Airfare costs third lowest in nation at Harry Reid International Airport

McCarran International Airport is officially renamed Harry Reid International Airport during a ...

A FinanceBuzz study shows the average domestic airline ticket price to and from Harry Reid International Airport is the third lowest among 45 major airports in the United States last year.

It was the first time since 2018 that Reid, formerly known as McCarran International Airport, did not have the lowest ticket prices.

The FinanceBuzz study showed that the national airfare cost rose by 0.3 percent from 2020 to 2021. Adjusted for inflation, it was the first time since 2014 that the average airfare cost has increased year over year.

Joe Rajchel, spokesman for Reid International, said competition among several airlines, many of them ultra-low-cost carriers such as Allegiant Air, Frontier and Spirit, help keep fares low.

“Las Vegas remains among the top domestic destinations (the eighth-busiest North American airport in 2021) with airlines continually adding more opportunities for visitors to come here,” said Rajchel, who noted that it’s the airlines, not the airport, that set the fares.

“These airlines are often competing for that traveler within the same markets. This is in tandem with the air service to Las Vegas offered by the ultra-low-cost carriers which operate here.”

The study showed that Reid fares rose an average $37.58 per ticket to $247.53. Lower fares were reported to and from Orlando International Airport ($241.01) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ($233.36).

Only one airport — fourth-ranked Miami International — had lower fares last year from a year ago, down $2.06 to $263.76.

No. 5 on the list was Tampa International Airport, $270.88.

The five most expensive airports from which to travel, according to the study, were Dulles International Airport in suburban Washington D.C. ($408.08), San Francisco International ($400.66), Detroit Metro Airport ($366.33), Portland International Airport in Oregon ($364.40) and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City ($360.94).

The five airports that dropped the most since last year’s rankings were San Diego International (down 17 spots to No. 38), Portland (down 16 to No. 42), Seattle-Tacoma International (down 11 to No. 35), Indianapolis International (down 10 to No. 33) and Boston Logan International (No. 36) and Los Angeles International (No. 37), both down by nine.

The biggest climbers among the 45 were Ronald Reagan Washington National (up 15 to No. 24), Lambert-St. Louis International (up 13 to No. 20), Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston (up 12 to No. 29) and Atlanta International (No. 23), Newark Liberty International in New Jersey (No. 25) and Dallas-Fort Worth International (No. 31), each up nine.

The five highest price increases were at No. 42 Portland ($75.56), No. 38 San Diego ($69.75), No. 44 San Francisco ($62.55), No. 35 Seattle-Tacoma ($59.51) and No. 37 Los Angeles ($58.84), according to the study.

“Las Vegas has and always will be a popular destination from both domestic and international markets,” said Brendan Bussmann, a gaming industry analyst and founder of Las Vegas-based B Global.

“The competitive market from multiple destinations helps us keep our rates at a level that also makes the airport one of the busiest in the country,” he said. “With Southwest and Allegiant having Las Vegas as a hub, it further helps keep those rates lower as it targets the leisure customer. This also carries over to the international market with the current carriers in the market. While most of the lift has returned to the market, there is continual room for growth with existing inventory and the short- and long-term opportunities for additional capacity.”

Amanda Belarmino, an assistant professor at UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, said the high level of competition helps at Reid.

“I think that the low fares are due to increased competition with a number of flights being added to by traditional carriers and with new carriers being added to the market,” she said. “As well, the decrease in price could also be impacted by a decrease in demand.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.