Is it Really Cheaper to Book a Flight at the Airport?

Ever trembled at the sight of airfares online, wondering if you could get a better deal at the airport? I know how you feel. In fact, research shows that budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier may offer cheaper prices when tickets are purchased directly from their counters.

This article will shed light on this issue by comparing costs between airport and online bookings for various airlines. Are you ready to transform your flight-booking strategy? Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

Booking a flight at the airport can be cheaper than online, especially with budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier.

Online booking fees can add up to $18 – $25 per flight segment, while these fees are usually waived when purchasing tickets directly from airline counters at the airport.

Airport booking may come with challenges, such as long lines and inexperienced staff, but it can offer an unbeatable human touch and potential savings on airfare.

Researching specific airlines, visiting on designated days, arriving early, being patient and persistent, and utilizing customer service or social media can help you successfully save money by booking a flight at the airport.

Understanding Flight Ticket Booking

man booking flight on his phone

Flight ticket booking can be made either online or at the airport, with each method having its own advantages and disadvantages.

Online Booking

Take it from me, gents; online booking is a total breeze. It’s easy to find options for any flight with just a few clicks on popular sites like Expedia or Google Flights. This convenience comes at a price, though.

Little do many know that online fees can sneak into your fare quicker than you’d imagine! These include service charges per flight segment that can hike up your total cost by $18-$25.

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On top of this, airlines such as Allegiant could even charge an additional $44 if you book online rather than at the airport ticket counter! So while there’s no denying the appeal of booking flights in your boxers, watch out for those hidden costs lurking behind the screen.

Airport Booking

Rule number one for the penny-pinching traveler: stay on your toes. Airport booking can surprise you with a few notable advantages. First off, budget airlines like Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant often boast lower fares at their brick-and-mortar counters than online—more on that later.

Plus, purchasing tickets directly from airline agents offers an unbeatable human touch; these seasoned veterans are equipped with the knowledge to navigate tricky group travel situations or clarify murky cancellation policies.

However, there’s no sugarcoating it—there will be challenges along the way! You may meet long lines or even a less-than-competent staff member (we all have our off days). Ticket counter hours also differ among airlines.

For instance, Allegiant keeps its desk open for just one hour following scheduled departures on certain days, while Breeze restricts ticket sales to between 11 am and 1 pm Eastern every Tuesday—sharp! The takeaway? Make sure you’ve got your game face on if you plan to snag cheaper fares via airport booking.

Is it Cheaper to Book a Flight at the Airport?

man smiling and booking flight

When it comes to scoring cheaper flight tickets, many budget-conscious travelers wonder if booking at the airport is really worth the extra effort. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of buying tickets at the airport and explore whether it can truly save you some hard-earned cash.

Pros and Cons of Airport Booking

Booking a flight at the airport, just like everything else in life, has its bright side and its dark side too. Let’s talk about it, guys.

Cheaper prices, especially with budget airlines such as Spirit and Frontier. Once, I saved about $72 on Allegiant airlines, which billed $434 online for the same flights. Who doesn’t like scoring a deal?The experience can be frustrating, I won’t lie. Long lines, inexperienced staff, and some airlines aren’t exactly cooperative when it comes to avoiding fees.
Avoiding online booking fees, which can range from $18 to $25 per flight segment, adding up to $100 per person for a round-trip flight. That’s extra cash for your vacation, buddy.Some airlines have certain designated days for airport ticket purchases. You have to plan your day around their schedule, which can be a bummer.
Arriving early or contacting the airline directly could lead to a smoother transaction. You might even get the desired prices over the phone, without leaving your house.There are days when you’d wish you hadn’t left your couch. Despite the cheaper prices, the effort might not seem worth it at times. Plus, reaching out on Twitter isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

In the grand scheme of things, it all comes down to how much you value your time and sanity compared to saving some bucks. Do your homework, have patience, and you might just get lucky with a killer deal at the airport.

Comparing Costs: Airport vs. Online Booking

When comparing the costs of booking flights at the airport versus online, you might be surprised by the potential savings. Find out which airlines offer cheaper fares and how much you can actually save.

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Allegiant Flights

Alright, gentlemen, let’s delve into Allegiant flights and the potential savings on tickets when buying straight from the airport.

FactorOnline BookingAirport Booking
PriceI’ve seen them charge up to $434 for a flight online!However, I’ve also found the same flight at the airport for $72 less.
Online feesThose pesky online fees for ticket purchases can range between $18 to $25 per flight segment.At the airport, no such fees apply. That’s a saving right there!
ExperienceOnline booking is convenient but it feels like a trap with those hidden fees.The airport experience can be a test of patience with long lines and potentially inexperienced staff. But if you’re persistent, you can strike a deal.
Getting the dealTry reaching out to the airline over the phone or even social media if the online fees seem steep.Get there early, preferably on the airline’s designated ticket-selling days, to ensure a smooth transaction.

So gentlemen, if you’re willing to trade convenience for some hard-earned greenbacks, purchasing Allegiant flight tickets at the airport could be the way to go.

Frontier Flights

Alright, guys, let’s chat about Frontier flights and how snagging tickets at the airport can trim down those online fees. Hang on to your wallets because this information could save you a pretty penny.

Base fareBased on demand, season, and routeSame as online
Online booking feesCan add up to $100 for a roundtripNo online booking fees
Customer serviceEasy access via phone or online chatCan be hit-or-miss based on staff experience
ConvenienceBook from anywhere, anytimeMust visit during specific counter hours
Additional savingsOccasional online promotional discountsNo promotional discounts

Frontier flights are notorious for their online booking fees. These pesky additional costs can amount to a whopping $100 for a roundtrip flight. But guess what? You can dodge these fees by booking at the airport. That’s right, no online booking fees! However, be prepared to handle the hit-or-miss customer service; some staff might be inexperienced. Also, remember to check counter hours before heading to the airport. As much as we love hanging out at airports, you wouldn’t want to waste your time, would you? So there you have it, a potential way to shave off some bucks from your travel budget. Who knew airports could be such gold mines?

Spirit Flights

Let me tell you about my experience with Spirit flights. It’s quite the story, gents!

Ticket TypeOnline Booking CostAirport Booking CostSavings
With Connection$260$210$50

So, here’s what happened. I’m at the airport, and I discover this trick while in line to buy a Spirit ticket. Lo and behold, my roundtrip ticket was $40 cheaper at the airport than online. It’s crazy, but it works. It helps to check-in early, by the way. It saved me from dealing with inexperienced staff and lengthened queues.

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, I’ll just call Spirit and get that sweet deal over the phone.” Nice try, but it’s not that easy. I was on the phone for 30 minutes and still couldn’t dodge the online booking fee. But, hold on, I found another solution – social media. A quick tweet out into the universe, and voila, I grabbed the airport price without stepping foot in the terminal.

It’s not always smooth sailing, but with a bit of patience and persistence, you, too, can game the system and grab yourself some cheaper Spirit flights. Cheers, mates!

Tips for Buying Plane Tickets at the Airport

lining up to buy a ticket at the airport

To have a successful experience buying plane tickets at the airport, it’s important to understand the ticket counter hours and plan accordingly.

Understanding Ticket Counter Hours

Ticket counter hours at the airport can be crucial when it comes to buying plane tickets. It’s essential to know the specific times when the ticket counters are open for each airline, as these hours can vary.

For example, Allegiant’s ticket counter is typically open for one hour following scheduled departures on certain days. Spirit Airlines’ ticket counter time windows vary depending on the airport.

Breeze, on the other hand, usually has their ticket counter open on Tuesdays between 11 am and 1 pm Eastern, as well as two hours before any scheduled flight. Frontier Airlines generally opens their ticket counters two hours prior to departure times, although finding this information may prove challenging on their website.

Planning for a Successful Experience

As a budget-conscious traveler looking to save some bucks on your flight, planning for a successful experience when buying plane tickets at the airport is crucial. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and cost-effective transaction:

  1. Research the Airlines: Look up which airlines offer cheaper fares at the airport compared to their online prices. For example, Allegiant Airlines offered flights that were $72 cheaper when purchased at the airport instead of online.
  2. Visit on Designated Days: Some airlines have specific days where they offer discounted rates for in-person ticket purchases. Make sure to check their website or call ahead to find out the best day to visit.
  3. Arrive Early: Getting to the airport ahead of time can help you avoid long lines and ensure that you have enough time for ticket purchases and any necessary adjustments. This way, you can navigate through any potential obstacles smoothly.
  4. Be Patient and Persistent: Buying tickets at the airport may come with challenges, such as long queues or inexperienced staff. However, being patient and persistent can pay off in securing those cheaper fares.
  5. Contact Customer Service: If you’re frustrated with your experience at the ticket counter, don’t hesitate to reach out to customer service over the phone. Explain your situation and see if they can match or adjust prices for you.
  6. Utilize Social Media: Another avenue to resolve issues with tickets is through social media platforms like Twitter. Messaging the airline directly and explaining your frustration might lead to a positive outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions About Whether It’s Cheaper To Book a Flight at the Airport

Is it true that booking a flight at the airport is cheaper?

Booking a flight at the airport can sometimes be cheaper, as airlines may offer last-minute deals or discounts on unsold seats. However, this is not always guaranteed, and prices can vary depending on factors such as destination, time of year, and availability.

Are there any disadvantages to booking a flight at the airport?

There are a few potential disadvantages to booking a flight at the airport. Firstly, there may be limited availability or no flights available if they are fully booked in advance. Additionally, waiting until you get to the airport means you have less flexibility in terms of choosing your preferred airline or flight times.

How far in advance should I arrive at the airport to book a flight?

If you plan on booking a flight at the airport, it’s recommended to arrive several hours before your desired departure time. This will give you enough time to check for available flights and compare prices without feeling rushed.

Are there any tips for getting cheaper flights at the airport?

To increase your chances of finding cheaper flights at the airport, consider being flexible with your travel dates and destinations. It’s also helpful to sign up for airline newsletters or follow them on social media to stay updated on any special promotions or discounts they might offer exclusively for customers who book directly with them at the airport.


In conclusion, while it may take some extra effort and patience, booking a flight at the airport can indeed be cheaper than online for budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier. The savings from avoiding online fees can add up to significant amounts, making it worth considering this option.

However, it is important to be prepared for potential obstacles such as long lines and inexperienced staff. With persistence and planning, you can unlock the secret to saving on airfare and have more money left in your travel budget for your next adventure.

Happy travels!




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Jason Batansky

Jason Batansky, a 34-year-old entrepreneur/blogger, has built three successful online businesses, granting him the freedom to travel and work remotely across South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Currently residing in Miami Beach, Jason thrives on the challenges and rewards of his dynamic lifestyle.

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