Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Forbes Calls Charlotte Airport a 'Rip-Off'

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/17/2009 No comments
Forbes.com has published its list of "America's Rip-Off Airports" in which it ranks the most expensive airports based on what travelers pay per mile when flying. Charlotte Douglas International Airport's average fare per mile is 37 cents, ranking it seventh on the list. Cincinnati's airport tops the list at 48 cents per mile. To give you some perspective, a few of the country's cheapest airports average flights that charge 14 to 16 cents per mile, though they are definitely in the minority. Charlotte is noted as the largest in the top ten.

Says Forbes: "The two most expensive large airports on the list, Cincinnati and Charlotte, are both big hubs in medium-sized cities, which means that their hub carriers end up with massive market shares and a prodigious pricing power."

If you've flown out of CLT, this ranking likely comes as no surprise. I've flown out of Charlotte a few times and picked up/dropped off friends on numerous occasions, and the reality is that you pay what you end up paying because you don't have a whole lot of choices. The Greensboro airport is known to be cheaper, but is it worth driving an hour and a half for those savings?

All things considered, I think CLT is a pretty good airport--easy parking, easy to get through checkpoints, clean concourses. I spent an entire day last fall roaming around there reporting for a feature in Charlotte magazine. Click here to read "Insider's Guide to CLT."


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