The best airports for cheap flights abroad, according to new data

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport have seen the most discounts on international flights outside the United States over the past year, according to an analysis by Scott’s Cheap Flights.

The company, known for sending insider tips to its members about flight deals, analyzed 182 US airports to determine where they share the biggest and lowest discounts on economy class fares, compiling them in a report released late last month. From August 2021 to August 2022, airports averaged more than one deal per day, making them ideal for travelers without a particular destination in mind. Others only saw a few discounted prices each month.

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The report notes that even if your home airport is among the worst for cheap flights abroad, you’re probably not more than a short flight away from one of the top 10 airports. Consider driving or booking the local station separately to take advantage of the deal.

With countries like Japan and Canada scrapping coronavirus restrictions and a busy holiday season, here’s where experts say you should look for the cheapest international flights.

Best airports for cheap international flights

The analysis from Scott found that JFK sees far and away on most international flight deals, with 475 last year, nearly 10 percent higher than Scott’s combined number 2 airport on its list.

John F. Kennedy, a US hub and delta, is the busiest international airport in the United States, with more than 70 airlines serving 110 foreign cities, Scott said. That large number of trips is driving down prices, with the average round-trip trip over the past year coming in at $413, according to Scott.

In second place was Dulles, the main international gateway to the metropolitan area before Baltimore-Washington Marshall International Airport. The report found 433 deals in Dulles last year, with an average round-trip cost of $449. The United hub offers flights to 53 international destinations, Scott said, and will soon be connected by train to the center of the capital through the Silver Line extension.

O’Hare came in third with 423 deals last year and an average round-trip cost of $429. Among the top 10 deals: Newark Liberty International with 415 deals, Los Angeles International with 409 deals, Boston Logan International with 389 deals, San Francisco International with 380 deals, Miami International with 375 deals, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International with 299 deals and Philadelphia International in 289 deals.

Excluding Chicago and Atlanta, the top 10 airports are located on the coasts. All are hubs for major US airlines, the report notes, making them easily accessible from almost anywhere.

Worst airports for international flight deals

The report also analyzed which airports are least likely to strike a deal on an international flight. Travelers who fly from these airports may consider flying to a major hub or booking early because some of these see little to no bargain per week on average.

The worst airport in the International Travel Deals Report was Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, which serves Panama City, Florida, and lacks any direct international connections and saw only 62 deals last year, according to the report. Alternatively, the Atlanta, Orlando, and Tampa airports are about a five or six hour drive away and see many other deals.

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The report examined airports in metro areas with more than 700,000 people, which means that many of the worst airports for international deals were small regional airports, such as Columbia, SC, and Fresno, California. However, the list was occupied by several major airports, such as Honolulu and Salt Lake City.

The report notes that Honolulu tends to see deals to Asia and Oceania, but many of those destinations have been closed to Americans due to coronavirus restrictions over the past year, leaving HNL with only 65 deals during that time. Salt Lake City is the hub of the Delta, but caters primarily to local traffic, so it saw only 98 international deals last year.

According to Scott, other mid-sized airports that travelers may want to avoid for international flights are Oakland, Sacramento and Oklahoma City.

Best fall flight deals

Looking for a last-minute foreign getaway this fall? Your best options for sealing a deal in October are Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Toronto, Montreal and Lisbon, according to Hayley Berg, economist at travel booking app Huber.

Berg said prices for October flights to Ho Chi Minh City from Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego are down more than 50 percent from 2021 with an average price of nearly $700.

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For travelers departing in October from New York City, Boston and Miami, flights to Montreal and Toronto are more than 30 percent cheaper than last year, costing just over $200. Lisbon flights are the cheapest from San Francisco and Chicago, costing as low as $391 one way.

Other destinations that have seen a steep decline in prices compared to last year are Ponce, Puerto Rico; Monterrey, Mexico; and Tahiti, according to Berg.