The Boone County Regional Airport Board of Directors met Tuesday, Oct. 20, for their monthly meeting and heard of Southern Airways Express offering $5 tickets to Memphis, Tennessee, or Dallas, Texas.
It has to do with a long-standing rivalry between airport manager Judy McCutcheon’s love of the Razorbacks and Southern Airways’ chairman/CEO Stan Little’s love of Ole Miss.
Keith Sisson, chief marketing officer for Southern, said in a press release, “I am certain this is the first time in the history of aviation that fares were determined by the outcome of a college football game.”
Last year the game did not go as McCutcheon hoped, and she had to fly the Ole Miss flag at the airport for a day. She flew it at half-mast because that was all she could stand. This year, she determined the bet would benefit Boone County passengers if the Razorbacks won.
If she lost the bet, McCutcheon would have to dress in the Ole Miss’ Colonel Reb mascot costume to greet incoming Southern flights. “That would have just killed me,” McCutcheon told the board. “But thanks to the Razorback win, customers have a chance to purchase tickets for $5, one day only — Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. by calling Southern’s 800 number and knowing the code word which will be posted on the airport’s Facebook page Wednesday morning.”
(McCutcheon said the number is 1-800-329-0485 and the code is woo pig souie.)
McCutcheon said the bet has garnered a lot of excitement for the airport and they currently have 18,700 viewers and picked up 211 new followers. One of the board members asked what is a normal viewer number. She said the governor’s visit to the airport Monday registered 1,200 views. “I’m just lucky I won the bet,” she said.
Tickets have to be used by Dec. 15, and there are some black-out times.
In other news, McCutcheon reported what she had received from the Department of Transportation about the Essential Air Service.
Michael Gormas with the DOT said, “With the pandemic, things are taking longer. I cannot say for certain, since we’re still months away from the end of your current term. It’s possible we may not get this out until sometime in 2021. Recently, we’ve had a few go down to the wire. Since you and the other communities all recommended sticking with Southern, it makes things easier, however, there are more proposals to review and analyze.”
McCutcheon told the board, “We will hear when we hear.” The current contract with Southern Airways Express expires on Feb. 28. “If we don’t hear anything by then, we won’t be able to sell tickets until we know what they decide.”
“The college is moving right along on their project. They have moved culverts, cutting the ditches and are almost ready for Easton to come in and finish up. Of course, we will need some good weather for them to finish, but we are getting close.”