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COLUMBIA - Travel agencies are in the process of evaluating the affects of the arrival of American Airlines to Columbia Regional Airport and how it might be different from when Delta Airlines was here.

Local travel agencies and American Airlines are working together to find the best flight times for departures from Columbia Regional Airport in order for flights to become more affordable for Mid-Missouri travelers.

Adelman Travel, formally Great Southern Travel, already is booking travel packages using the new American Airline's flights to Dallas, Texas and Chicago, Illinois. The cities are big connectors in international flights, making it easier for Mid-Missouri travelers to leave right from Columbia instead of driving to St. Louis or Kansas City.

The biggest issue Adelman has found with the American Airlines flights, is the pricing and flight time differences between flights to Dallas and Chicago. 

Adelman Travel Agent, Lisa Bright said, "It's been difficult finding affordable plane tickets from Columbia Regional to either Dallas or Chicago that match up with international flight times."

"If tickets cost around $150 more here than a flight out of St. Louis or Kansas city, travelers are more likely not to choose departures out of Columbia," said Bright.

Bright said her agency is talking with American Airline representatives to encourage them to look into their inventory and make ticket prices more affordable for Mid-Missourians.

Beth Eckles, a frequent American Airlines flier, said she is thrilled with the addition of flights from Columbia Regional. She said she was pleased with the price her travel agent found for her trip to Great Britain this July.