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Why It Costs So Much to Fly From These Airports

Texas in your travel plans? Use Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport and you'll face the highest average domestic airfare in the country: $477. Fly from the city's Hobby Airport—29 miles away—and you'll find one of the lowest average fares in the country: $299. ( More...

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preacher1 0
Charlotte used to be the same way not that long ago but if you were traveling to Western North Carolina, Greensboro started coming alive again at way less money and just about the same travel time and several other folks started coming into CLT to give US Air some competition
Danish Nelson 0
I live in Houston and know I know why!
Ben Deneweth 0
Houston, because of the oil industry, also has some of the strongest business travel demand in the country.
Rema Allen 0
hhmmmm.... this is weird. I just flew to Houston Bush Inter. for the week-end from Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Round trip air with a week-end at the Marriott Hotel (Hobby Airport) and a rent a car was $437. I guess I got away cheap. I flew Continental.
Rema,you flew into the airport as the first part of your trip, so you got away cheap. Price it the other way and you should see a big jump, unless their are other carriers who make them competitive. I just ran a booking from IAH to JFK and got $316. Booking in the other direction got me $296. Not a big difference, but there were flights available from more than one airline and this was the cheapest... .USAir.
preacher1 0
Regarding business travel, time/day of flight will make a big difference
Daniel Baker 0
To experience the high fares, you need to do one or two night trips during the week. Fares from IAH to NY, SF, Chicago, DC, etc, are all $1200-1450.
Ben Deneweth 0
Yes, on a trip over a weekend on IAH-LAX, CO will match WN since that's the same passenger they're chasing. For a short trip, during the week, with short notice, they usually will not or their inventory is so sold out only their higher fare buckets are available anyway.

"Direction" of the flight does not affect pricing. All flights are priced the same both ways. What fares are available on the specific days you look MAY be different though.

For those unfamiliar this is how airline pricing works: Different tiers of prices are set. These tiers can be one way or roundtrip and can have various restrictions such as saturday night stays or advanced purchase. This is done by the "pricing" group of the revenue management department of the airline. Second, there is inventory on every flight allocated to each of these fares. This is a mostly automated process handled by computer, but the rules the computer follows are set by the "yield management" group of the revenue management department. When you see a fare you had quoted changes, it usually doesn't mean that somebody at the airline changed the fare, it usually means that the yield management program changed the inventory levels in that fare class for the flight.
John Schmidt 0
This is pretty simple - Hobby flights are dominated by Southwest - a discount airline. IAH has a healthy mix, but is dominated by Continental. Ben makes a good point about the oil industry, they influence it, but most of the business travelers living in Houston will take Hobby if possible since its much more accessible. Those traveling into Houston typically miss the fact that Hobby is a better option to downtown
mark tufts 0
Matt Lacey 0
Huntsville has also had a influx of DoD programs in the last few years. I wonder how much the government fixed-price fairs contribute to the statistics, as well as the last-minute flights of contractors who don't have access to those fixed-price fairs.
I live in the Minneaolis/St Paul area, looks like I have no other place to fly out of. I have know for years MSP flights were higher than many other cities I have flown to.
ixlr8 0
Most flights from Hobby are Southwest, and they do not offer a Business class. It does not take too many flights from IAH, especially international ones to make the difference. I book IAH to Las Vegas for $219 r/t on Continental. IAH is biased by longer flights and a variety of more expensive options.
ken young 0
I will name three cities where the fares are quite pricey despite the presence of a low cost carrier or in one case, two.
Those are GSP...Southwest is there. For example, I looked at a SWA fare from GSP to Love Field. It's in excess of $350 RT.
Albany, NY is another expensive airport even though SWA is there. RDU to ALB is over $300 for SWA's "wanna get away" fare.
To be fair I chose off peak travel days.
SO I checked US AIrways from CLT to DFW. $284 and that is with a direct flight each way....It's a 2 hr drive to GSP to pick up SWA. Plus there is a minimum of 60 mins on the Ground at Hobby, then a short hop to Love Field in Dallas.
These average fares are inclusive of business travel which is last minute and often upgraded. I travel strictly leisure, so I look at the least expensive advance purchase fares only. Air travel for regular folks is just becoming too damned expensive. I drive. No parking hassles. No dopey TSA, nobody puking on the plane 15 mins into a 3 hour flight and no overweight bodies hanging into your seat space and sweating all over you. No obnoxious jerks to deal with.
Grahm Davis 0
Some Air fares are just ridiculous here in Australia it's cheaper to fly overseas than to fly in country. To fly from Darwin to Melbourne AU would cost nearly $1000 return where as I could fly to Bali return for under $500 or anywhere but here
steve kiss 0
Yikes- Ken seems to echo the challenges of most. However, what really is disturbing is the officials that think that because a community has a certain industry they should pay more or less (oil, auto,etc). The real issue is that the airlines have purposefully smear the real cost of corporate travel so accounting departments cant get a handle on it. As with anything, measurement would be a step in the right direction. Looking at spot pricing never helps. Instead large corporations should mandate that expense software include a per mile calculation on the full price (luggage, etc) of leg flown. That would be a great start. I do that with my General Aviation aircraft to allow my peers to know exactly what it costs to fly. Add in a factors of door to door time and people would be informed. Somehow the customer lost the power in this game a long time ago. Airlines dont want to suck, they are made that way by outdated rules and lack of information.
dakotadoc 0
One word..."Southwest."
Fares from Sioux Falls are crazy expensive. Many people around here drive 3 hours (!)to fly from Omaha, a Southwest city, to get reasonable airfares and direct flights.
SkyWolfAlpha 0
ixlr8 - SWA may not have "Business Class", but they do have two above-coach tiers now... that basically let you pay to be one of the first to get on the plane (and pick your seat).

Kindda surprised that the small cities served by low-cost airlines are on the list... and kindda not. =/
William Kaiser 0
This is old news in Minneapolis. When Northwest, now Delta, bought out Republic Airlines in the late 80's the cost of tickets went up. Not surprising, NWA now had a viRtual monopoly out of MSP!
Paul Schiesser 0
Try finding a decent one-way fare to Montreal (YUL) to start a cruise.
ken young 0
CLT to Pearson.....about $400 RT...
To BUF...about $250...
Canadian airports are very pricey.


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