Community reacts to Great Lakes suspension

Great Lakes Airlines suspended from Mason City Municipal Airport

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – On Monday afternoon, Great Lakes Airlines announced they are suspending service at the Mason City and Fort Dodge municipal airports.

The last flights will take off on Friday, which does not give much warning for travelers who plan their trips months in advance.

Many travelers have been planning on coming to the area to attend the annual Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, and after speaking with Surf Ballroom officials, they say this suspension could pose problems for some of their ticket holders.

Laurie Lietz, the executive director at the Surf says they’re expecting around 2,000 people to hopefully come through their doors for the big fling.

“We’re worried for the folks that might’ve been flying into the area, as ticket holders and as our guests to the north Iowa,” Lietz said, “I haven’t heard anyone call just yet, but will certainly assist them in anyway that we can.”

A Clear Lake travel agency, Allen Travel has worked with the airlines in the past.

Jay Allen, the owner of the agency says he’s not surprised by the suspension since booking trips with them usually ended up in a disappointment.

“Customer satisfaction got kind of bad with all of the cancellations the delays,” Allen said, “so they’d miss their connection so lately the last few months we just haven’t sold them at all to eliminate those headaches.”

However, that’s not to say that working with the airport was a chore; they’re just interested in working with a more reliable airline.

“Down the road, we’d love to send more people out of Mason city, and have a service that we can rely on,” he said.

Seeing changes instead of eliminations is what many people are interested in for the future of flights out of Mason City, and with proposals being discussed next week, there could be a new airline taking care of services for north Iowa.

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