Average airfare in Myrtle Beach one of the cheapest in the country, travel website says

07/21/2014 4:43 PM

07/22/2014 6:18 AM

Average fares at Myrtle Beach International Airport are among the cheapest in the country for a second consecutive year, according to rankings by an air travel website.

Myrtle Beach’s average fare of $287 ranked No. 9 on Cheapflights.com’s annual list, down from No. 2 last year with an average $249. MYR is one of two S.C. coastal airports to land in the top 10; Charleston International topped the rankings with an average fare of $191, up from the No. 30 spot last year.

“Making the list two years in a row is great news for Myrtle Beach International Airport,” airport spokesman Kirk Lovell said. “As a result of a diverse mix of carriers serving MYR, including Allegiant and ultra-low cost carrier Spirit, airfares remain very competitive.”

The annual Airport Affordability Index is based on average plane ticket prices Cheapflights.com users found on the website during June and ranks the most popular 101 airports. Cheapflights.com says on its website that the prices can change frequently and dramatically, and encourages travelers to do their research, check all the options and try to be flexible with plans to get the best deal.

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.

“Due to the proximity -- yet different selection of carriers -- of airports in the region, it can be expected that local passengers utilize whichever airport is most advantageous to them and their specific travel needs,” Lovell said. “Customers are always encouraged to shop around to find the best fares and departure/arrival times on their favorite carrier.”

In June, 105,108 passengers flew into the Myrtle Beach airport, a jump of 9 percent over the same month last year -- largely because of growth in traffic on Allegiant Air, which established a temporary hub here for the summer and doubled the number of destinations it serves from MYR in late May.

Last year’s No. 1 airport for cheap fares -- Long Beach, Calif. -- fell to No. 2 this year.

Honolulu International in Hawaii was at the bottom of the rankings with the highest average fare of $842; Newark International in N.J., ranked in the next-to-the-last spot at $694.

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