Monday, February 15, 2021

Boutique Air makes inaugural flight to Rapid City Regional Airport (KRAP)

Airline passengers traveling to and from Rapid City Regional Airport now have one additional option to schedule flights as Boutique Air made its inaugural landing from Chadron, Nebraska, Monday afternoon.

Boutique Air is a concierge-style airline, now offering daily flights between the two communities. At Chadron, passengers can fly on to Denver International Airport, through a code-sharing agreement with United Airlines.

At a Monday ribbon-cutting ceremony, Rapid City Regional Airport Executive Director Patrick Dame said Boutique Air's connection to Denver via Chadron is a great option for passengers who want to experience a different type of flight.

"It's an exciting opportunity. Not often do we get to announce a new airline coming into our market, so this is a really good opportunity for Rapid City and for our customers," Dame said.

The San Francisco-based airline says that it will offer rates comparable to other commercial flights. Boutique Air serves 30 small, mid-size and major cities nationwide.

The route between Rapid City and Chadron, and then from Chadron to Denver is flown on the airline's fleet of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. The nine-passenger turboprop plane adds a level of comfort and luxury for flyers, Boutique Air Marketing Director and Regional Manager Teresa Mesman said.

From check-in to landing, passengers will experience concierge-style services typically found on private planes, she said.

"We have a lot of features to offer a 'private for the cost of commercial' flight, and hope that everybody takes a trip to Chadron and then to Denver with us,"  Mesman said.

Boutique Air's ticket counter is located in the main departures area of the airport terminal. Once a passenger checks in and goes through security, Dame said they will head to Gate 6 in the concourse. Because of the type of aircraft Boutique uses, passengers board the plane at ground level.

Monday's inaugural flight was slightly delayed because of weather conditions in Denver. In spite of the delay, the flight from Chadron to Rapid City went smoothly with three passengers on board.

Brenda LeBlanc of Rapid City decided to take the flight from Denver to Chadron and then on to Rapid City because of a canceled flight with United Airlines. She said she enjoyed being able to fly on the smaller plane with a touch of luxury.

"It was a good experience, and I wasn't expecting the plane to be so small, so that was a little nerve-racking for me at first, but it was just fine once we got in the air," LeBlanc said. "The pilots were really nice. This was a good alternative for me and I'll definitely book it again."

Dame said the airport has heard from several people that they used to drive from Rapid City to Chadron to catch the Boutique Air flight to Denver. He said that speaks of the value and service that Boutique offers and that service is now going to be offered without having to drive 100 miles.

It also allows people flying out of Chadron to have more connections with carriers at Rapid City, Dame said.

"Anytime that we can improve the connectability for our customers into or out of Rapid City is a great opportunity for everybody here," he said.

Mesman said the airline hopes to keep Rapid City as a permanent destination. Boutique Air will start with one daily round-trip flight from Chadron to Rapid City.

“Rapid City has been a location we’ve really wanted to fly into for some time. It’s a jewel of tourism and business destinations for that part of the United States,” she told the Journal in January. “We’re very proud of knowing that we’re going to be part of the Rapid City airport. We’re excited to work with them.”


  1. I hope the interior is cleaner than the exterior. That plane is filthy

    1. "Filthy" caused by ice-fighting chemicals sprayed on that airplane between flights making for safe flights.

  2. Naw. That's exhaust soot. Jet fuel burns dirty at low altitude.

  3. Federally subsidized airplane shows up sooted and sporting unpainted replacement engine cowl. No concern about looking good for inaugural flight photo op.

    "Looks like no passengers today, Cap'n"
    "No problem, still getting paid to fly in and out, even empty"