Disneyland-bound tourists could be offered incentives to land in Ontario instead of JWA, group says
Peggy Ducey speaks at AirFair's Fourth Forum
Daily Pilot Sunday, December 6, 2009
By Joseph Serna
it won’t solve the issue, a local group says it’s found a way to steer
away more than a million travelers from landing at John Wayne Airport
and help relieve some of the pressure on the facility to expand.
amount of traffic we can get diverted is key,” said Jeanne Price, one
of the founders of AirFair, a local group dedicated to keeping John
Wayne Airport from expanding.
AirFair hosted a presentation Friday by Peggy Ducey,
(see photo left) a consultant hired by Los Angeles World Airports
(LAWA), an organization that owns the Ontario and Palmdale airports and
is looking to divert passengers from LAX.
LAWA and AirFair found
a mutual group of fliers they could steer away from John Wayne Airport
to Ontario: tourists headed to Disneyland.
Ducey said a recent
survey showed that an estimated 1.3 million passengers, or 14% of John
Wayne’s annual customers, are headed to the land of Mickey, Minnie and
On top of that, she said, an overwhelming majority of
them are taking buses and shuttles from the airport to the Disney
resort in Anaheim.
“We already had a passenger market doing
everything they wanted us to do — they were just going to the wrong
airport,” Ducey told the small group at the Santa Ana Heights Fire
Ducey said LAWA is working with Disney and Ontario to
quicken tourists’ transfer from the airport to their hotel. Because
Ontario Airport is significantly farther away than John Wayne, the
groups are looking at different incentives — such as discounted air
fares, hotel prices or Disneyland ticket prices — to attract travelers
to Ontario Airport, Ducey said.
“This is a work in progress. The
bottom line is we have to reduce the operation costs at Ontario,” for
this to effectively work, Ducey told the audience, which included
Newport Beach, Irvine and Costa Mesa city council members.
said they hope to have a system working by the next vacation season in
the summer. The plan will only be temporary until Anaheim finalizes its
own transportation hub called ARTIC, which will then be drawn into the
operation, Ducey said.
“We were pleased to listen to Los Angeles
World Airports’ regional plan, and we are always interested in
opportunities that might benefit our guests,” Betsy Sanchez, a
spokesperson for Disneyland Resort, said Friday in a phone interview.
“However, we have made no commitments, and it would be extremely
premature to discuss any details.”
Price, Ducey and the Newport
Beach Councilman Keith Curry said that even if all 1.3 million Disney
resort tourists went to Ontario Airport, they would be quickly replaced
with other customers because of demand. The goal at this point though,
Price said, was simply to reduce demand on the airport in hopes it
eventually stops any push for expansion.