If you close your eyes while waiting for the browser to load the flight costs, we do that, too. Unfortunately, most of us have limited funds, and with the flight being one of the highest expenses when it comes to travel, we have to pick and choose where that plane is taking us. But there’s a little secret to get you to more places you want to go. A bit of fun government data was released on how to find a cheap flight, so everyone can afford to see more destinations. Let’s see what it says.
If you have anxiety trying to get through some of the bigger airports in the country, we understand. Having 13 minutes to get from one end of the airport to the other to catch your connecting flight is a whole level of a video game no one wants to play. The trick? Skip all that and look for smaller airports near that large one.
The details in the rankings
While the prices are great for the cheap airports, we want to be upfront about the numbers. The cost is for a domestic flight, with no points used, no baggage fees, or anything like that included for the year 2022.
The airports with the best value
If you aren’t concerned about customer service or rankings like that, and strictly want the best airport for your money, look for flights through these spots.
- San Bernardino, California (SBD) — $98
- Santa Maria, California (SMX) — $105
- Ogden, Utah (OGD) — $109
- Provo, Utah (PVU) — $127
- Stockton, California (SCK) —$130
Since these airports are in or by larger cities, things like parking and transportation are already built into the area, so that’s something else you won’t have to worry about. What makes them so attractive (and cheaper) is that low-budget airlines like Spirit tend to go for these smaller airports.
Costs are down across the board, and you still get to your vacation spot. No surprise that California dominates the cheapest list, due to the size of the state.
The most expensive airports don’t necessarily mean more perks or better flight times. It’s more of a location thing.
The most expensive airports in the US
- Aniak, Alaska (ANI) — $1,733
- Unalaska, Alaska (DUT) — $1,433
- Sandpoint, Alaska (SDP) — $1,037
- St. Paul, Alaska (SNP) — $993
- St. Mary’s, Alaska (KSM) — $986
Yikes. Some of those flights are equal to a month’s rent. But you might see a pattern here. Airports in remote areas (like Alaska) will take longer to drive to, won’t have as many flights in and out, and have higher expenses overall to fill those seats, so the prices of the ticket reflect that.
The moral of the story is to look at those larger cities, look at the big airports in them, and then find the next closest airport to that. Sort of like the cheat where you look at the menu at a restaurant, then see if there’s a kid’s option of the same thing to get the lower price. The choice is always up to you, and what matters most when booking your flight is different for everyone. But keep this airport hack in mind if you want a cheap flight.
- Make travel easy: The best packing apps for every type of traveler
- Google Flights deals Hopper, Expedia, Travelocity, and Booking.com major blow with brilliant new feature
- Flights to Paris are a steal right now, but there’s one good reason you should think twice about going to France
- Now is the time to book a flight for Thanksgiving and Christmas: Holiday travel tips from an expert
- Looking for an affordable flight for your summer vacation? One report tells you which airports have the lowest fares