How Does Ohio Rank for States with Inexpensive Flights?

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Today is National Cheap Flight Day, so decided to take a break from Ohio sports betting to look at the U.S. destinations where Americans can fly for the least amount of money.

Using data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, we ranked the states and the District of Columbia based on approximate average domestic airline itinerary fares by origin city for 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. The Bureau of Transportation’s airfares are reported based on individual cities, and obviously the cities within a given state are of varying sizes. We averaged the fares by city, then arranged them by state, to arrive at our numbers.

Cheapest States for Flying
Rank State Avg. Fare ($)
1 DE 139.245
2 NJ 238.195
3 CT 272.265
4 SD 315.15
5 OH 326.92
6 NH 355.985
7 FL 358.575
8 RI 360.565
9 CA 362.7
10 NY 372.375
11 MD 387.39
12 UT 390.72
13 IL 394.24
14 KY 397.03
15 SC 418.84
16 NV 421.3
17 DC 438.195
18 WA 438.36
19 PA 438.735
20 IA 438.78
21 MA 446.035
22 NC 449.675
23 MO 450.08
24 IN 450.39
25 WV 454.235
26 VT 458.44
27 HI 459.84
28 TN 469.455
29 OK 470.185
30 AZ 473.65
31 OR 475.22
32 TX 480.365
33 ME 483.09
34 KS 490.8
35 VA 491.47
36 NE 497.845
37 NM 504.39
38 MS 509.34
39 CO 515.085
40 MI 515.44
41 WI 522.45
42 MN 522.76
43 MT 528.605
44 GA 529.315
45 ND 534.745
46 LA 537.815
47 AR 542.76
48 AL 570.91
49 ID 582.275
50 WY 598.86
51 AK 655.85


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Hey, Not Bad Ohio

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In our cheap flights data, Ohio finished a robust fifth, with an average fare of $326.92, Almost $75 less than Kentucky to the southwest, more than $100 cheaper than Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia to the southeast and Indiana to the west, and nearly $200 cheaper than Michigan to the north.

As for why Ohio is a cheaper state to fly into, it probably has to do with the fees the airports charge carriers and the number of more expensive international flights vs. cheaper commuter flights that fly into the state. Also, Ohio’s airports are located in decent-size cities that get significant traffic.

Florida is ranked seventh on the chart, behind Ohio, even though Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Orlando are two of the least expensive domestic places to fly to in the country. But both airports receive a lot of international travelers, and there are smaller airports in smaller cities throughout Florida that are not so inexpensive.

There are six major commercial airports in Ohio: Cleveland Hopkins International, opened in 1925, is the busiest. It was the first airport in the country to have an air traffic control tower, the first to be owned by its city, the first to have an airfield with lights, the first to place arrivals and departures on different levels, and the first to have a regional rail connection for passengers. The airport sits on more than 1,700 acres and has three runways.

Next busiest in the state is John Glenn Columbus International, formerly known as Port Columbus International, which opened in 1929. The airport has two runways and sits on nearly 2,300 acres and was renamed for the former astronaut and Ohio senator in 2016. 
James M. Cox International in Dayton is the third largest airport in the Buckeye State and opened in 1936. It has three runways and covers a huge 4,200 acres. Next is Akron-Canton regional, which opened a decade later in 1946, and which has two runways. In 1979, this is the airport where Yankees catcher Thurman Munson was trying to land his Cessna Citation 501 when it crashed before reaching the runway. There have been no fatalities at the airport since.

The fifth busiest Ohio airport is Rickenbacker International (also in Columbus) opened in 1942 as Lockbourne Army Airfield. It’s primarily a cargo airport, is home to the Ohio Air National Guard’s 121st Air Refueling Wing and has two runways.

Eugene F. Kranz Express in Toledo serves passengers, cargo and the military as home to the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter wing. The state’s sixth busiest airport, it opened in 1954 as a replacement for Toledo Municipal Airport, which had been dedicated in 1928.

The airport serving Cincinnati, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International, is technically in Covington, Ky.

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Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of

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