There is a delightfully quick and easy air travel option in the southeast Valley and it doesn’t get the press it deserves.

I recently booked an Allegiant Air flight from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) to Cincinnati, Ohio. Total cost was $90 roundtrip with a week’s notice in early December. It rates as one of my most pleasant flying experiences. There were only two travelers at the security checkpoint and plenty of room to spread out at the gate. No packed escalators, lurching trams or jockeying for a slip in a five-acre parking garage.

Just walk in and climb aboard.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport serves the Valley as a secondary airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). It affords a fast and near-effortless commercial air travel option to residents of Apache Junction, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler and Queen Creek.

In terms of passenger traffic, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is the little brother to Phoenix Sky Harbor. The low passenger volume here ensures that you barely have to break stride rolling through security. Additionally, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is now one of 160 airports nationwide to offer a dedicated lane for TSA Pre-è.

Stops served by these airlines from Mesa are generally smaller secondary airports. Most are scattered across the upper Midwest and the West Coast. International direct routes include WestJet’s seasonal service to Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta from Mesa. Flights to Canada peak between January and April.

WestJet, Allegiant Air and Flair Airlines operate from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway to 40 destinations like these in the United States and Canada:

  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Fresno, CA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Provo, UT
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Fargo, ND
  • Wichita, KS
  • Peoria, IL
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Memphis, TN
  • Calgary, AB

For a complete list of destinations serve from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, click here.

Parking at the airport ranges from $7/day at the Ray Road economy lot to $11/day at the surface lot. The more expensive option will put you within 200 feet of the terminal.

Need a rental car? Hertz, Alamo, Avis, Dollar, Enterprise and Budget have desks at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

For air travel booking, visit or

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport was operated from 1941 until 1993 as Williams Air Force Base (WAFB). More than 25,000 pilots trained at the airfield. At one point, Williams AFB supplied 25% of the pilots for the United States Air Force.


I can still remember them wheeling the black and white TV sets into our classroom at school so we could watch the men landing on the Moon, and that obviously had a huge impact. I later found out those people flying Apollo were ex-military test pilots, so I decided to join the Air Force and become a test pilot. – David William Donald Mackay, chief pilot of Virgin Galactic suborbital space flight program and former test pilot