2022 US Regional Airport Cost Rankings: Which Small Airports Are Most and Least Expensive

Our analysis of America’s regional airports finds which smaller airports are the most and least expensive for travelers.
Last updated Jan. 17, 2023 | By Josh Koebert | Edited By Becca Borawski Jenkins
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Millions of Americans rely on regional airports for their travel needs. When it comes to both work and leisure, these small airports are invaluable resources for people around the country. Knowing that, we wanted to examine what average airfare costs look like at these airports.

With the summer travel season underway, we recently looked at how much it costs to fly from different United States airports. Having looked at some of the biggest and busiest airports in the country, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the smaller airports now. With that in mind, we put together this analysis focusing on regional airports from coast to coast.

For those interested in how airfare costs stack up outside of America’s busiest airports, we looked at 95 regional airports from around the country and compared the costs of an average domestic flight from each. Every airport included here is classified as a “non-hub” by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) but still provides service to over 100,000 travelers annually.

The 25 least expensive regional airports

25 Least Expensive Regional Airports
Cost Rank Airport Location Passenger Volume Rank* Average Airfare Cost $ Change vs. Previous Year Cost Rank Change
1 Arnold Palmer Regional (LBE) Latrobe, PA 203 $105.81 -$2.06 1
2 Provo Municipal (PVU) Provo, UT 209 $109.74 $4.23 -1
3 Trenton Mercer (TTN) Trenton, NJ 182 $112.41 -$7.61 1
4 Rickenbacker International (LCK) Columbus, OH 174 $128.28 $13.34 -1
5 Niagara Falls International (IAG) Niagara Falls, NY 253 $129.90 -$23.81 3
6 Stockton Metropolitan (SCK) Stockton, CA 214 $133.96 $6.96 0
7 Scott AFB/Midamerica (BLV) Belleville, IL 166 $134.49 $14.39 -2
8 New York Stewart International (SWF) Newburgh, NY 227 $155.22 -$77.32 6
9 Chicago/Rockford International (RFD) Rockford, IL 193 $158.99 $17.91 -2
10 Portsmouth International at Pease (PSM) Portsmouth, NH 256 $174.50 -$1.34 0
11 Tri-State/Milton J Ferguson Field (HTS) Huntington, WV 201 $201.33 $30.19 -2
12 Plattsburgh International (PBG) Plattsburgh, NY 264 $222.51 $0.23 0
13 Eugene F Kranz Toledo Express (TOL) Toledo, OH 210 $223.87 $12.46 -2
14 Bishop International (FNT) Flint, MI 145 $243.08 -$0.31 1
15 Bellingham International (BLI) Bellingham, WA 181 $265.62 $38.45 -2
16 Lehigh Valley International (ABE) Allentown, PA 124 $266.64 $12.53 0
17 General Downing - Peoria International (PIA) Peoria, IL 146 $280.83 $11.13 1
18 Nantucket Memorial (ACK) Nantucket, MA 230 $283.28 -$11.65 4
19 Snohomish County (Paine Field) (PAE) Everett, WA 189 $302.00 $28.58 0
20 Akron-Canton Regional (CAK) Akron, OH 165 $305.13 -$9.87 6
21 Charles M Schulz - Sonoma County (STS) Santa Rosa, CA 173 $318.12 $17.75 3
22 Central IL Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal (BMI) Bloomington- Normal Airport, IL 178 $319.60 $28.76 -1
23 Valley International (HRL) Harlingen, TX 144 $319.78 $61.03 -6
24 South Bend International (SBN) South Bend, IN 132 $330.47 $41.46 -4
25 Bangor International (BGR) Bangor, ME 155 $331.23 $8.01 3
*Overall ranking across all airports, not just those included in this analysis

When examining regional airports across the country, we discovered that travelers who rely on Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, enjoy the lowest average fares at just $105.81. Only two other airports — Provo Municipal in Provo, Utah, and Trenton Mercer in Trenton, New Jersey — had average fare costs under $115.

Even among this list of the 25 least expensive regional airports, we see a huge range of costs. Each of the top ten least expensive airports has an average airfare under $200. But by the time we get to the number 19 spot on the list, the average airfare exceeds $300. In fact, the average airfare for the 21st to 25th least expensive airports on this list is over three times more expensive than the average airfare cost at Arnold Palmer Regional.

Across these 25 airports, the average airfare cost is $222.27. These airports saw an average airfare price increase from 2020 to 2021 of $8.54, with Valley International Airport leading the way with an average fare increase of $61.03.

Prices did not rise at every airport on this list, as eight different airports in the top 25 saw prices decrease from 2020 to 2021. New York Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York saw the biggest price drop of $77.32.

Finally, one state stands out above the rest when it comes to affordable airfare from regional airports, and we have good news for travelers living in the Land of Lincoln. Four different Illinois airports make our list of the 25 most affordable regional airports. This just beats out both Ohio and New York, with three airports each in the top 25.

The 25 most expensive regional airports

25 Most Expensive Regional Airports
Cost Rank Airport Location Passenger Volume Rank* Average Airfare Cost $ Change vs. Previous Year Cost Rank Change
95 Aspen-Pitkin County/Sardy Field (ASE) Aspen, CO 194 $581.88 $81.38 -1
94 Eagle County Regional (EGE) Eagle, CO 212 $492.61 -$26.31 1
93 University of Illinois-Willard (CMI) Savoy, IL 246 $478.56 $20.20 -1
92 MBS International (MBS) Saginaw, MI 231 $468.59 $3.84 1
91 Helena Regional (HLN) Helena, MT 239 $468.50 $39.11 -3
90 San Luis County Regional (SBP) San Luis Obispo, CA 172 $462.13 $83.81 -26
89 Ithaca Tompkins Regional (ITH) Ithaca, NY 249 $457.86 $64.50 -16
88 Monroe Regional (MLU) Monroe, LA 221 $456.49 $65.64 -16
87

Montgomery Regional (Dannelly

Field) (MGM)

Montgomery, AL 200 $453.57 $37.27 0
86 Tri-Cities (TRI) Bristol/Johnson/Kin gsport, TN 185 $452.59 $51.20 -7
85 Ketchikan International (KTN) Ketchikan, AK 235 $448.88 $12.25 5
84 Alexandria International (AEX) Alexandria, LA 207 $444.58 $39.16 0
83 Durango-La Plata County (DRO) Durango, CO 184 $444.13 $7.74 6
82 Grand Forks International (GFK) Grand Forks, ND 232 $439.89 $36.86 -2
81 Yeager (CRW) Charleston, WV 188 $437.25 $33.61 0
80 Tallahassee International (TLH) Tallahassee, FL 141 $429.63 $19.98 5
79 Santa Fe Municipal (SAF) Santa Fe, NM 233 $428.40 $63.37 -20
78 Shreveport Regional (SHV) Shreveport, LA 156 $427.05 $39.72 -10
77 Central Wisconsin (CWA) Mosinee, WI 208 $424.76 $19.93 6
76 Meadows Field (BFL) Bakersfield, CA 186 $422.00 $35.55 -9
75 Jackson Hole (JAC) Jackson, WY 157 $421.67 -$25.99 16
74 Minot International (MOT) Minot, ND 190 $420.56 $41.51 -9
73 Duluth International (DLH) Duluth, MN 199 $420.08 $45.71 -11
72 Lincoln (LNK) Lincoln, NE 218 $419.94 $4.91 14
71

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional/Woodrum Field (ROA)

Roanoke, VA 158 $419.76 $44.13 -8
*Overall ranking across all airports, not just those included in this analysis

On the other side of the coin, we also determined which regional airports have the most expensive average airfare. Aspen-Pitkin County/Sardy Field in Aspen, Colorado, takes the top spot. It has an average airfare cost of $581.88, over five times more expensive than the average airfare at our least expensive airport in Latrobe.

No other airport on this list features average airfare costs in excess of $500. Only one airport, Eagle County Regional in Eagle, Colorado, features fares that are even within $100 of Aspen-Pitkin County/Sardy Field’s costs.

Across these most expensive airports, we found an average airfare cost of $448.85. That is over $225 more than the average airfare costs of the 25 least expensive airports.

On average, the average airfare at these airports rose by $33.56 from 2020 to 2021. Only two airports — Jackson Hole Airport in Jackson, Wyoming, and Eagle County Regional — experienced year-over-year price drops.

Thirteen of these airports service enough travelers to land in the top 200 busiest airports in America, but only one cracked the top 150. Florida’s Tallahassee International is the 141st busiest airport in the country based on how many passengers use the airport annually.

Biggest jump in rankings:

Compared to their peers, these regional airports experienced the biggest positive change in their affordability ranking from 2020 to 2021:

  1. Yampa Valley (HDN) - Hayden, CO (up 50 spots to 32nd)
  2. Montrose Regional (MTJ) - Montrose, CO (up 41 spots to 35th)
  3. Idaho Falls Regional (IDA) - Idaho Falls, ID (up 39 spots to 36th)
  4. (tie) Bethel (BET) - Bethel, AK (up 16 spots to 40th)

4. (tie) Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International (AZO) - Kalamazoo, MI (up 16 spots to 58th)

4. (tie) Jackson Hole (JAC) - Jackson, WY (up 16 spots to 75th)

Biggest drop in rankings:

On the flip side, these airports experienced the largest negative change in our cost rankings:

  1. Flagstaff Pulliam (FLG) - Flagstaff, AZ (down 28 spots to 64th)
  2. San Luis County Regional (SBP) - San Luis Obispo, CA (down 26 spots to 90th)
  3. St George Regional (SGU) - St. George, UT (down 21 spots to 54th)
  4. Santa Fe Municipal (SAF) - Santa Fe, NM (down 20 spots to 79th)
  5. Brownsville/South Padre Island International (BRO) - Brownsville, TX (down 18 spots to 48th)

Biggest average airfare cost drop vs. previous year:

  1. New York Stewart International (SWF) - Newburgh, NY (-$77.32)
  2. Yampa Valley (HDN) - Hayden, CO (-$57.51)
  3. Montrose Regional (MTJ) - Montrose, CO (-$36.84)
  4. Idaho Falls Regional (IDA) - Idaho Falls, ID (-$35.47)
  5. Eagle County Regional (EGE) - Eagle, CO (-$26.31)

How to save even more on travel

While this analysis provides an interesting look at how airfare prices stack up at regional airports across the country, it is important to remember that we only looked at averages. The prices outlined above are by no means guaranteed.

Even at smaller airports, prices can vary greatly based on any number of factors, so it is important that savvy travelers do everything they can to save money on their trip.

Here are a few tips on how to save while traveling:

  • Use a travel credit card. Many credit cards offer rewards points when you spend on travel categories such as airfare and hotel stays. Using one of the best travel credit cards when booking your flights and more is a great way to get rewarded while traveling.
  • Research how to avoid baggage fees. On top of flight and lodging costs, baggage fees can really add up if you’re not careful while traveling. Savvy travelers should look into ways to avoid baggage fees before heading to the airport.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for cheap flights. Many different companies have created products focused on helping travelers find affordable airfare. Check out our reviews of some of the most well-known options, including our Hopper review and guide to using Kayak to find cheap flights.

Methodology

We looked at 2021 airfare data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation on April 12, 2022, to compare domestic airfares by origin city. This report calculated average fares based on domestic itinerary fares.

"Itinerary fares" consist of round-trip fares unless a return trip was not purchased, in which case the one-way fare was used. Fares are based on total ticket value, including the price charged by the airline plus any additional taxes and fees levied at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at booking and do not include fees for optional services such as baggage fees. Averages also do not include frequent-flyer or “zero fares” or a few abnormally high reported fares.

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Author Details

Josh Koebert Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how personal finance overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.