Waterloo airport looking to switch to United Airlines - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo airport looking to switch to United Airlines

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Customers who fly out of Waterloo Regional airport might be seeing a new airline provider next Thanksgiving.

Currently, American Airlines services flights out of Waterloo. However, the airport has bids from both American Airlines and United Airlines for the next term. 

Over the past couple of weeks,  Waterloo Regional Airport Director Keith Kaspari has hosted a number of public forums to hear from fliers. Kaspari says they heard an overwhelming support for changes they'd like to see with a new airline. 

"May will have been six years that American has served the market and they've done pretty well," said Kaspari. "Unfortunately, this past spring, and summer and fall period, we've experienced some challenging issues with the maintenance delays and everything which has resulted in us losing passengers to other airports. We feel that United will provide the on time reliability that we want to get our passengers out of town and then back home." 

Ann Barnard and Peggy Chari are both frequent travelers out of Waterloo Regional airport. Both say they've had their fair share of delays, including today's travels to Phoenix.

"Our connecting flight is fifty minutes, so it's going to be cutting it close," said Barnard. "But hopefully they'll let us know, and hopefully they'll be another flight to Phoenix."    

Both say they like the convenience and familiarity over other airports. 

"But I like flying out of Waterloo, so I don't have a choice," said Barnard. 

"I get to recognize their faces of the employees so that's kind of nice," said Chari. 

Kaspari says some customers are looking forward to a possibility of a new airline and new flights. 

"Denver is currently our fourth most populated or desired city to get to," said Kaspari. "Chicago number five. So we're looking forward, and United has seen that and they bid accordingly. I think if we can make it happen we're gonna do our best to get additional service to Chicago and hopefully westbound service to Denver International."

Waterloo Regional Airport has submitted their community recommendation to switch from American Airlines to United Airlines. Kaspari says they're still waiting to hear back from the U.S. Department of Transportation in D.C.

The airport says they hope to hear back about a decision before this Christmas. 

The next two year term will begin in May 2018. 

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