As a result of operating subsidies, United Airlines will be changing its summer service to Cody, flying out to Denver at 8 a.m. on a larger 50-passenger regional jet. That matches Delta’s 6 a.m. flight to Salt Lake City for those wanting to get the start on the travel day. In addition, Delta offers a 12:55 flight to Salt Lake City.
Flying into Yellowstone is a matter of picking the gateway-city airline with the most convenient schedules. Billings, then Bozeman are the cities with the most scheduled flights at the most convenient times; Jackson is a solid third. Cody has always been an afterthought when arranging flight schedules, with only a few flights scheduled at inconvenient times. The addition of a United flight and improvements at the airport will help convince locals to fly out of Cody instead of driving up to Billings; the next step is convincing Yellowstone visitors to make the leap.
And we’re not sure they will. It’s still very expensive to fly into Cody: a check on a typical July round-trip from New York City-area airports yielded a low fare of $589 on United, flying from Newark to Cody via Denver. (Delta was more expensive.) On the same dates you could fly round-trip from Newark to Billings via Salt Lake City on Delta for $404, or from LaGuardia to Jackson via Denver on Frontier for $491. It looks like Cody officials have a little ways to go before flying there is as cheap as Billings or even Jackson.