Reno airport named one of best small airports in US by travel magazine

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Passengers are seen at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Reno on March 13, 2020., 2019. (Photo: JASON BEAN/RGJ)

Reno-Tahoe International Airport received a feather in its flight cap after being named one of the top 10 small airports in the U.S. by a travel magazine.

The Discoverer called Reno-Tahoe International a great alternative to the more jam-packed San Francisco International Airport — especially for folks headed to Lake Tahoe.

“It’s a quicker commute and you get to skip all the Bay Area traffic and head straight to the serene lakeside,” The Discoverer wrote. “Plus, Reno has all the trappings of a big city airport — including slot machines — without the hassle.”

“These accolades directly reflect the hard-working and exemplary staff at the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority and our tenant and community partners,” Daren Griffin, airport president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

News: New Reno airport CEO Daren Griffin wants passengers to feel safe about air travel again

Griffin recently took over the top post following the retirement of Marily Mora.

Reno’s mention in The Discoverer’s list is good news for an airport that is attempting to bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on leisure and business travel. The airport hit rock bottom earlier this year after passenger counts plummeted from 341,935 in February to just 17,265 in April. The April numbers also represented a nearly 95% drop from the same month last year.

At the time, an airport representative described the situation as “eerie.”

“I was in the terminal that day doing a television interview and for the first time in 16 years, I could hear my voice echo in the terminal,” said Brian Kulpin, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority spokesman.

Since then, the airport has seen a steady increase in passenger counts as flyers acclimate to a changed world. American, Delta, United, Alaska and Southwest airlines have also added new flights to and from the Reno Airport.

News: Alaska Airlines adding nonstop Reno flights to LAX and Palm Springs

The 10 airports that made The Discoverer’s list. For more details about the airports in the list, check out The Discoverer blog:

  • Long Beach (Calif.) Airport
  • Bangor (Maine) International Airport
  • Dallas Love Field Airport
  • Lehigh Valley (Pa.) International Airport
  • Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
  • Paine Field Airport (Washington State) 
  • Piedmont Triad (N.C.) International Airport
  • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth (Ala.) International Airport
  • Long Island (N.Y.) MacArthur Airport
  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport

Jason Hidalgo covers business and technology for the Reno Gazette Journal, and also reviews the latest video games. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhidalgo. Like this content? Support local journalism with an RGJ digital subscription.

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