5 things happening at local airports and how it affects you

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As regional airports in Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton battle it out to bring in travelers from across Southwest and Central Ohio, passengers have more options for flights and airport amenities than ever before.

Here’s what you need to know about more flights, passenger traffic trends and what makes people choose some airports over others.

1. CINCINNATI SEES INCREASE IN PASSENGER TRAFFIC The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) continued to set local passenger traffic records in August, and celebrated three years of consecutive year-over-year growth, the airport announced this week. In August, local passenger traffic was up 30 percent with more than 362,500 originating passengers, marking the third highest local passenger August volume in CVG's 70-year history.

“At CVG, we’re embracing what’s next and planning for a bright future, as we work to continue breaking records by growing both passenger and cargo operations, and lowering airfares,” said Candace McGraw, CVG’s chief executive officer. “The new activity and additional landed weight will enable CVG to continue lowering its landing fees, benefiting all carriers while ensuring we remain a great place to do business.”

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2. DAYTON'S TRAFFIC GOES DOWN AGAIN. For the Dayton International Airport, passenger traffic declined to 74,538 last month — more than 14 percent — compared to August 2016 when 86,922 passengers traveled through the airport. The decrease was not a surprise to airport officials, who said it is a reflection of Southwest Airlines' departure from the airport. July was the first month that the airline no longer served Dayton, after Southwest switched its services over to CVG.

3. WHAT BRINGS PASSENGERS BACK TO CERTAIN AIRPORTS? Increased traveler satisfaction has been attributed to technology investments that address high passenger capacity and construction projects at airports. Phone apps, self-service bag-check kiosks and other technologies expedite processes for busy passengers.

» RELATED: 5 new flight options out of Cincinnati and Dayton airports

Another quirky way to make passengers happy? Airports are bringing in animals. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport has more than 30 stress-relieving ponies on staff that travelers can interact with.

4. COLUMBUS, CINCINNATI MAKE TRAVELERS HAPPY Customer satisfaction scores have reached an all-time high of 749 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is up 18 points from last year's all-time high, according to the J.D. Power Ratings. John Glenn Columbus International Airport landed a 767 score, while Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky scored 781 for medium-sized airport rankings.

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“The trifecta of a steadily improving economy, record passenger volume and billion-dollar renovation projects unfolding in airports across the country has created a challenging environment for customer satisfaction,” said Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at J.D. Power.

5. AMERICAN AIRLINES EXPANDS AT DAYTON AIRPORT American — which serves more travelers than any other airline at the Dayton airport — will operate 1,615 seats per day each way in December, versus 1,386 seats per day each during the same month last year. American also served more customers last month — 35,110 passengers — out of Dayton compared to August 2016. Allegiant has steady grown at the airport, too, after adding services in April 2016.

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