The best airports for cheap flights abroad, according to new data

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According to an analysis of Scott’s Cheap Flights.

The company, known to send its members insider tips on flight deals, analyzed 182 U.S. airports to determine where it shared the most and least economy class fare discounts, compiling them into a report released at the end of last month. From August 2021 to August 2022, some airports averaged more than one transaction per day, making them ideal for travelers who don’t have a particular destination in mind. Others have only seen a few discounted rates each month.

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Even if your home airport is among the worst for cheap flights abroad, you’re probably no more than a short flight away from one of the top 10, the report notes. Consider driving or booking the domestic route separately to take advantage of a deal.

With countries like Japan and Canada dropping coronavirus restrictions and a busy holiday season ahead, here’s where experts say you should look for the cheapest international flights.

The best airports for cheap international flights

Scott’s analysis found that JFK sees the most international flight deals by far, with 475 in the past year, nearly 10% more than Scott’s shared with the No. 2 airport. on his list.

A US hub and delta, JFK is the busiest international airport in the United States, with more than 70 airlines serving about 110 foreign cities, Scott’s said. This plethora of flights is driving prices down, with the average round trip over the past year averaging $413, according to Scott’s.

Second place was Dulles, the DC area’s main international gateway, ahead of Marshall International Airport in Baltimore-Washington. The report found 433 deals in Dulles over the past year, with an average round trip costing $449. The United hub offers flights to 53 international destinations, Scott’s said, and soon connected by train to downtown DC by the Silver Line extension.

O’Hare came in third place with 423 transactions over the past year and an average round-trip cost of $429. Rounding out the top 10 are: Newark Liberty International with 415 deals, Los Angeles International with 409 deals, Boston Logan International with 389 deals, San Francisco International with 380 deals, Miami International with 375 deals, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International with 299 transactions and Philadelphia International to 289 offers.

With the exception of Chicago and Atlanta, the top 10 airports are on the coasts. But all are hubs for major US airlines, the report notes, making them easy to get to from almost anywhere.

The worst airports for international flights

The report also analyzed the airports least likely to have an international flight deal. Passengers departing from these airports might consider flying to a hub or booking early, as some of them only see one flight per week on average.

The worst airport in the report for international travel deals was Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, serving Panama City, Florida. It lacks direct international connections and has registered only 62 offers over the past year, according to the report. As an alternative, Atlanta, Orlando, and Tampa airports are about five or six hours away by car and have plenty of other deals.

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The report looked at airports in metropolitan areas with more than 700,000 people, meaning many of the worst airports for international transactions were small regional airports, such as Columbia, SC, and Fresno, Calif. Still, several major airports were on the list, such as Honolulu. and Salt Lake City.

Honolulu, the report notes, tends to see offers to Asia and Oceania, but many of those destinations have been closed to Americans due to coronavirus restrictions over the past year, leaving HNL with only 65 offers during this period. Salt Lake City is a Delta hub, but caters mostly to domestic traffic, so it only saw 98 international transactions in the past year.

Other mid-size airports that passengers might want to avoid for international flights are Oakland, Sacramento and Oklahoma City, according to Scott’s.

Best Fall Flight Deals

Looking for a last-minute getaway abroad this fall? Your best options for an October deal are Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Toronto and Montreal; and Lisbon, according to Hayley Berg, economist at the travel booking app Hopper.

Prices for October flights to Ho Chi Minh City from Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego are down more than 50% from 2021, with average fares around $700, Berg said.

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For travelers departing in October from New York, Boston and Miami, flights to Montreal and Toronto are more than 30% cheaper than last year, costing just over $200. Lisbon flights are the cheapest from San Francisco and Chicago, costing as little as $391 round trip.

Other destinations seeing steep fare declines from last year are Ponce, Puerto Rico; Monterrey, Mexico; and Tahiti, according to Berg.

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