Buffalo’s Cheap Air Fares

Buffalo air fares are extraordinarily low. My round trip flight to Boston a few weeks ago cost me $132 as will my flight to NYC in June. Since the mid-90’s air fares have dropped steadily; at the end of 2006 Buffalo’s average fares ranked 5th-lowest in the top 100 U.S. airports. Our air fares are about the same today as they were 11 years ago while the national average has gone up fifteen percent.

The Buffalo News reported that over a third of the cars in the airport parking lots had Canadian license plates, hinting that the airport is drawing passengers from a region much larger than just the Buffalo metropolitan area. An NFTA spokesman indicated that low fares were good for business as well, as it is a factor in where businesses will set up shop. (I don’t believe it. Most business travelers hate multi-leg flights, and businesses will set up shop at hub cities because of this).

Luckily for us, this area’s most frequent business destinations – New York City, Washington, Boston and Orlando (??!!!) – are non-stop flights. Layovers are a bitch and you’re gonna have one in Chicago or Atlanta should you go west or south. If passengers were ever allowed to carry guns we would see more cleanups from suicides at the O’Hare gate lounges than we would aircraft hijackings.

I am amazed that Buffalo has been able to attract such low-fare carriers, and I am certainly thankful for whoever was responsible for pulling this off (it’s probably not who’s claiming credit).

I’m hoping that these fares stay low enough for my wife and me to take advantage of them in September, when we’ll have more time to just disappear for a few days. A 3-day stay in a nice hotel, far away from home, might be enjoyable for both of us. Although we do not take frivolous or spur of the moment vacations, we are blessed with the means to do so on occasion. We’re due for one, and because of the low air fares we can actually afford to fly.


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