Passengers at the Columbia Regional Airport said goodbye Wednesday to one airline and will say hello to another one Thursday.
The last flight of Delta Airlines departed Wednesday afternoon from Columbia, while American Airlines will begin offering flights Thursday at the airport.
Pete and Debbie Livingston of Jefferson City are frequent flyers of Delta Airlines. This Capital City couple said they will miss Deltaâ??s service and the people who work there.
â??Itâ??s a whole lot better than going to St. Louis or Kansas City," Pete said. "You can be late like I am today and still make the flight which is pretty standard for me. Iâ??m glad we are still going to have service, but Iâ??ve been a frequent flyer with Delta for a lot of years. Iâ??m going to miss that.â??
Jim and Judy Elliott of Columbia left on a Delta flight to Florida by way of Atlanta to celebrate Grandparents' Day. Their return trip to Columbia will be through Dallas on an American Airlines flight.
â??It seems sad that you have to go to Dallas to go to Florida," Judy said. "That was the choice.â??
Delta Airlines officials chose to leave after Columbia city officials gave a $3 million revenue guarantee to American Airlines. Community leaders hope Delta officials eventually change their minds and return to the Columbia Regional Airport. The airport has a new website that offers updated flight status information and flight schedules.
American Airlines service at the Columbia Regional Airport starts Thursday with direct flights to and from Dallas and Chicago.
A â??Launch Partyâ?? for American Airlines is scheduled for Thursday from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Columbia Regional Airport.