RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you're in need of a vacation, there are brand new options for travel to Mexico and the Bahamas from Richmond's Airport. The first flight to Cancun took off Monday.
You can call it one more reason to fly Richmond. Airport staff hope Monday's flight is the first of many more to come.
Take your pick. Six nights in Cancun or four nights in the Bahamas. Both travel packages just hit Richmond this month - offered by tour operator, Vacation Express.
"They try to go to airports where there's not a lot of airlift directly to the vacation destinations that they feel like has the potential and Richmond has that potential," says Meg Harrison of Crossroads Travel.
She had customers on Monday's first non-stop flight from Richmond to Cancun. Travelers can book a flight-only or secure a package deal that includes travel and lodging.
"They have lead in rates that can be as low as $899 per person including air and hotel and then they go on up to $2000 or more per person depending on caliber of property you wish to stay," Harrison said.
Airport staff consider this a win for our area, even attracting potential passengers from outside of the Richmond metro.
"We certainly draw from points west, Charlottesville and beyond. We see a lot of folks from Northern Virginia - Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County and even from parts of North Carolina. If it's uniquely offered out of Richmond and attractively priced, absolutely they'll hop on the road and fly out of RIC," said Troy Bell of Richmond's Airport.
That's the hope behind the venture. Give people a place to getaway, and it will boost business.
"It's a very good way to get a good escape to a very nice destination with lots of hotel choices for an economical purchase," Harrison said.
So far, so good.
"Just walking down with the passengers, put it this way, the only thing missing this morning was the beach and the terminal building because they were already in Cancun or thinking about Grand Bahama," Bell said.
This getaway deal is being advertised through August. Whether it will be offered after that depends on how well it gets off the ground with vacation goers.
Two airplanes - one headed to Mexico - and the other headed to the Bahamas - both flew out of Richmond Monday. You can not book the flights from the airport's website, you have to go through Vacation Express or a travel agent.