I’m only 3 hours away from Dallas by car, and its major airline hub that is DFW. However, a flight from my city to any other city in the US cost about 20% to 40% more on average than it would if my flight originated from DFW. Why? Flights from here are usually at capacity so it’s not a matter of airlines losing money if they stop my regional airport. No, here the problem is local government and its exorbitant fees and taxes, which of course are passed on to the consumer. In our case, the city uses the airport revenue to fund other departments and projects.
This is not an unusual practice for cash-strapped cities and many savvy travelers know this. Where a round trip economy flight from my city to New York costs $972 when last checked, flying out of Dallas to New York was only $529. That is a significant difference for one traveler. For a family of four, the difference could make a vacation unaffordable.
The cheapest air travel can be found when traveling from major hub to major hub. Spend a little time on travel sites and you can find phenomenal deals. Think you can’t afford to travel to Europe? Think again. The world is at your fingertips if you spend a little time looking for deals.
Here are some examples.
Dallas to London round trip, $1027
Atlanta to Mexico City, round trip, $651
New York to Frankfurt, round trip, $687
Chicago to Abu Dhabi, round trip, $1146
Los Angeles to Seoul, round trip, $706
*All Saturday flights, basic economy class
The difference for me, flying out of my regional airport, to go from here to New York City, verses flying out of Dallas to go to London is just $55. Flying out of major hubs and traveling to major hubs definitely makes a difference. The above prices were provided a week in advance of the flights. Book your flights months in advance and be flexible within a day or two of departure times, and you will save even more.
Not all of us live within a few hours’ drive of a major hub, but for those who do, flying out of the major hub is a no brainer. Even if you aren’t within a few hours of one of those hubs, you may want to consider eight or ten hours in a car when it can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.