Friday, July 24, 2015

Long-suffering travelers see relief with
cheaper flights. CheapFlights. com has just
released the latest edition of its Airport Affordability Report, and
shockingly, the two most affordable airports in 2015 were among the nation's
most expensive a year ago. America's two cheapest airports based on
average airfares found on CheapFlights are Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky (CVG)
and Atlanta (ATL), where average domestic fares run $199 and $231,
respectively. Last year, CVG and ATL ranked #77 and #74 in the country in
terms of average flight prices. Several other big cities made significant
leaps in terms of affordability ranking too: Chicago-O'Hare, Philadelphia,
New York-LaGuardia, and Cleveland all landed in the top 10 in 2015, while none
was ranked higher than #31 a year ago. What caused Cincinnati and Atlanta
airports in particular to become so affordable in such a short period of time?
Cincinnati has traditionally been one of the country's most expensive
airports because it was long dominated by one airline, Delta. But years
of airline mergers and reductions in servicemeant that flights decreased
at hubs like Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Memphis, which were once
overwhelmingly served by a single airline. Sensing opportunity, smaller
airlines more likely to offer discount flights stepped in to occupy some of
the space formerly occupied by the legacy carriers. As a result, overall
fares at the airports dropped. As the Cincinnati Business
Courier reported recently, "Low-cost carriers like Frontier and
Allegiant Airlines increasing flights have been responsible for a significant
drop in average fares at the Cincinnati airport. " Atlanta is another
airport that has traditionally been largely dominated by Delta. But over the
years Delta was forced to compete with the discount carrier AirTran on many
routes.  Southwest Airlines purchased AirTran in 2010, and for a
while average fares increased as Southwest consolidated flights and
flight prices rose as supply decreased. In recent months, though, low-fare
carriers such as Spirit and Frontier Airlines have
significantly bolstered their presence at Atlanta with new flights at the
major gateway. What's more, Atlanta is always among theworld's busiest
airports, and the presence of more and more carriers battling it out for all
of those travelers puts downward pressure on pricing. The bottom line is
pretty simple: More competition translates to lower prices for travelers.
This article originally appeared on money. com. More good reads from
Money:
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Moby on His Latest Project: a Vegan Restaurant in L. A. CheapFlights.
com has just released the latest edition of its Airport Affordability Report,
and shockingly, the two most affordable airports in 2015 were among the
nation's most expensive a year ago.

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