In their first month of operation, the two daily United Airlines flights between Topeka and Chicago didn’t exactly draw big crowds.
Maybe travelers not only from Topeka, but from Lawrence and the surrounding area, can do something about that.
Flights from Topeka Regional Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Aiport began on Jan. 7. At the end of January Topeka airport officials reported that an average of 25 percent of the seats had been filled on the two daily flights between those locations. That’s well below the 69 percent that is needed to provide enough revenue to continue the flights.
Nonetheless, both Topeka and United officials are hopeful that business will pick up. January isn’t a particularly big travel month, and travelers still are getting used to the new flight offerings, they say.
Most travelers in the eastern third of Kansas are pretty used to catching flights from Kansas City International Airport, but the Topeka airport may be worth another look. The airport, located at Forbes Field on the south edge of Topeka, is convenient for Lawrence residents, especially those on the west side of town. The United flights from Topeka to Chicago are the same price as those from KCI, and parking in Topeka is a flat $5 per car regardless of how may days the vehicle is there. The Topeka airport is easy to access and travelers have good access to connecting flights at the busy O’Hare airport.
Plus, it’s just nice for local people who travel for business and pleasure to have another option for commercial flight services. The two flights from Topeka leave at 6 a.m. and 2:54 p.m.; from Chicago, flights depart at 12:54 p.m. and 8:38 p.m. Those times might not always fit with your schedule for business meetings or connecting flights, but it’s worth checking the next time you make some travel plans.
The United flights in Topeka could be a nice option, but they’ll go away if people don’t use them.