SOURCE: Cheapflights.com

Cheapflights.com

July 21, 2016 12:56 ET

Cheapflights.com Releases Annual U.S. Airport Affordability Index

Ranks 101 Airports on Average Airfares to Top Destinations

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Jul 21, 2016) -  Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, has released its seventh annual U.S. Airport Affordability Index, a ranking of 101 of the most popular airports based on average airfares. This annual snapshot, which is compiled each summer from our extensive airfare search data, helps travelers see how their local airport stacks up on price. It also reveals some telling trends in the ever-changing world of airlines and air travel.

The index ranks 101 of the most-searched airports based on the average airfare Cheapflights.com users found to a common list of top domestic and international destinations in the month of June. Now in its seventh year, the index also tracks the rise and fall of each airport's ranking against the previous year. This year, Long Beach Airport, which has been in the number one spot two other times, returns to the top of the ranking with an average airfare of $202. Dallas/Fort Worth Airport jumped 27 spots to grab the number two spot.

Airfares are, of course, extremely dynamic and this index captures just a slice of the action. However, one of the biggest takeaways from this year's findings is the overall drop in average airfares. We've compared prices to a comparable list of destinations as in 2015, yet 75 airports this year have average airfares of less than $400 vs. 58 airports last year. And the highest average airfare is $150 lower than last year.

Another interesting takeaway is the mix of airports topping the list. While there are some repeat airports from last year's top 10, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, General Mitchell International and Minneapolis-St Paul International all jumped 15 or more spots to claim their places. These airports are all hubs for major airlines but have strong discount carrier presences as well, underscoring the role of competition in airfare pricing.

The rankings also reveal some markets where there are notable pricing differences between nearby airports, driving home the message that it's worth comparing prices from multiple airports on either end of your trip. For example, the average airfare in June from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Miami was $148 vs. $222 from John F. Kennedy Airport. Similarly, the average fare in June to Seattle from LaGuardia was $289 vs. $315 from JFK. Fares to Dublin, Toronto and Honolulu were also among those that came in cheaper from LaGuardia than JFK.

"This year's index adds to the evidence that travelers have been enjoying some of the most affordable airfares in recent memory," said Amanda Festa, editor at Cheapflights.com. "The results also show a return to balance between major and 'alternative' airports, reminding all of us that it's important to shop around when booking a flight. The top-ranked airports are scattered throughout the country, showing that deals await for travelers across the U.S."

Of the 101 ranked airports, below are the 10 with the lowest average round-trip airfares, including taxes, for travel to the most popular destinations:

             
Rank   Airport   Average Airfare   Ranking Last Year
1   Long Beach (Daugherty Field), CA (LGB)   $202   7
2   Dallas/Fort Worth International, TX (DFW)   $203   29
3   LaGuardia, NY (LGA)   $215   4
4   General Mitchell International, WI (MKE)   $230   66
5   Minneapolis-St Paul International, MN (MSP)   $237   22
6   Denver International, CO (DEN)   $242   13
7   Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International, FL (FLL)   $245   17
8   Chicago-O'Hare International, IL (ORD)   $246   5
9   Atlanta International, GA (ATL)   $249   2
10   Philadelphia International, PA (PHL)   $253   6
             

On the flip side, our users found the highest average round-trip prices, including taxes, at these 10 airports:

             
Rank   Airport   Average Airfare   Ranking Last Year
92   James M. Cox Dayton International, OH (DAY)   $439   97
93   Kahului, HI (OGG)   $444   33
94   Yeager, WV (CRW)   $454   100
95   John F. Kennedy International, NY (JFK)   $454   64
96   Anchorage International, AK (ANC)   $492   96
97   Sacramento International Airport, CA (SMF)   $493   42
98   Pensacola Regional, FL (PNS)   $498   93
99   Northwest Arkansas Regional, AR (XNA)   $536   99
100   McGhee Tyson, TN (TYS)   $543   94
101   Honolulu International, HI (HNL)   $641   101
             

Methodology 
Cheapflights.com compiled this ranking based on user searches on the site during the month of June 2016. The airports ranked were 101 of the most-searched-for departure points and the average airfares were calculated using the flight prices our users found to a common list of the most popular domestic destinations, including Las Vegas, Orlando, Honolulu, Atlanta, Denver, New York, San Juan and San Francisco, and international destinations, including Dublin, Paris, Los Cabos, Vancouver and London. To see Cheapflights.com's full list of the 101 airports ranked on affordability, visit www.cheapflights.com/news/2016-airport-affordability-report.

About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform. It is now a market leader in the UK, U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over $3 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from over 120 travel businesses - for whom it has driven more than $65 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.

In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.

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