Monday, September 12, 2011

Saving Airfare by Using Nearby Airports

I read this article about how to save on airfare by using alternative airports. An example is used, calculating the fare for a family flying into Key West and showing how much money they could save if they few, instead, into Lauderdale.

In my opinion it's a bad example. Key West gets very little traffic when compared to Ft. Lauderdale. I would a busier airport, used by a lot of low fare carriers, to be cheaper.

The idea to check nearby airports is an old one. Our local airport is not served by Southwest but an airport an hour away is. Would air be cheap enough to make the drive worthwhile? What about nearby airports at the other end?

In looking at a flight to Los Angeles, I checked fares to all of the five commercial airports in the LAX area. Looking at all kinds of combinations, I tried to find a cheaper fare than flying directly into LAX.

Did I find anything cheaper? Yes, I could save a few dollars driving to that airport an hour away. But by the time I added the cost of gas and the expense of long term parking, the savings were gone.

So, yes, check all your available options, but, in the end, your best option could simply be using your home airport to the airport closest to your destination.

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