United Lands at Elmira Corning Regional Airport

02.14.14 | Bob Price

If the snow is just too much for you and you want to get away from it all, Twin Tiers neighbors now have a new option at the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport. United Airlines has arrived with two non-stop flights a day to Chicago.

Frank Sinatra once sang, “Come fly with me. Let’s fly, let’s fly away.” That’s the tune Chemung County officials are singing after introducing United Airlines to the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport. One of the world’s largest airlines will now be flying non-stop to Chicago.

“I think United is going to be a terrific addition to our airport,” said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli at a ribbon cutting event Thursday. “Not only are they a quality airline, they’re a growing airline.”

But perhaps even more important than the flights are where they are flying to. Chicago opens up a number of new destinations for Twin Tiers travelers. “There’s 35 new destinations that people will be able to get to one-stop out of Elmira,” said Airport Manager Ann Crook. “For example, Elmira one-stop to Honolulu.”

Those on the first flight to Chicago said they looked forward to the ease of travel. “It’s great, especially being from the West Coast,” said Ariana Mott, a Cornell University student who was on her way to Denver through Chicago for some skiing. “We’re flying back and forth to get to school and get home a lot.”

United Airlines representatives say they picked ELM for the growth potential from the area. “A local travel agent mentioned that he does a big group to Calgary every year,” said Bare Antolos, sales manager for United Airlines. “He's going to move that on to United now. He didn't do that in the past on United just because we didn't have service here and we have better service than other airlines at this point.”

And the company is already looking to the future. “I was here when another airline started service here 18 years ago, so to see this happen today is very exciting,” said Antolos. “And that airline was able to expand their service. I don't see why we wouldn't be able to in the future as well.”

That’s something that makes travelers very happy. “It’s nice that these smaller airports, you can fly to these big hubs and get wherever you need to go,” said Brooke Parsons, a Cornell University student on the first flight to Chicago.

Thursday’s snow didn’t cause any delays for the flight to and from Chicago, but it did cancel flights out of and to Philadelphia.

To see if your flight is canceled or delayed, you can head to the airport’s website, or call your airline.