Frontier Airlines expands service to the Hammock Coast, Myrtle Beach region
Low-fare carrier Frontier Airlines will expand its flights to Myrtle Beach International Airport, which is one of three airports serving South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. The expanded service will offer nonstop flights to and from MYR to Buffalo, New York, and Providence and Portland, Maine.
The three new destinations will expand Frontier’s offerings to eight routes from MYR. To celebrate the new service, Frontier is offering fares as low as $39. For those looking to vacation along South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, this is another great new opportunity.
“We’re excited to expand our … service with three new nonstop routes to Buffalo, Providence and Portland,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president of commercial for Frontier. “Summer is quickly approaching, and Frontier’s low fares and friendly flying experience offer a convenient option for families and friends who are looking to travel and explore great outdoor destinations.”
“These new flights will further enhance the air travel opportunities available to both local residents and visitors to our community and will arrive in time for the popular summer vacation season,” said Scott Van Moppes, MYR’s director of airports.
The Providence flight will start June 10, 2021, to and from T.F. Green Airport (PVD) and will be offered twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays.
The Portland flight will get underway June 12, 2021, from Portland International Airport (PDX) and will be offered once each week on Saturdays.
The Buffalo flight will begin June 11, 2021, and will be offered twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays to and from Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF).
Frontier was already providing service to and from Denver, Colorado; Islip/Long Island, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Trenton, New Jersey; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A press release noted that Frontier is focused on more than low fares. The carrier offers customers the ability to customize travel to their needs and budget. For example, customers can purchase options a la carte or in one low-priced bundle called the WORKS. This bundle includes refundability, a carry-on bag, a checked bag, the best available seat, waived change fees, and priority boarding. The airline’s frequent flyer program, FRONTIER Miles, lets members enjoy many benefits as well as the ability to attain Elite status. Like the airline, FRONTIER Miles is family friendly, and the program makes it easy for families to enjoy the rewards together, including family pooling of miles.
The Frontier announcement for MYR quickly followed other flight enhancements from both United and Southwest.
United announced that it will expand its service to include new nonstop flights to and from:
• Cleveland (Ohio) Hopkins International Airport with one daily flight on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
• St. Louis (Missouri) Lambert International Airport with one daily flight on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
• Milwaukee Mitchell (Wisconsin) International Airport with daily flights on Saturdays and Sundays.
Southwest is new to MYR and will offer flights to and from 11 cities.
Beginning May 23, 2021, Southwest passengers will be able to travel from and to Baltimore, Maryland (BWI), Chicago, Illinois (MDW), and Nashville, Tennessee (BNA); and additional nonstop service from and to Dallas, Texas (DAL) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PIT) will begin May 29. Service from and to five additional cities will launch on June 6, which include Atlanta, Georgia (ATL), Columbus, Ohio (CMH), Indianapolis, Indian (IND), Kansas City, Missouri (MCI) and St. Louis, Missouri (STL). In addition to their nonstop offerings, MYR is accessible on Southwest Airlines this summer from 50-plus cities through same-plane and connecting itineraries.
The South Carolina’s Hammock Coast areas served by MYR include the beach communities of DeBordieu, Pawleys Island, Litchfield Beach, Murrells Inlet, and southern Garden City, as well as the historic cities of Georgetown and Andrews. Vacationers from around the world visit the Hammock Coast looking to enjoy pristine beaches, rich American history, great seafood restaurants and Southern charm.
In 2019, MYR served 2.6 million passengers. During 2020 and the COVID crisis, passenger activity declined at MYR and throughout the United States. However, as a top leisure destination, MYR passenger activity has recovered at a faster rate than the national average.
“MYR is well-positioned for a quick recovery as a predominantly leisure destination,” said Lauren Wehrung, air service and business analyst at MYR.
Wehrung noted that airlines have responded to the impressive demand for travel to the Hammock Coast and Grand Strand regions by adding new markets, increasing existing capacity or entering the market as a new carrier, just as Southwest has now done.
She added, “Scheduled seat capacity for summer 2021 has already exceeded that which was scheduled during the same period in 2019, and airport leaders are confident the airport will continue its fast-paced recovery throughout 2021.”
MYR has nine airlines servicing the Hammock Coast. MYR is currently served by Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Porter, Sun Country, Spirit and United.
The airport offers direct or nonstop flights to more than 50 locations: Akron-Canton, Ohio; Albany, New York; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Charleston, West Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Clarksburg, West Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Elmira, New York; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Hagerstown, Maryland; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston, Texas; Huntington, West Virginia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Long Island, New York; Kansas City, Missouri; Knoxville, Tennessee; Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; Louisville, Kentucky; Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota; Nashville, Tennessee; New York, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Newburg/Stewart, New York; Niagra Falls, New York; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Providence, Rhode Island; Saint Louis/Belleville, Illinois; Syracuse, New York; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Trenton, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C.
Of course, many connecting flights also help visitors and residents in their travel plans.
Myrtle Beach International Airport recently earned the title of “Best Small Airport” in the 2021 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The annual awards highlight the best of the best in the travel industry and nominees in all categories were chosen editorially by a panel of experts in partnership with 10Best editors, while the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.
“The airport team is incredibly proud of this win,” Van Moppes said. “This title places MYR in the national spotlight, allowing the rest of the country to see why our airport is a favorite among travelers and continually growing in popularity. Our team works diligently to provide the best possible customer experience and being named ‘Best Small Airport’ is proof of that hard work. We are grateful to everyone who took time to vote and we would like to thank our loyal following for its continued patronage and support in this contest.”
Two other airports serve South Carolina’s Hammock Coast: Charleston International Airport, located in North Charleston about 19 miles from the City of Charleston and about 75 miles from South Carolina’s Hammock Coast; and the Georgetown County Airport, located south of Georgetown, on the Hammock Coast, just outside the city limits on U.S. Highway 17, which accommodates small planes and jets.
By Mark A. Stevens/director of tourism development, Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce