It may not always be possible, but if you’re flexible about which airport you can use, you could save a significant amount of money.
That’s because the average cost of airfare varies from airport to airport.
FinanceBuzz evaluated data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics to analyze the cost of average domestic airfares from the 45 busiest airports in the U.S. Based on that data, it’s possible to determine which airports are best for travelers on a budget, or simply travelers looking to save some money.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics report calculates average fares based on domestic itinerary fares, which is the cost of round-trip fares. If a return trip wasn’t booked, the cost of the one-way fare was used.
It’s important to note that fares are based on total ticket value, which includes the price charged by the airline plus any additional taxes and fees. That cost does not, however, include fees for optional services such as baggage fees.
Least Expensive Airports
Las Vegas’s Harry Reid International Airport, formerly known as McCarran International Airport, has offered the lowest airfare in the U.S. for years — until now.
This year, the lowest airfares are those for flights departing from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, FinanceBuzz reports. Last year, the average fare to depart from that airport was $233.36.
Interestingly, the airport with the second-lowest fares was Orlando International Airport, Orlando, Florida, where the average fare was $241.01. Harry Reid International Airport had the third-lowest average airfare at $247.53.
Rounding out the top five airports with the lowest fares are two more airports in Florida: Miami International Airport ($263.76) and Tampa International Airport ($270.88), according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Most Expensive Airports
On the other hand, the three airports with the highest average airfare are Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C., San Francisco International Airport, and Detroit Metro Airport.
Surprisingly, average airfares at both Dulles International and San Francisco International were more than $400, while Detroit Metro’s average fare cost $366.33. That means the average fare at these three airports is a staggering $150 more than the average fare at the three least expensive airports, FinanceBuzz points out.
Rounding out the top five airports with the most expensive average fares are Portland International Airport ($364.40) and John F. Kennedy International Airport ($360.94) according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics data.
Know Before You Book
It isn’t always possible to pick which airport you will or won’t use. If that’s the case, FinanceBuzz reminds travelers that airfares fluctuate from week to week so it’s important to monitor fares before booking, if possible.
Be sure to also check out all of our airports and flying content, including: