Air service around the country continues to evolve as airlines address pilot and plane shortages. Fortunately for residents in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region air service continues to improve.
Eugene Airport total seat capacity increased by 50% from pre-pandemic levels, which has resulted in record enplanements. The addition of new airlines, new trips and new destinations has caused many area travelers to reconsider the 2-hour plus drive to Portland International Airport. Recent survey shows a marked improvement in area residents choosing Eugene over Portland.
Southwest Airlines service to and from the Eugene Airport continues to evolve as the airline dips its toe into new waters. Daily service to San Jose and Denver began this past summer and just after the first of the year they will add three new destinations. United Airlines is dropping its Los Angeles service, but Southwest will pick up this connection in February. Also in February, Southwest begins service to Hollywood Burbank. In March, San Diego is added to Southwest's lineup.
Parking expansion has been completed and this should relieve some of the overcrowding in the short run. Travelers should think about being dropped off and carpooling if they are traveling with family, friends or co-workers. Convenient check-in and security screening is an advantage, but the days of showing up 30 minutes before your flight isn't the new reality. Plan on being 90 minutes early, especially for the early morning flights. Hearing loop technology has made flying from EUG a good choice for travelers with hearing challenges and overall accessibility makes moving in and around the airport easy for people of all ages and abilities.
The hard work of recruiting new airlines, and getting existing airlines to add service, is something the Eugene Airport staff works on each year. These multi-year efforts pay off and sometimes at the most unusual times.
United Airlines has battled Alaska Airlines for the number one spot in market share at the Eugene Airport for many years and offers connections to major hubs in Denver and San Francisco. United's Chicago flight returned in 2022 as a seasonal redeye, but unfortunately, this service will not return in the spring of 2023.
Alaska Airlines has maintained a connection to the Seattle-Tacoma airport and plans call for a replacement of all turbo-prop aircraft with jet aircraft in the coming years. Delta Airlines also connects to Seattle and their popular Salt Lake City flight provides key connections from cities throughout the U.S. to our region.
American Airlines provides convenient connectivity to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region from the southwest U.S., Mexico and South America. Their Los Angeles and Phoenix-Sky Harbor connections have been supplemented with daily service to Dallas/Forth Worth. These popular destinations offer southwest residents an easy way to escape the summer heat and come to our region for wine tasting, fishing, golf and more.
Allegiant Air provides year-round connectivity to Las Vegas, Phoenix-Mesa, Los Angeles and Oakland and brings seasonal service online to destinations that include San Diego (May) and Palm Springs (November). Allegiant operates less than daily service to these destinations, but with a little planning, these low-cost flights provide opportunities to invite family and friends to visit throughout the year.
Why spend hours driving up and down I-5, pay high parking costs and wait in long lines to get through security? It’s time to take another look into flying to and from the Eugene Airport. With low cost and convenient parking, easy check-in and security screening, competitive fares and new service connections, it’s time to FlyEug!