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Huntsville is home to America’s most expensive airport, with fares averaging at about $543 per passenger according to a recent U.S. Department of Transportation report.
A 2013 first quarter report by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics found that Huntsville’s airfares are about $164 higher than the national average, AL.com reported Monday. Huntsville International Airport has ranked as the country’s most expensive airport for three consecutive quarters. The rankings list Huntsville as more expensive than airports in Cincinnati, Houston, Washington and Savannah, Ga. The report does not include airports in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico.
Airports in Atlantic City, N.J., Long Beach and Burbank Calif., Las Vegas, and Bellingham, Wash., were listed as having the cheapest domestic airfares, with the average fare out of Atlantic City listed as $169.
Huntsville International Airport officials in June detailed a $6 million program to try getting airlines to lower fares in an effort to prevent local travelers from driving to Birmingham or Nashville.
Port of Huntsville spokeswoman Chantel Minish says the airport has applied for a $1.5 million grant to help defray startup costs for new and existing carriers at the airport. Minish mentioned that travelers can use the website Huntsville Hot Ticket to try finding lower fares if they look well in advance of their next trip.
“At least try to compare us because you go somewhere else,” Minish said. “Give us a chance. Low fares can be found if you book in advance and are willing to be more flexible.”
Minish said she booked a flight from Huntsville to Dallas 40 days in advance and paid $376.80.
Bill Swelbar, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology research engineer is planning to hold a public forum on the airline industry in Huntsville in early September, Mintish said. In July, the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority reported that passenger volume in Huntsville has dropped by just over 16 percent since 2012.
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