broader equation Colorado Springs Airport leaders suggest considering. Because of the hundreds of flights offered at DIA airfares can be lower due to competition. The recent lines and crowding bring attention to other factors to consider. “Your time, gas money, battling traffic, issues with parking,” said Schield. Colorado Springs Airport offers a cost comparison calculator on the flycos.com website for comparing the numbers. Shield also points out that increasing flights at Colorado Springs Airport are also making pricing for some routes out of Colorado Springs much more competitive.
Cost comparisons are free. Numbers may show a long drive and long lines can be avoided.