Allegiant Air Anniversary

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They're the first St. Petersburg travelers to fly into the Rockford Airport through Allegiant Air. The airline is celebrating it's first anniversary by launching flights to and from the Florida vacation spot. The Phelan family has flown Allegiant Air three times already and says it's worth their 75 mile drive.

"The price and we like the airport. We drive from Madison, we're about a mile from the Madison airport," says Denise Phelan.

For others, it was their first time.

"A little bumpy at times, but other than that, I enjoyed it," says traveler Robert Baxter.

Just in the last three years, RFD has added 5 new destinations. And with the recent growth, airport officials say they hope offering more flights will help double the amount of passengers flying out of RFD.

Airport officials say they expect 400,000 passengers to fly out of RFD by next year and hope to attract even more families from neighboring cities.

"We're simply intercepting people that are driving right by RFD and giving them the product their driving to Chicago for," says RFD Executive Director Bob O'Brien.

In celebration of the anniversary, the airport gave away several round trip tickets to Allegiant's non-stop destinations and announced that adding flights to Fort Meyers may be coming soon.

The airport's Executive Director says first-time flights usually fly in empty, but was pleasantly surprised when this plane landed more than half-full. And the flight heading to St. Petersburg was just about booked. Allegiant Air will offer flights to and from St. Petersburg three days a week.