New Survey: This Is the No. 1 Cheapest Airport to Fly from in the U.S.
Traveling on a budget? Save money by planning your trip around the cheapest airports in the country.
There’s nothing more exciting than exploring a new vacation destination, but airfare that costs more than the rest of your trip combined can dampen your enthusiasm. Sure, you could figure out the best time to buy plane tickets for a stellar deal, book a flight on a budget airline or even use something like Southwest’s Companion Pass. But the fact is, airfare prices are on the rise.
Luckily for you, we have one more trick up our sleeves: Consider the airport you fly from. According to a Smart Asset study on airfare increases over the past year, some airports have managed to keep costs lower than others. Before you start planning your next trip, read on to find out which U.S. airports made the list of the cheapest in the country and which ranked as the most expensive.
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How was the cheapest airport determined?
Narrowing down the list of airports to find the cheapest in the nation is no small task! Smart Asset sourced data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and zeroed in on the average cost of airfare for flights originating at U.S. airports that saw 100,000 or more passengers during 2022. The researchers then compared data from the first quarter of 2023 with data from the first quarter of 2022 to find out the percentage increase in fares for each airport.
What is the cheapest airport to fly out of in the United States?
At the top of the cheapest-airport list—with an average ticket price of $269.92 in the first quarter of 2023—is Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. It’s ranked the 19th busiest airport in the world, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering Las Vegas is one of the most frequently visited destinations in the nation.
So why is the airport so cheap? There are more than enough flights to meet the demand, which drives prices down. Flying in and out of Las Vegas is often far more affordable than traveling out of less-popular destinations.
The low prices at Harry Reid International are also the result of so many carriers flying into and out of the airport. All of America’s major airlines use Harry Reid, and the sheer nature of competition makes prices even cheaper.
The top 10 cheapest airports in the United States
Harry Reid International Airport may be the cheapest in the country, but it isn’t the only airport that offers affordable airfare. The following 10 airports all offer pretty great prices, and if you can fly out of any of them, you may be able to save on your next trip. They may even give you the permission you need to finally plan that vacation to Hawaii or Puerto Rico.
Here are the top 10 cheapest U.S. airports—and the cost of an average domestic flight in the first quarter of 2023:
- Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas: $269.92
- Kahului Airport (OGG) in Maui, Hawaii: $271.69
- Orlando International Airport (MCO) in Orlando, Florida: $274.08
- Metro Oakland International Airport (OAK) in Oakland, California: $275.86
- Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) in Burbank, California: $285.53
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida: $288.53
- San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC) in San Jose, California: $306.68
- Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico: $309.74
- Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) in Chicago: $313.72
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in Queens, New York: $325.76
The top 10 most expensive airports in the United States
On the other end of the spectrum are the country’s most expensive airports. At the top of the list is Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska.
And what makes these so pricey? As with the cheapest airports, it all comes down to supply (of departures) and demand (from passengers). When the demand outpaces the number of available flights, prices increase. When you take these factors, along with location, into consideration, you can begin to predict which airports are likely to be the most expensive. Far fewer people travel through Alaska than they do Las Vegas, which is why you’ll spend almost twice as much on flights out of Anchorage.
Here are the top 10 most expensive U.S. airports—and the cost of an average domestic flight in the first quarter of 2023:
- Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) in Anchorage, Alaska: $508.85
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Dulles, Virginia: $487.49
- Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in St. Paul, Minnesota: $455.65
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in Charlotte, North Carolina: $453.89
- Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) in Salt Lake City: $448.55
- Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport (DTW) in Detroit: $447.64
- Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) in Oklahoma City: $431.85
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in DFW Airport, Texas: $430.12
- Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids, Michigan: $427.97
- Norfolk International Airport (ORF) in Norfolk, Virginia: $427.85
Traveling on a budget
We get it: You can’t always control the airport you depart from. If you live near one of the top 10 most expensive airports, you may have no other options nearby when it comes to flights. If that’s the case, you can lower the overall cost of your trip by flying a budget airline like JetBlue, using Southwest’s Companion Pass to travel for free (for real) or focusing on cheap vacation destinations instead.
- Smart Asset: “Where Airfare Increased the Most Year Over Year – 2023 Study”