CANTON, Ohio (WJW) – Breeze Airways, which debuted just last year, has already made a huge splash here as a low cost, tech savvy and easy-to-access way to travel, making direct flights to destinations where passengers might ordinarily have one or more connections.
During a promotional period, the flights are being offered for as little as $39.
“All those warmer climates, the Charleston’s, the Vegas which was announced a couple of weeks ago, as well as now Orlando, are those markets where our travelers want to go,” said Akron Canton Airport President and CEO Renato Camacho.
“They actually have their roots in IT. They have an entrepreneur that’s in the aviation industry, but they consider themselves an IT company that happens to own an airline so they are all about technology, all about efficiency, if you want to reach out to them,” said Camacho.
No passengers FOX 8 spoke with on Thursday even realized booking that flight online includes an additional ‘technology development fee.’
“Whether its Wi-Fi on planes that’s coming this year or a really good app or really a sharp moving website, streaming content on planes, the tech development fee obviously contributes to that,” said Breeze spokesman Gareth Edmonson-Jones.
The fee can quickly add up, but there is a way to avoid it.
“There is a little secret there as well that you can actually go to the airport on Tuesdays and for a couple of hours on Tuesdays you can buy it at the ticket counter without the tech development fee,” said Edmonson-Jones.
At the Breeze counter, FOX 8 was told that the Tuesday hours are 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., but customers can also purchase tickets at the counter whenever the counter is open, which is typically two hours before any scheduled flight.
Breeze operates three flights a day on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday.
Breeze Airways is not alone in adding similar fees for booking online. Several other budget airlines, including Allegiant and Spirit which fly into the Akron-Canton Airport, reportedly also add fees for online booking, though they are not called the same thing.
Passengers flying directly from Akron-Canton to West Palm Beach, Florida on Thursday said they were pleased with the way they were able to cancel and re-book their flights using Breeze Airlines app.
In a statement on a prepared video, Breeze Airways CEO David Neeleman said of his airline, “We are the nicest airline in the world, that’s a tag line we came up with ourselves.”
When they fly Breeze, it’s going to be simple. They are going to book easy, they are going to get to the airport, everything is going to be easy and we are going to be kind to them and nice and they are going to have a great traveling experience,” said Neeleman.
While the focus is on keeping fares low, the airline also has typical upcharges for a low fare airline that include additional costs for reserved seating and luggage.
Edmondson-Jones also wanted to stress that the very low promotional fees will go up after midnight on Monday, Oct. 31.