Flight Tip #1 – Search Multiple Airports

February 20, 2011

When purchasing airline tickets, be sure to check the neighboring airports for cheaper flights.  Many cities have multiple airports within the city vicinity. Airport pairs are common such as (Miami and Ft.Lauderdale), (Orlando and Tampa), (San Fran and Oakland) or (JFK and La Guardia).  You could save hundreds of dollars by using some of the following tips:

Check flight prices In and Out of all airports within your destination.  Here are some examples where selecting an alternate airport may save you some loot:

  1. Disney World: When flying to Disney World, most people just check Orlando International Airport (MCO), but Tampa (TPA) is also a good option.  Orlando (MCO) to Disney World is 22 miles or an approximate 35 minute car ride.  Compare that to the trip from Tampa (TPA) to Disney World at 79 miles or an approximate 90 minute car ride and it sounds like Orlando is a clear winner.  But what if the flights were $100′s cheaper.* Tampa is often a cheaper location to fly into as it doesn’t have as heavy tourism traffic – especially in peak times.* Car rentals at Tampa are often cheaper for the same reason, more available cars = cheaper rentals.
    * Try combining a flight into Florida through Tampa with a return flight home out of Orlando.  Car rental companies in Florida allow pick-up at onc location and return at another, without charging a dramatic fee.
  2. San Francisco: San Francisco Airport (SFO) and Oakland (OAK) are within close proximity to downtown.  Be sure to check both airports.  Oakland is a little further away, but depending on the time of travel can be a short hop into the city.* A Taxi fare from SFO to Downtown San Francisco (14.2 miles – 23 mins) will run between $35 & $45.* A Taxi fare from OAK to Downtown San Francisco (20.2 miles – 30 mins) will run between  $50 & $60.

    If you have the option of saving on your flight of flying at better times by choosing OAK instead of SFO, the commute fare difference may be worth it.

  3. Miami / Ft. Lauderdale: Miami Airport (MIA) and Ft. Lauderdale Airport (FLL) are a short distance from each other and can be used synonymously when traveling to Florida’s east coast. * A commuter rail – Tri-Rail – has stations at both airports.  A ride from FLL to MIA will take approx. 50 minutes and will cost you a meager $3.75.* A car ride between the airports is 27 miles or approx. 36 minutes down I-95.

Splitting your trip between two or more airports is always an option as well.  When flying out of NYC and heading to San Fran, your best combination be out of JFK into SFO, returning out of OAK into LGA. Odd combinations can lead to significant savings.  Travel with a family and it can be the difference between a vacation out of town and a stay-cation.

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