Despite rising numbers and a recent change in a safety net contract with St. Joe Company, Southwest Airlines plans to cancel one of its Bay County flights. Starting in January, Southwest will no longer fly directly to Orlando.
For many passengers it's unfortunate news, they say the route from Northwest Beaches International Airport to Orlando was perfect for business trips and even a better bargain for those traveling to Ft. Lauderdale.
Southwest says every few months; they make changes to their schedule. The non-stop flight to Orlando experienced low numbers and didn't perform as well as others. Right now southwest has two round trip flights to Orlando; in November they'll drop down to one.
In January, it will be completely phased out. Southwest recently added a third daily flight to Houston and 1 seasonal route to St. Louis.
"It's going to be more of a hardship on us because whenever it's just my son and I, it's much easier for me to just hop on a plane and go over and catch the magic express. But if they cancel the flight, that means I have to drive for six hours." Julie Kustom, a frequent flier says.
"Oh it would be frustrating. It would turn my less than an hour flight into a 6 to 7 hour flight." Julie Ray, a business traveler adds.
Officials at airport say they're disappointed in the loss of service, but know southwest is constantly looking for ways to keep fares low. Southwest says their committed to the airport, they recently renewed their lease to 2015.