This Might Be the Biggest Perk of Living in the Suburbs

If you live near a small airport in vicinity of a big city, you’re in luck

Passengers are silhouetted as they wait to board the inaugural flight from San Bernardino International Airport
Smaller airports like San Bernardino have made the news for being affordable
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Having grown up in the suburbs, the thought of leaving the city is unsettling for a few reasons. In the city, all of the weirdos are weird out in the open, so there’s very little fear of someone jumping out of the bushes with a chainsaw around these parts. You can get a decent meal at all hours of the night (which is comforting regardless of the fact that my 4 a.m. pizza run days were left in the last decade) and direct flights are always available unless the destination is super remote. And of all of these factors, the travel bit is always the most concerning, but some new data shows that living near a smaller airport actually has its perks.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics recently released a report about the average domestic ticket prices by airport, and the findings show that smaller airports near larger metropolitan areas actually have some of the best prices. On the contrary, you’ll likely pay a pretty penny for flights flying out of a smaller isolated airport in the middle of nowhere. 

Of course, there are quite a few other factors that go into determining which departing airport is the best for you. As mentioned above, smaller airports might not offer direct flights to certain destinations, which if you’re like me, is often a huge dealbreaker. And larger airports also have multiple flights to the same destination in a day, making it easier to jump on a different flight if yours is delayed or canceled. Smaller airports do typically work with lower-cost airlines, which can explain some of the lower fares. And flying out of a smaller airport might mean shorter lines, a less hectic environment and a generally more pleasant flying experience.

These Are the Best Airports for a Long Layover
Per a new study by, Seattle-Tacoma International is the best U.S. airport to get stuck in for a few hours

Regardless of where you stand on your preferred type of airport, these were the least and most expensive U.S. airports in 2022, according to the BTS data. They also included some average airfares for the nearest large airport in parentheses in the least expensive list. 

10 Least Expensive

  1. San Bernardino, California (SBD) – $90.03 (LAX – $416.64)
  2. Santa Maria, California (SMX) – $105.67
  3. Ogden, Utah (OGD) – $109.16 (SLC – $420.30)
  4. Provo, Utah (PVU) – $126.81 (SLC – $420.30)
  5. Stockton, California (SCK)- $130.49 (OAK – $288.23)
  6. Concord, North Carolina (USA) – $133.49 (CLT – $444.42)
  7. Fort Collins/Loveland, Colorado (FNL) $136.38 (DEN – $341.22)
  8. Wilmington, Delaware (ILG) – $137.64 (PHL – $396.79)
  9. Trenton, New Jersey (TTN) – $143.60 (EWR- $403.22; PHL – $396.79) 
  10. Hagerstown, Maryland (HGR) – $144.12 (BWI – $408.58)

10 Most Expensive 

  1. Adak Island, Alaska (ADK) – $856.76
  2. Cold Bay, Alaska (CDB) – $963.29
  3. Lanai, Hawaii (LNY) – $966.43
  4. St. Mary’s, Alaska (KSM) – $986.00
  5. St. Paul, Alaska (SNP) – $993.67
  6. Sandpoint, Alaska (SDP) – $1,037.00
  7. Pago Pago (PPG) – $1,139.36
  8. Unalaska, Alaska (DUT) – $1,433.86
  9. Guam (GUM) – $1,589.24
  10. Aniak, Alaska (ANI) – $1,733.00


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.