Offering Free Flights to Attract Government Subsidies

Imagine the conundrum faced by North Central Regional Airport in West Virginia. They need to exceed a whopping 27 passengers per day in order to be eligible for a federal grant program. But they aren’t hitting their numbers. (Presumably the airport is employing more staff than passengers…) What do you do?

Fudge your numbers, of course! Charter a plane and give away free flights — get local residents to take off, circle around the town, and land. Apparently it’s worth the money to the airport authority:

“Hopefully we achieve the numbers necessary for the 10,000 passengers that we’re looking for. That’s the difference in a $150,000 to $1,000,000.” said Ron Watson, president of the Benedum Airport Authority.

(Hat tip to Chris,)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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