MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - 'Runway robbery' is the title of an ad campaign aimed at Memphis International airport. Critics of the airport say the high cost of a plane ticket in Memphis is outrageous and it's time someone did something about it.
"Everyone is frustrated with the situation," said Mark Henry, CEO of Signature Advertising. "Prices are ridiculous."
Henry calls what airlines charge, specifically Delta Airlines which has a hub at Memphis International, "runway robbery."
That's also what Henry is calling the ad campaign his company plans to launch against the airport this week.
"We plan on turning up the heat and keeping the pressure on until some real change is made," he said.
The heat will be in the form of billboards that will line I-240 near Memphis International airport.
"The lack of competitive environment at the airport is what's behind all this."
According to Henry, it's more than $155, on average, more per ticket to fly out of Memphis than it costs to fly from Nashville and Little Rock.
Henry says that price discrepancy is to blame for the decrease in people catching flights from the Bluff City.
"If air fares were more reasonable i bet they'd see demand rise," Henry noted. "Put some heat on the folks that can do something about it."
"I don't think the numbers they are using are correct," countered Larry Cox, President and CEO of the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority.
Cox admits fares are higher at Memphis International, but he adds there's a good reason why.
"That's because we have a dominant hub here," he said. "The fares are generally higher when you have a hub that's controlled by one particular airline."
The ad campaign is funded by a group of business leaders and executives. Mark Henry would not reveal any names.