Why flights may be more expensive in Huntsville than at other nearby airports

WAFF 48's Matthew King reporting
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 12:42 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:01 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Flying out of Huntsville International may not always be the best option for North Alabama residents. With more direct flights, airline options, and cheaper airfare, travelers prefer to fly out of nearby airports like Nashville or Birmingham.

“There’s more availability, and the schedule is more open than it is for Huntsville,” one Huntsville resident said.

She said she prefers to be able to fly out of Huntsville instead of other airports.

“You have to leave super early, then you have to drive, and then you have to park, but it’s cheaper,” she said.

Air service development consultant Brad DiFiore and Huntsville airport leaders hope to change this.

“The key is to get non-stop service,” he said. “The problem is non-stop service is hard to achieve for a community of this size.”

DiFiore said the growing business at Huntsville International makes it a destination for more airlines, like Breeze Airways, to create more non-stop flights, but for major airlines to come in, and bring lower prices, there has to be enough demand.

“We have an opportunity, if people use those flights, to expand that,” he said. “The more people that fly from Orlando to Huntsville, the fewer that are going to fly there from Nashville. It’s a supply-and-demand business, so it’s sort of a circular argument here. The more people who use the airport, the more likely airlines are to add more seats. The more seats they have, the lower the fare becomes.”

DiFiore said the airports don’t have control over prices, but the airlines do. He said prices could eventually go down as more travelers fly out of Huntsville. Every day, roughly 1,600 flyers go through the airport.

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