Myrtle Beach has some of the cheapest average airfares in the country, travel website says

dbryant@thesunnews.comJuly 24, 2013 

— Myrtle Beach has some of the cheapest average airfares in the country, according to annual rankings by a travel booking website.

The average airfare at Myrtle Beach International Airport, based on Cheapflights.com’s research, was $249 in June, the second-cheapest of the 101 airports ranked. Myrtle Beach moved into the second spot on the website’s 2013 Airport Affordability Index after ranking No. 42 last year.

The rankings are based on prices in June, which was the second-busiest June ever for the Myrtle Beach airport.

The ranking might surprise some Myrtle Beach travelers, who have said they drive to Charleston, Florence or even Charlotte, N.C., because -- even with the drive and parking -- it’s cheaper than flying out of MYR.

Charleston also moved up on the list, sliding into the No. 30 spot with an average fare of $390; it was No. 99 last year. Greenville-Spartanburg has an average airfare of $448, ranking No. 46, up from 88 last year. Charlotte, N.C., fell on the list to rank 94th, from 48th last year, with an average airfare of $571.

Here’s how Cheapflights.com came up with the rankings: It averaged the prices its users found during June when searching for flights to popular domestic and international destinations like Miami, Honolulu, London and Cancun.

But the rankings come with a warning from the travel website: “These rankings can shift dramatically from year to year and prices fluctuate frequently on specific routes. But the takeaway, as always, is do your homework and look at all the options for airports on both ends of a trip.”

The airport in Long Beach, Calif., had the lowest average airfare of $216.

In June, More passengers flew into Myrtle Beach International Airport than any other June except the record-setting June 2011, according to airport statistics.

About 96,696 passengers arrived through the gates last month, up about 14 percent from June 2012 and the second-busiest June behind 2011, when a June record of 108,722 passengers arrived in Myrtle Beach.

It's also the fifth consecutive month of passenger growth after a 16 percent decline in 2012.

Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at dbryant@thesunnews.com or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.

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