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Ontario International Airport struggles to attract Thanksgiving travelers

The LA/Ontario International Airport on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012.
November 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It's that time of year again when families get together for the holidays. For many, that means bracing themselves for packed airports and long lines. That's not so much the case at LA/Ontario International Airport.

While Los Angeles International Airport expects to serve nearly 1.8 million passengers during the upcoming 10-day Thanksgiving travel period, ONT continues to struggle with attracting travelers.

Both are owned by Los Angeles World Airports. Ontario leaders are trying to regain control of their local airport in hopes of turning it around.

"As we've seen during the past five years, we've actually seen the amount of available flights drop from 111 a day to only 55 a day," said Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner, who also serves as the president of the Ontario International Airport Authority.

The less-than-bustling airport is one reason Inland Empire residents like Carla Stahlman chose to fly in and out of Ontario.

"It's so easy, it's my favorite airport," said Stahlman, a resident of La Verne. "Compared to going to LAX, even though I think there are more routes, it's just our go-to airport."

However, Wapner says the future doesn't look so merry.

"The projections are that it is going to be lower than last year," Wapner said. "When you have fewer flights obviously that is going to equate to fewer passengers as well."


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