More flights to NYC, but higher prices possible

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you're looking to hop on a flight to New York,  now you have a few more chances to get to the Big Apple. Delta has added four additional flights from RIC to New York's LaGuardia Airport.

RIC officials say there will be more flights to New York for the next few months, but there will actually be fewer flights by this summer.

Airport officials fear ticket prices could be on the way up.

Brady Leifer is one of several dozen people boarding the first Delta flight from Richmond to LaGuardia. She lives in New York but is going to be coming to Richmond quite a bit in the new few months.

"I was down here for an engagement party," Leifer said.  "(I'm) then coming back for my 5-year reunion at (the University of Richmond) on June 1st and then the wedding on July 11th so I don't want to take a train for 7 hours."

She says she's probably going to be taking these new Delta flights all summer.

"I'm coming down here four times a year usually," she said.  "It's just been harder recently with the lack of flights so I'm excited that there's more."

Delta will now have four flights a day to LaGuardia. That's on top of three flights every day to New York's JFK Airport.

But airport officials say there's a catch. In order to make room for these new flights to New York, Delta had to trade spots with US Airways. Although US Airways will continue to offer flights from Richmond to other cities, it will end its service to New York starting in July.

Airport officials say that means there will be one less airline competing for New York flights in Richmond, which could lead to higher prices.

RIC officials say the price of a ticket to New York on JetBlue two years ago cost roughly
$120 dollars. Now a flight to New York costs almost $500.

Travelers like Leifer say they hope these added flights will keep the prices in check.

"It's back and forth of how much it costs to take such a short flight from Richmond to New York," Leifer said.  "You would think it would be cheaper but it's not always."

RIC officials say right now there's a total of 17 flights to New York a day.

They say with US Airways leaving Richmond, the total number of flights to New York will be down to just thirteen by July even with these new Delta flights.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.