Is Buying a Plane Ticket at the Airport a Cheap Option?

Is Buying a Plane Ticket at the Airport a Cheap Option?

Although it appears to be less common, one of the many ways you can book a flight is to buy a ticket at the airport.

Is it cheaper to buy a plane ticket at the airport? It depends on the airline.

For most airlines, there are no incentives for buying plane tickets at the airport. You might end up paying more for a flight at the airport than if you were to book online. 

However, some budget airlines are the exceptions. In particular, Allegiant, Spirit, and Frontier are known to charge certain fees online and over the phone that you don't have to pay if you buy your plane ticket at the airport.

For example, Spirit Airlines charges a "passenger usage charge," which is a non-refundable fee per way per traveler. This fee does not apply to bookings completed at the airport.

Assuming the passenger usage charge is $22, this means you'll save $44 when purchasing a round-trip Spirit Airlines ticket at the airport. If you’re traveling as a couple, you'll save $88. If you’re a family of four, you'll save $176.

Those savings may be worthwhile, but make sure you also consider the time and money spent to get to and from the airport (and while you're at the airport) to purchase the ticket. Remember, you have to drive there and park. Another option would be to purchase the ticket when you are already at the airport for another flight. 

Also, some budget airlines charge passengers to choose their seat and for carry-ons. For this reason, it may be more cost efficient to book a flight with another airline where the carryon bag and seat costs are already included in the fare. 

To sum it up, it may only be cheaper to buy a plane ticket at the airport if you're purchasing a ticket from a budget airline, like Spirit, depending on how far you live from the airport and how many people are traveling with you, among other things.

If purchasing a ticket at the airport doesn't seem logical or isn't feasible, you can always find good deals online. Besides using Google Flights and sites like Expedia, we recommend checking airlines' social media pages. Many airlines announce their sales and flash fares via their social media.

Safe travels on your next trip!

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