Orlando's airport helps itself by helping you fly there cheaply


It's unusual for an airport to think of itself as anything more than a way station. We have to visit them but we don't really want to, and consequently, most of them are resolutely run by bored civic authorities and industrial management agencies. Head to the web site of your local runway, and you won't find much more than a list of airlines, driving directions, and maybe a few warnings about how to kowtow to the TSA. Whaddaya expect? It's the airport.

So it's refreshing to see an airport take control of its own destiny. In Orlando, a city that stands to lose a great deal from the coming slowdown in tourism and convention business, the airport (coded MCO) wants to help passengers save money flying there. So it has uploaded page of the latest airfare specials flying there.

It makes sense, and it's so simple you have to wonder why your airport isn't doing it to stimulate business. Many smaller American airports are floundering as the major airlines yank service. But if airport authorities do all they can to help keep the planes full, the airlines will be less likely to suspend service. If they go, the airports, which depend on landing fees that are built into the cost of every ticket, will go into the budget hole.