You may be an expert at finding cheap flight deals, but the airport alone could be secretly burning a hole in your wallet. The exorbitant cost of transportation might be enough to make you rethink your next trip—and don’t even get us started on that overpriced airport food. (By the way, this is the cheapest way to get to the world’s busiest airports.) Now, RewardExpert can tell you exactly how much those little purchases add up. The reward-program online service recently released its report on this year’s most (and least!) expensive airports in America.
Forty-five of the country’s busiest airports were selected for the report. Data crunchers collected and analyzed stats from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Yelp, local public transportation and airport websites, SleepinginAirports.net, and iFly.com. Then, they evaluated the airports across four key variables: the cost of transportation to and from the airport, plane tickets, amenities, and food.
According to the final ranking, the majority of the priciest American airports are located nearby major cities. Surprised? Probably not. Newark Liberty International Airport in New York City topped the list as the most expensive domestic airport. Other costly airports included John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York City) and Washington Dulles International Airport (Washington, D.C.). LaGuardia (another NYC airport!) ranked #10.
Newark’s high ticket prices and expensive food put it in the No. 1 spot, the researchers said. Fliers paid, on average, $429.80 for a flight from Newark in 2016. Plus, you’ll have to shell out some extra cash for unlimited Wi-Fi. Need we say more? (If you get desperate, here’s a map of airport Wi-Fi passwords all over the world.)
Now, for the good news! The top five cheapest airports in the U.S. included Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Fort Lauderdale, FL), McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas, NV), Orlando International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and Tampa International Airport. You’ll want to take a look inside the best airport in the world, too.
Most notably, three of the top five cheapest airports are in Florida—which is a definite plus for any beach vacationers reading this. The average domestic fare from Fort Lauderdale Airport in 2016 was just $241.80. What’s more, Fort Lauderdale is one of the few airports that still provides luggage storage, and for a low cost of $11 to boot. The free Wi-Fi is a pretty nice perk, too.
Bottom line: “Airports are run like football stadiums; you pay more just by virtue of being there,” RewardExpert CEO and cofounder Roman Shteyn said in a statement.
Good point. Still, you might not have a choice—especially if you live in the NYC area. To protect your wallet the next time you fly, these are the nine secrets to traveling on a budget.