Due to strong consumer demand for its 17 newly announced scheduled services to Northwest Florida Regional Airport and scheduled services to other Florida airports,...

Due to strong consumer demand for its 17 newly announced scheduled services to Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) and scheduled services to other Florida airports, Vision Airlines is extending its $49  introductory fare sale to Florida from January 23 to January 31 and has allocated more $49 seats to each flight.

The introductory-fare tickets for the new services to and from VPS, which serves the Northwest Florida sunspot destinations of Destin and Fort Walton Beach, are now available for sale at www.VisionAirlines.com. The $49 introductory fare excludes U.S. government Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9.00, September 11th Security Fees of up to $2.50 per enplanement and a US segment fee of $3.70 per segment (a segment is one take-off and one landing).

Vision Airlines announced on January 18 that it was opening up 17 new scheduled-service routes to Northwest Florida Regional Airport from cities in Southern, Southeastern and Midwest U.S. states. The airline also intends to expand its scheduled services to other cities it serves throughout Florida and overall is intending to add scheduled flights at 23 U.S. cities. Vision Airlines will operate most of the flights with Boeing 737-300s and 737-400s and will soon add another 737-300 and another 737-400 to its fleet to help serve the expanded network.

Vision Airlines is growing its fleet of Boeing 737s with more 737-300s and 737-400s (like the 737-400 seen in this photograph) to help with the expansion of its scheduled-service network from 17 U.S. cities to Northwest Florida Regional Airport, as well additional schedules to several other Florida airports

“On Tuesday, moments after the news media reported Vision Airlines’ 23 city mega-expansion and its $49 introductory fare offer; we experienced enormous website traffic that repeatedly crashed our computer servers,” says David Meers, Vision Airlines’  chief operating officer, commercial operations. “Our server capacity has been increased to facilitate the overwhelming interest by consumers.”

“Additionally, our reservations center was inundated with callers, resulting in extensive hold times,” says Meers. Vision Airlines sold upwards of 5,000 tickets and recorded nearly 20,000 website hits in the first 48  after its announcement, he adds.

“By the close of business on Thursday, we were sold-out of $49 seats,” says Meers. “Since then, I have been talking on the phone with scores of disappointed customers who were hoping to take advantage of the introductory fares. Many people did not understand that there are a limited number of $49 seats on each flight.”

According to Vision Airlines, its fares currently range from $49 to $199 one-way but the carriers adds that on average its one-way tickets from most cities to Florida cost $89. Vision Airlines does not charge so-called “convenience” fees for booking or fees for carry-on baggage. The only additional fees are those levied by the U.S. government and Vision Airlines’ own checked-bag fees.

Vision Airlines also charges $15 for the first checked bag and $20 for the second if the fees are paid online when booking, and an additional $10 per bag if payment for the checked bags is made at the airport. This fee scale is competitive with the checked-bag fees charged by almost all other U.S. carriers on domestic flights and cheaper than those of several major U.S. airlines.

In addition to growing its scheduled-service network, Vision Airlines is planning to grow its charter-flight service from New York and Miami to Havana, the capital of Cuba, following President Obama’s signing of an order which should allow additional relaxation of charter flights between the two diplomatically unconnected countries.