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I am responding to "B-N airport needs to continue growth" in the Feb. 4 OurViews section.

The last line in this editorial read, "Let's live up to that potential" regarding the potential use of Central Illinois Regional Airport. This is a great rah-rah, go-get-em-team speech that needs to be heard by the airlines serving CIRA.

I would love to use CIRA for my personal travel, but have found that much money can be saved by flying out of Chicago or Indianapolis. I recently booked a trip for my family of four to Orlando over spring break and found that to fly from CIRA via AirTran was approximately $300 per person, but flying from Indianapolis via AirTran was approximately $150 per person for the same dates. In my mind, this is a slam-dunk, no-question decision to spend maybe $100 in gas and parking to save $600 - or 50 percent for all you door-buster bargain hunters - on airfare. This is basic economics folks.

I found the same to be true in July 2005 for a trip to Fort Lauderdale, a March 2004 trip to Orlando and a January 2002 trip to Denver. Let's get the airlines to offer competitive airfare to give the citizens of Bloomington-Normal a reason to use the services of CIRA. I am never going to sacrifice my potential bottom line for the airline's bottom line.

Bill Poland

Bloomington

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