My being in the travel agency business, he asked my opinion at the time.
“Not realistic” was my immediate thought.
Like it or not, Topeka is just too close to KCI airport which provides approximately 20 flights daily to the Windy City. They’re spread between American, United and Southwest.
The small 50 seat jets flying in and out of Topeka were actually being operated for United by ExpressJet Airlines.
According to Metropolitan Topeka Airport president Eric Johnson, the flights have been averaging only a 25% capacity.
In other words of the available 50 seats just over 12 have been sold. Pretty dismal if you ask me.
Johnson said that to meet the minimum revenue guarantee that’s in place, United needs for the flights to exceed 69% of capacity.
Johnson also said that he’d spoken with a United official who indicated that the airline had confidence in the service.
“They’re not in a panic,” he said. “They see a positive trend.”
I pulled up the Tuesday and Wednesday’s seat maps Monday and found only 13 seats occupied on Tuesday morning with another 13 for that afternoon’s flight out of T-town.
Wednesday’s two return flights don’t appear to be faring any better.
The midday Chicago to Topeka flight showed 13 occupied seats while the evening flight indicated 14 people hopping to Topeka—leaving 36 seats wide open.
My advice to Topekans:
Better wing it outta your town soon. Cuz if you don’t use it—you’ll lose it!