The Best U.S. Airports for Finding Cheap International Flights

A new study highlights the best and worst airports for getting cheap international flights.

Cheap flights
Photo: Chanin Wardkhian/Getty Images

When it comes to offering cheap international flights, some airports are better than others. And in the U.S., according to a new study, the best airport for travelers looking for deals is New York City's John F. Kennedy International.

Scott's Cheap Flights, a subscription service for cheap flight alerts, analyzed the alerts sent to members in 2018 and found that JFK had the most frequent deals. Examples in the study include a $297 round-trip to Paris, a $555 to Sydney, and a $472 to Kuala Lumpur.

The next best airport in the study was Los Angeles International, with deals like $396 round-trip to Fiji and $305 to Barcelona.

Both JFK and LAX are major hubs, and it's no coincidence they're home to cheap fares: JFK is serviced by more than 70 international airlines with direct service to 120 international destinations, and LAX has more than 60 international airlines, with direct service to more than 90 international destinations. "All those routes and airlines mean ... a whole lot more deals," according to the study.

Here is the full list of the best airports for cheap international flights according to Scott's Cheap Flights.

The Best Airports for International Flight Deals

  1. John F. Kennedy International (JFK)
  2. Los Angeles International (LAX)
  3. Boston Logan (BOS)
  4. San Francisco (SFO)
  5. Newark Liberty (EWR)
  6. Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
  7. Miami International (MIA)
  8. Washington Dulles (IAD)
  9. Orlando (MCO)
  10. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL)

The study also looked at the worst airports for international flight deals. While the best airport list primarily consists of major hubs (and airports like FLL with easy access to regions like the Caribbean), the worst airport list is populated by smaller airports with many fewer direct international routes.

The worst was Piedmont Triad International (GSO), in North Carolina, followed by Northwest Florida Beaches (ECP), Gerald R. Ford (GRR) in Michigan, Norfolk (ORF) in Virginia, Albany (ALB) in New York, Long Beach (LGB) in California, Louisville (SDF) in Kentucky, Will Rogers (OKC) in Oklahoma, General Mitchell (MKE) in Wisconsin, and John Glenn Columbus (CMH) in Ohio.

As Scott's Cheap Flights points out in the study, travelers whose home airport is on the worst list may live not too far from an airport with better options. For example, those near Long Beach in California can head to LAX when they find a deal.

And, though not mentioned in the study, surrounding areas on the worst list typically offer a lower cost of living — perhaps making up for that higher airfare.

No matter where you live, there are many ways to find cheap flights. If you're open to different destinations, Scott's Cheap Flights offers email alerts for cheap fares. For trips you know you want to take, there are several different services (like Hopper and Google Flights) that let you set up price alerts for specific airpots and dates.

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