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Denver floats $60 stopover idea to airline- Denver Post September 25, 2003

United Airlines may make it easier for travelers passing through Denver International Airport to linger a few days in the Mile High City.

The airline said Wednesday it is considering a proposal from Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to offer passengers the option of an extended layover to boost tourism.

"We were floated the idea and we are considering it," said United spokesman Jeff Green. "It would be a $60 stopover fee to promote Denver to nonresidents."

Denver travel agent David Rojahn said the practice is common on international itineraries but not in the United States.

Traditionally, scheduling a stopover breaks up a round trip and pushes the price up, sometimes substantially, Rojahn said. "In some cases, that $60 stopover fee wouldn't be a bad deal," he said.

Hickenlooper mentioned the idea to United chief executive Glenn Tilton during one of their first meetings a few months ago, the mayor's spokeswoman Lindy Eichenbaum Lent said.

"It would be a boost for tourism," she said.

If it happens, "there would be a coordinated promotion effort" with the city, the Denver Convention and Visitors' Bureau and other agencies, she said.

DIA is United's second-busiest hub. The carrier and its commuter affiliates fly about 60 percent of the passengers that pass through the Denver airport. More than half of United's Denver traffic comes from passengers traveling from one city to another and connecting flights here.

Frontier Airlines, the airport's No. 2 carrier, would consider a stopover option if United does it.

"With any of our competitors, we are constantly watching their fares and marketing," said Frontier Airlines spokesman Joe Hodas. "If it's something we think might be valuable to our customers, we would consider it."

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