While airline travel has yet to rebound to 2019 levels seen at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, anyone who passes through the facility will notice a few changes.
Ticketed passengers on any airline carrier now have the option to spend their visit in a brand-new lounge space. Located at the entrance to Concourse B, The Club CLE occupies the space formerly occupied by the Airspace Lounge, which closed in early 2020. The cost is $45, and includes food, drink, wifi, workstations and charging stations.
In August, the long-delayed Ground Transportation Center opened on the north side of the terminal to ease congestion on the main roadway. The $3.5 million project includes covered walkways and waiting areas with benches for those waiting for shuttles to off-site rental-car offices, hotels and parking lots.
Allegiant Air announced on September 24 that it will cease operations from Cleveland by the end of 2021. A representative for the budget carrier cited mounting construction costs as the reason.
Airlines who fly in and out of Cleveland pay some of the highest fees in the nation to operate at the airport, which uses the funds for improvement. But when Cleveland-Hopkins Airport asked for additional support for a $2 million, 20-year master plan to revamp the facility, it ruffled some feathers, especially since airlines are still in recovery mode following huge pandemic losses.
“Unfortunately with the airport’s construction projects and major expansion, the cost structure has become prohibitive to our operation – our business model hinges upon our ability to keep fares low for our customers,” the representative said in a statement to the media. “Our flights were very successful in the market.”
Focused almost exclusively on leisure travel, Allegiant has had several non-stop flights to popular destinations in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Passengers with reservations beyond December will receive refunds.
On the other hand, United will be beefing up its roster of destinations directly served from Cleveland Hopkins. It will be starting nonstop service between Cleveland and Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturdays starting in December. The flight is expected to operate year-round.