We all know that it’s generally cheaper to fly to our favourite destinations from nearby American airports. A new study shows us just how much cheaper.
The folks at cheapflights.ca looked at flights in August of this year to some of our favourite places, such as Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami, London and Bangkok, and compared prices from Canadian airports versus ones near the Canada-U.S. border. It’s a big area to cover but it’s fascinating – and surprising – stuff.
Topping the affordability index was Bellingham, Washington, with an average ticket price of $316. Next was Kelowna (surprised a Canadian airport was up there, actually) at $432, which means Bellingham is the king of budget airports as far I can tell, at least for Canadians. I mean, their average is $116 less than Kelowna.
Next in the top 20 was Moncton at $436, also a surprise to me, followed by Victoria at $441.
That means three Canadian airports in the top four, all of them secondary markets compared to the big boys in the big metro centres (more on that below).
Fifth on the list was Detroit-Wayne at $448, followed by Buffalo-Niagara at $494; higher than I might have thought in terms of average price.
The big boys in Canada, and no surprise here, didn’t fare so well. Montreal Trudeau came in at $554, good for 13th spot. Calgary was 15th with an average of $580, while Toronto Pearson was 17th at $603. That’s high, but Pearson moved up from 20th in last year’s report so perhaps things are improving a bit.
(Kelowna, by the way, was 8th last year so they’re DEFINITELY moving up in terms of attractiveness for fliers).
The bottom three spots in the survey were held by Canadian cities. Halifax was 18th at an average flight price of $610, followed by Vancouver at $613 and poor St. John’s Newfoundland in the 20th spot at a whopping $632.
As good as their average price is, Bellingham actually came in 15th in North America when cheapflights.com looked at average prices for ALL North American airports. Tops was Long Beach, California at just $216, followed by Myrtle Beach at $249 and Fresno, California at $270.
Notice, and try not to make yourself sick, that the average price from Long Beach is about one-third of the average for St. John’s and about $400 cheaper than Toronto Pearson.
At least we can boast we’re not the worst in North America. According to cheapflights.com, the average price for a ticket out of Washington Dulles is a sizable $652, while a ticket out of Honolulu weighs in at $689; the highest in the survey and 101st in all of America.
The thought occurs to me that it’s not so bad for Honolulu. I mean, why would you want to leave?
Another random thought: President Obama must get HAMMERED flying to his home in Hawaii from his home in Washington given prices in the survey. Oh, yeah, he’s got Air Force One with free peanuts and extra leg room….