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Is it a better idea, in terms of getting lower prices, to look at airports that are busier?

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I believe busier airports cost airlines more, so logically you should look for less busy airports. Not sure of this anyway. – Heidel Ber Gensis Aug 23 '13 at 10:10
Not sure how you do your search, but in skyscanner you can pick a city, say, London and it will search the flights from all the London area airports. You will pick the cheapest flight and you're done. No need to wonder if the airport is busy or not. – Rabbit Aug 23 '13 at 10:48
Bigger airports tend to have more carriers so more competition, but smaller airports tend to have lower charges, so it depends! Best bet is to do a broad search covering all airports in an area – Gagravarr Aug 23 '13 at 10:52
choice of airline matters far more than choice of airport. I routinely discover one airline half the price of another between two cities, especially if connections are involved. Looking for general rules probably won't work – Kate Gregory Aug 23 '13 at 11:03
@KateGregory I know at least one case in which comparable flights from different airports differed by the same 1:2 price ratio (specifically, I am thinking about short-haul flights with Swiss from Basel Euroairport and Zürich to European destinations) so choice of airport can apparently matter about as much. – Relaxed Aug 24 '13 at 0:00
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Bigger airports doesn't necessarily mean better fares. I would say that the competition on a specific route is key to better fares.

I live for example in Belgium, but often fly from Amsterdam airport. Some airlines consider main train stations as airports, so I can book a airplane ticket from the train station of my home town to almost anywhere, "transferring" at Amsterdam airport. Often I pay less then a passenger on the same flight leaving Amsterdam, who boarded in Amsterdam directly. I guess it mainly boils down to pulling passengers away from Brussels airport.

So to find the better fares try to identify which carriers offer a specific route.

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Competition is a big factor (and competition limiting factors like government granted monopolies and exclusive contracts), but the price the airline has to pay for using the facilities at an airport also comes into play. That's why e.g. RyanAir doesn't fly from Amsterdam, the landing and parking fees there (and the handling cost as well) are several times higher than at Eindhoven for the same aircraft. – jwenting Aug 26 '13 at 8:37

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