Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 - Cheapflights

Releases Its 4th Annual Airport Affordability Index

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired)  -- Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, has once again compiled its Airport Affordability Index. This is the fourth annual edition of the index, which ranks 101of the most popular airports in the United States based on the average airfare our users found in the month of June.

The Cheapflights Airport Affordability Index is an annual snapshot of airfares across the country. The averages are based on our extensive database of airfare searches and calculated from the prices our users found when looking for flights to popular domestic and international destinations. Findings show geography isn't the key player when determining the top-ranked airports. In fact, the most affordable airports can be found everywhere from Southern California to coastal Carolina to northern New England. Similarly, at the bottom of the list, the mix includes Honolulu, which has a decided geographic disadvantage, but then the list jumps from the nation's capitol to the sun and sand of Florida followed by Salt Lake City, a gateway to ski and big sky country.

Instead, we see that alternative airports serving bigger cities and/or ones based in smaller markets, often just outside major metros, tend to fare well in our rankings. Our analysis shows these airports frequently offer low-cost options for short hops and can even deliver valuable savings for long-haul flights, though it may mean travelers have to take a more indirect route. Fliers should be aware, for example, that the difference our users found in average round-trip airfare to Honolulu ranged from $661 from LaGuardia compared to $710 out of John F. Kennedy and $923 leaving from Newark.

Looking at year-over-year performance, we see some pretty big jumps in affordability rankings. Myrtle Beach Jetport burst into the top 10 after ranking 42 last year, and Charleston, S.C., had the biggest overall jump, climbing 60 spots to claim the number 30 rank. Meanwhile, Albuquerque International and Southwest Florida International each dropped more than 50 spots on the list, landing them both in the bottom 10.

Just as there were some jumps in rankings, there were some changes, for the better, in average airfares. While prices do fluctuate regularly in every market and on every route, we are seeing a slight downward trend in average airfares compared to last year at this time.

"Our annual Airport Affordability Index is a good reflection point for us and for travelers," said Melisse Hinkle, Cheapflights.com site editor. "We all get a reminder that prices are far from predictable in air travel and that research is the key to getting the best deals. Our goal, as always, is to give people insight into how airports in their hometown, or the destinations they care about, stack up. We also want to point out the value of being flexible and thorough when making travel plans."

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

 

                                                                             ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rank    Airport                                        Average    Ranking                                                           Airfare    Last Year  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1       Long Beach (Daugherty Field), CA (LGB)         $216       2          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2       Myrtle Beach Jetport, SC (MYR)                 $249       42         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3       Fresno Air Terminal, CA (FAT)                  $270       3          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4       Burlington International, VT (BTV)             $284       28         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5       Metropolitan Oakland International, CA (OAK)   $287       8          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6       La Guardia, NY (LGA)                           $290       23         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7       Harrisburg International, PA (MDT)             $291       4          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8       White Plains, NY (HPN)                         $295       7          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9       Bob Hope Airport, CA (BUR)                     $297       1          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10      Akron-Canton Regional, OH (CAK)                $303       11         ----------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                              

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

 

                                                                             ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rank    Airport                                        Average    Ranking                                                           Airfare    Last Year  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 92      Albuquerque International, NM (ABQ)            $559       40         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 93      Newark International, NJ (EWR)                 $566       68         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 94      Charlotte/Douglas International, NC (CLT)      $571       48         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 95      John F. Kennedy International, NY (JFK)        $580       97         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 96      Standiford Field, KY (SDF)                     $667       54         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 97      Salt Lake City International, UT (SLC)         $589       84         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 98      Southwest Florida International, FL (RSW)      $603       47         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 99      Miami International, FL (MIA)                  $618       78         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 100     Washington Dulles International (IAD)          $652       95         ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 101     Honolulu International, HI (HNL)               $689       100        ----------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                              

Methodology

Cheapflights.com compiled this ranking based on user searches during the month of June 2013. The airports ranked were 101 of the most-searched-for airports and the average airfares were calculated using the flight prices our users found to the most popular domestic destinations, including Las Vegas, Orlando, Honolulu, Atlanta, Denver, New York, San Juan and San Francisco, and international destinations, including Rome, Paris, Cancun, Manila, Toronto and London.

To see Cheapflights.com's full list of the 101 airports ranked on affordability, visit www.cheapflights.com/travel/101-airports-ranked-on-affordability-2013.

About Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 13 million visitors a month -- plus 6 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.

Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.

The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with a consumer base across more than 20 core international markets but users all over the world.
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