The Northwest Arkansas National Airport is vital to the region’s long-term economic success, and it’s Northwest Arkansas residents’ gateway to the world.

The region’s companies rely on XNA in a big way as the airport makes it possible for Walmart, Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt Transport Services and so many others to operate across the U.S. and all over the globe.

Yet, XNA’s fares aren’t always the best. The airport’s impressive number of nonstop destinations is a great benefit created largely by American, Delta and United, but the benefit is dampened by the high fares charged on those same airlines to key destinations. Would you believe the national average cost of a roundtrip ticket was $350 in 2018, but the XNA average was $536? That’s quite a premium that’s being paid!

While the fares can be high at XNA, you don’t have to be on those most expensive flights. For leisure travelers looking for a week in the Colorado mountains, a family trip to Florida or a weekend junket to Las Vegas or Nashville, XNA has airlines to get you there at an affordable price.

The best fares in Northwest Arkansas are often offered by XNA’s two low-cost carriers: Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines.

Frontier flies to Denver three times a week; Allegiant goes to Destin, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando/Sanford and Phoenix/Mesa.

Guess what Frontier and Allegiant are doing to the overall airfare picture at XNA? They are creating lower fares in some cases by creating competition, even for some passengers who fly on American, Delta and United. United’s customers, for example, are paying a whole lot less to fly to Denver than they did before Frontier arrived at XNA in June 2019.

There’s other good news when it comes to fares.

The average domestic roundtrip fare decreased in the first, second and third quarters of 2019, and the year’s fourth quarter data provided to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics isn’t available yet. It’s almost certain that the 2019 annual average is going to be a whole lot less than the 2018 average.

It’s the quest for better airfares in the region that caused the Northwest Arkansas Council to increase its work with the XNA’s leadership and the airlines themselves.

How can you help?

That’s complicated, but there is a way.

Northwest Arkansas wins when XNA has more passengers. You certainly should look for the best possible fares at XNA and do business as often as possible with the airlines that have the lowest fares. By driving to Tulsa, Kansas City or another airport, it harms the region’s ability to bring more low-cost service to XNA.

Prior to the Frontier Airlines’ announcement that it would provide service from XNA to Denver, the question for XNA wasn’t IF the airport will have daily low-cost air service. The question was WHEN a carrier would arrive to provide low-cost service. Our region needs to work hard to ensure the success of Frontier and any other airline offering low-cost flights from XNA.

Thanks for doing your part! Every trip helps!

We’re doing our part to bring new low-cost service to XNA to create competition and ensure that flights won’t cost as much in the future.