By Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure
"Sometimes your go-to airport is neither the cheapest nor most affordable option..."
Summer travel is nearly in full swing — and summer prices are too — but thankfully, there are still deals to be found, especially if vacationers are strategic about which airports they fly out of.
New Jersey happens to be the cheapest state to fly out of nationally with an average domestic flight price of just $205.60, according to a study by loan company NetCredit that was shared with Travel + Leisure. The Garden State also laid claim to the cheapest airport in the United States in Atlantic City International Airport, which the study noted is often served by budget carrier Spirit Airlines and where flights average only $109.43. In comparison, New Jersey's other major airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, averages more than $300 per flight.
New Jersey was followed by Florida where domestic flights average $257.36. The state also happens to have five of the top 10 cheapest airports in the country, including several in the popular Orlando area.
"Sometimes your go-to airport is neither the cheapest nor most affordable option," Bonnie Payo, the editor at NetCredit, told T+L. "Competition is a major factor, with prices often cheaper at big airports with multiple airlines or rival airports nearby. With some airlines seeing some airports as hubs for business [travelers] who are less choosy about higher fares, ticket prices are often more expensive."
Payo said the study, which used statistics from the Bureau of Transportation as well as local salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "researched the average ticket price for 142 airports."
While some airports weren't as cheap as others, they were still considered affordable, especially in comparison to local salaries. California's Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, for example, had an average ticket price of $306.53, but the study found Californians need just 3.94% of the average monthly paycheck to fly.
On the other end of the spectrum is Alabama's Huntsville International Airport, which came in as the most expensive airport hub in the country with average ticket prices topping $456.17.
And while Vermont was the state with the second-highest average ticket price in the country (at over $413), it actually ranks seventh for affordability due to higher salaries.