Columbus airports add more nonstop flights: Here are the new places you can go – The Columbus Dispatch

The two Columbus airports now offer nearly 50 nonstop flights to destinations around the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

That list expanded during the COVID pandemic, with the recent addition of 22 nonstop flights from John Glenn Columbus International Airport and Rickenbacker International Airport.

Many of the flights depart to tourist destinations like Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, Palm Beach, Panama City, or Cancun.

Nonstop flights to major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Dallas are also available. Not all of the flights depart every day and some are offered on a seasonal basis. 

The airport authority keeps an updated list of nonstop flights that depart from Rickenbacker International Airport and John Glenn Columbus International Airport on its website. The majority of nonstop flights leave from John Glenn.

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Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, roughly half of the passengers leaving Columbus by air were traveling for leisure, according to officials at the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which operates the city’s airports. Those travelers now make up a clear majority and the authority responded by adding more flights to popular vacation spots.

“Business travel went away when the pandemic started, and what’s been stronger of the two is leisure,” said Betsy Taylor, a manager of passenger airline business development for the airport authority.

Leisure travel has largely recovered as Ohioans who put off vacations during the height of the coronavirus pandemic began to take their unused time off, she said. But business travel still lags when compared with pre-pandemic travel.

The number of nonstop flights puts Columbus roughly in line with similarly sized cities, Taylor said.

Recently added nonstop flights from Columbus

The airport authority added 22 nonstop flights during the COVID pandemic. Some of them are only offered seasonally when demand is highest. Those flights are:

  • Austin – Southwest (becomes daily March 10)
  • Boston – American                 
  • Cancun – American (seasonal)             
  • Cancun- Frontier (launching Jan. 21)
  • Charleston – Breeze
  • Charleston – United (summer seasonal)
  • Fort Myers – United (seasonal)
  • Hartford – Breeze
  • Hilton Head Island – United (summer seasonal)
  • Los Angeles – Spirit                     
  • Miami – Southwest (seasonal)                                   
  • Myrtle Beach – Southwest (summer seasonal)
  • New Orleans – Breeze
  • Norfolk – Allegiant (seasonal)
  • Norfolk – Breeze                    
  • Palm Beach – Breeze  (launching Feb. 19)
  • Panama City Beach – Southwest (seasonal)         
  • Pensacola – Spirit (seasonal)            
  • Portland, Maine – United (summer seasonal)
  • Sarasota/Bradenton – Southwest                    
  • Tampa – Breeze
  • Tampa – Frontier (seasonal)

Other nonstop flights from John Glenn airport

And nonstop service on 11 flights came back to John Glenn airport last year. They are:

  • Boston – Delta                                                                                       
  • Cancun – Vacation Express (announced return March)                                        
  • Fort Myers – Spirit
  • Myrtle Beach – Spirit                                                                                          
  • New Orleans – Spirit                                                                                          
  • New York-JFK – American                                                                                              
  • New York-JFK – Delta                                                                                        
  • New York-LaGuardia – American                                                                
  • St. Louis – Southwest                                                                                         
  • Toronto – Air Canada                                                                                         
  • Washington D.C. – National – Southwest        

The TSA recently extended a mask mandate that requires passengers to wear face coverings in terminals, on airport shuttles, and on airplanes. The mandate now expires March 18.

pcooley@dispatch.com

@PatrickACooley