Cape Air offering $12 flights through the end of 2012


The airport of Lebanon, New Hampshire is one of many small airports supported via federal funding. The flight operations – to White Plains and Boston – are subsidized as are the airport’s general operating expenses. And, thanks to a quirk in the way those subsidies are calculated, the airport and the airline are running a massive promotion for the next few days in an effort to boost their passenger count to the next threshold. For the next 3 days fares between Lebanon and White Plains or Boston are only $12. The flights to/from White Plains also include transportation to Manhattan in that rate. So many passengers are booking that the airline – Cape Air – has added additional flights to get more passengers moving.

The push comes as Lebanon tries to pass 10,000 passenger departures for the year. That’s a tiny number of passengers and seems like a rather arbitrary threshold to strive for. But in the world of federal subsidies it makes a HUGE difference. Hitting that number should see the airport’s funding jump from $150,000 to $1,000,000. With that much at stake it is rather easy to see why they’re making the push.

I’m pretty sure another airline did this a few years ago in the UK or Ireland and they caught a bit of flak from the local subsidy provider for not meeting the spirit of the subsidy. Still, I think they got their money so hard to complain too much there. UPDATE: Here’s the story I was thinking about: Getting paid to fly, plus an open bar.

Oh, and the lines are pretty awesome. If I were not on my way to Asia right now I’d be booking these.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

10 Comments

    1. I do a lot of silly things, mark. This would hardly be the most ridiculous of them.

      And thanks, Nick. I would have sworn I wrote about it but my search skills were failing me as I was putting the new post up.

    1. No earning on these flights. Their partnerships with AA/UA are specific to certain routes and only when those are purchased as UA/AA-marketed do they earn.

  1. There used to be LEB-LGA operated by USair but stopped. Honestly, I wish there will be a LEB-JFK/EWR flight. BOS is not really an international gateway.

  2. This is great unless you’re a taxpayer from somewhere other than Lebanon, N.H., and getting fleeced by the scheme.

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