Finding the Cheapest Flights – By City, By Airport

Cheaper to Search City or Airport?

  • Q: Sometimes the city I want to fly to has multiple airports. How do I know which is the cheapest?
  • A: You don’t know, not without comparing prices. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Bonus: Hear Rick Seaney make this money-saving tip real simple for editor Anne McDermott – and you:

Would you pay $9 for a lot less airport hassle?

Some City Searches Reveal Multiple Airports

Some tickets comparison sites like our own will respond to your destination search (or “query”) with prices to multiple airports. These include (but are not limited to) the following cities:

  • Chicago: Prices will be shown for O’Hare and Midway
  • London: Prices will be shown for Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and more
  • New York: Prices will be shown for JFK, LaGuardia and Newark

Luxury list: What 5 star hotels really offer

Some Searches Should Include Multiple Cities

Sometimes you have to call on your own knowledge of geography (or your knowledge of locating a simple map on the internet) for help in getting the best prices. A good example is Miami. Don’t just look for deals to that specific destination; broaden your search to include Ft. Lauderdale which is a mere 27 miles away – and sometimes cheaper than Miami. Other examples:

Caution: International City Searches

Some airlines may not fly you exactly where you want to go – or where you think you’re going. Example: Europe’s popular discounter Ryanair will fly you to Frankfurt but not to that city’s main international airport. Instead, you’ll fly to another facility called Frankfurt Hahn which is 75 miles away from Frankfurt – about the same distance from Luxembourg! If you’re heading to a destination you’ve never been to before – particularly one outside your own country – be sure you know precisely where you’re going.


Published: March 5, 2013