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Saving Time and Money with Alternate Airports in the US

Airport alternatives provide options to travelers based on what is most convenient for them. Choosing an alternate airport can save you a significant amount of money from your airfare.

San Francisco Alternate Airports

1. San Francisco International Airport — this airport is located about 9 miles south of the main city. Almost all international airline carriers have scheduled flights to San Francisco every year. Some of the major airlines served by the airport include Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Northwest Airlines.

Although this airport enjoys a great location at the rim of the San Francisco Bay, the place can be foggy at times, which often reduces visibility on the runways, resulting in flight delays when only one of its two runways can be used. Because of the potential delays at San Francisco International, international travelers often choose alternate airports. Flights to alternate airports can be less expensive, but just as convenient.

Taxis are available at the designated taxi zones near the Arrivals and Baggage Claim Areas in all terminals. The airport also has “air trains” which are free of charge.

2. San Jose International Airport — located 60 miles south of San Francisco, this airport is another alternative for those traveling to the city. Although quite far from the center of San Francisco, this airport is a good pit stop if you will be traveling down to Carmel, Monterey or any area south of San Francisco. You only have to rent a car or take a shuttle to your destination. Major airline carriers that have regular trips to the airport include Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and Alaska Air.

3. Oakland International Airport — this airport is located about 25 miles from the city of San Francisco. The airport is easily accessible for locals through shuttle buses and taxis. Major airlines such as Delta, Alaska Air, United, Southwest and America West have regularly scheduled international flights to this airport. This is a good starting point for those who plan to travel to Yosemite, Sequoia, Napa and Lake Tahoe.

Los Angeles Alternate Airports

1. Los Angeles International Airport — this is the main airport serving Los Angeles, California. It is located 16 miles from the downtown core. Since it is the most famous among all airports in Los Angeles, it is easily accessible by bus or taxi cab. Flights are sometimes delayed due to passenger traffic, as it serves around 60 million passengers every year. Some of the major airlines that the airport serves include Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Hawaiian Airlines, KLM, Northwest Airlines, TACA, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Volaris and WestJet.

2. Long Beach Airport — relatively smaller than the main international airport, the Long Beach International Airport is located about 11 miles from the city’s core. It has limited daily flights, and most of them are 90 percent on time. Good shuttle and taxi services are available, although there are very limited domestic and international passenger flights served by the airport.

3. Ontario International Airport — this is another one of the alternate airports surrounding Los Angeles, although it is quite far from the center of the city. It is located 35 miles from the center of Los Angeles, or approximately a 30-minute drive from L.A. It has poor shuttle and taxi services compared to the two previously mentioned airports. Some of the airline carriers that fly to the airport include United Airlines, Allegiant Air, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Us Airways, Aeromexico and Horizon Air.

4. Palmdale Regional Airport — this is ideal for domestic flights to Los Angeles. Although located 65 miles from the center of the city, flights to this airport can be relatively cheaper than those offered to the main airport of the city. Plans for expansion are currently in progress, although there is such high potential for the airport because of the land area it covers.

Chicago Alternate Airports

1. O’Hare International Airport — considered “the best airport in North America” for ten years, this airport is located about 17 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. With an average of 2,500 flights per day, air traffic is sometimes the cause of delay for many domestic and international flights. This airport is accessible by bus or shuttle, depending on your preference. All major airlines from America and many major airlines carriers from other countries have daily scheduled flights to this airport.

2. Chicago Midway International Airport — this airport is known as the Midway Airport or simply the Midway for many locals. It is located 8 miles from the center of the city. This airport is more heavily used by low-cost airlines, although some flights from major international carriers are also available.

Airline traffic is fair, and flights are usually on time. Airlines that are supported by the airport are AirTran Airways, Delta Connection, Shuttle America, Northwest Airlines, Northwest Airlink, Compass Airlines, Mesaba Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Porter Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

The airport is served by the Transit Authority of Chicago. Upon arrival, passengers can board the Orange Line trains at the airport terminal bound for several destinations within Chicago.

3. Gary/Chicago International Airport — located 25 miles from downtown Chicago, this airport has inconsistent international flights to a number of destinations. Currently, the airport has temporarily ceased their service for domestic and international flights because of ongoing expansions.

4. Chicago Rockford International Airport — an international airport serving several airlines, this airport is located 68 miles from Chicago. Because of the distance, a small number of international airlines serve the airport. Some of these include Allegiant Air, Aeromexico Travel, Direct Air and Virgin America. Although shuttle buses and taxis are available for passengers, the distance from the center of the city makes it the least preferred airport for travelers bound for Chicago.

New York City Alternate Airports

1. John F. Kennedy International Airport — this airport is located around 8 miles from Manhattan. It is currently the leading gateway to the United States, which is why you can expect that almost all flights bound for this airport can be relatively more expensive than those bound for other airports. It is also the base for major airlines such as JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Flights are 90 percent on time.

You can expect good taxi and shuttle services available from the airport. It is accessible for international and domestic travelers.

2. Newark Liberty International Airport — located about 15 miles from the core of Manhattan, this airport serves good public transport and easy cab access to travelers. Some of the major airlines that fly to this airport include Air Canada, Air Trans Airways, American Airways, United Airlines, US Airways, Miami Air International and JetBlue Airways.

3. LaGuardia Airport — this is the smallest among the three primary airports of New York. It serves international flights from airlines such as Continental Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Air Canada and several other international airline carriers. Taxis that serve the airport are licensed by the city government. As you arrive at the airport, uniformed taxi dispatchers will assist you with your ride.

4. Westchester County Airport — this airport is located 30 miles from the center of Manhattan. The airport has two major runways that serve a number of domestic and international flights. Today, the airport is served by 8 major airline carriers bound to a range of destinations in the US and Canada. Some of the international airlines that it serves include the American Eagle, Air Canada, Cape Air, Delta Connections and United Express Airways.

This airport is ideal for those who are traveling to nearby cities of New York. The airport has a rather poor provision for cabs or shuttles.

Boston Alternate Airports

1. General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport —this is the main airport of Boston. It is located approximately 4 miles from the core of the city. It is simply known as the “Logan Airport” to many locals. Travelers to Boston are most likely to be brought to this airport. It is included on the list of the 20 busiest airports in the United States, with over 27 million passengers every year. It serves almost all major international airline carriers in the world.

Taxis are accessible within its perimeters. All transportation is coordinated and licensed by the airport. Taxis, shuttle buses and limousines are available at their designated terminals.

2. Manchester-Boston Regional Airport — called the “Manchester Airport”, this airport is located 3 miles from the center of the city. It bears the reputation of never surrendering even under extremely bad weather. It serves regional and interstate flights served by the major airlines in the US. Taxi cabs and shuttles are easily accessible.

3. Portsmouth International Airport — this was formerly known as the Pease International Airport before its name was changed. Located 50 miles from the city of Boston, this is also one of the nearest airports from the city. It provides services to international and domestic passengers and offers free parking and no traffic, which means less hassles and flight delays. The amenities of the airport were built according to international airport standards.

4. Worcester Regional Airport — this airport can be found 28 miles from the core of Boston City. The airport has three runways that mostly serve domestic flights within the United States. Passenger flights to a range of domestic and international destinations are being served in this airport. They provide safe, secure and efficient services both for passengers and aircrafts.

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