Usually, New York City tops most of the lists associated with all things expensive. Yet a new study from The Points Guy found that Newark — the Big Apple’s big city counterpart across the Hudson — actually costs U.S. travelers the most to fly.
The travel website recently compiled the most expensive and affordable airports in all 50 states, and ranked Newark Liberty International Airport at the top of the pricey list. Meanwhile, McCarran International in Las Vegas, Nevada ranked number one for most affordable.
Melanie Lieberman, The Points Guy’s travel editor, told YFi-PM in an interview that there were numerous factors that push up air travel costs — including transportation to the airport, overnight parking, baggage fees, and especially food and beverages.
“These are things that travelers should know. They should know that getting a great deal on airfare can feel really good until you take an $100 Uber, until you buy your $3 coffee, until you parked your car,” Lieberman explained.
“Whatever it is that you need to do, those start to add up,” she added.
And both of the metropolitan New York region’s other travel hubs made the list: John F. Kennedy International and NYC’s LaGuardia Airport. Rounding out the top five as Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport, and San Francisco International.
Each journey to the airport is slightly different for every traveler – and spending habits can vary if one is willing to pay for convenience like Uber or Lyft.
At JFK in NYC for example, one can cut transit costs significantly by spending about 90 minutes on the subway and AirTrain to your terminal, for a total of $7.75 each way.
Separately, The Points Guy also suggested looking into certain credit cards such as Chase Sapphire Reserve (JPM) and the Platinum Card from American Express (AXP). Those cards give holders access to travel lounges, where most beverages and food are complimentary.
As for the most affordable, leaving from Las Vegas came in as a winner as well as Orlando International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, San Jose International and Oakland International Airport. These were considered based primarily on their average domestic airfare costs.
Travelers are unlikely to base their flight decisions on relatively frivolous associated costs, but The Points Guy stressed the importance of budgeting in order to maximize value.
“It’s mostly a reminder to travelers to take a step back and say ‘I found this great deal out of Newark or out of JFK, and maybe that is not actually the best price for me,’” Lieberman said. “‘Maybe I should go elsewhere.’”