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The 10 most expensive airports to fly out of in the U.S.

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It is notoriously expensive to book a flight during the holiday season, and this year the national average cost of airfare hit $397 during the second quarter, a high not seen since 2014, according to recent data from SmartAsset. 

The SmartAsset survey reported the average fare and percent change in ticket prices at 100 U.S. airports over the past year. It first rounded up the 100 busiest U.S. airports based on the number of domestic travelers in 2021. 

From there, SmartAsset looked at three things:

  • Average airfare cost
  • One-year percent change in airfare
  • One-year dollar change in airfare

All data came from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and compares the second quarter with the year-earlier period.

Overall, airfare has skyrocketed in price. The national average increased 21%.

These are the 10 most expensive airports to fly out of in the U.S., according to SmartAsset.

1. Madison, Wisconsin — Dane County Regional-Truax Field

Average fare: $526

Percent increase: 34.54%

Dollar amount change: $135

2. Washington, D.C. — Washington Dulles International Airport 

Average fare: $526

Percent increase: 33.06%

Dollar amount change: $131

3. Birmingham, Alabama — Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International 

Average fare: $503

Percent increase: 37.52%

Dollar amount change: $137

4. San Francisco — San Francisco International 

Average fare: $499

Percent increase: 28%

Dollar amount change: $109

5. Greer, South Carolina — Greenville-Spartanburg International 

Average fare: $490

Percent increase: 35.62%

Dollar amount change: $129

6. Greensboro, North Carolina — Piedmont Triad International 

Average fare: $486

Percent increase: 35.41%

Dollar amount change: $127

7. Fresno, California — Fresno Yosemite International 

Average fare: $474

Percent increase: 42.15%

Dollar amount change: $140

8. Tucson, Arizona — Tucson International 

Average fare: $470

Percent increase: 37.6%

Dollar amount change: $128

9. Little Rock, Arkansas — Bill and Hillary Clinton Nat Adams Field 

Average fare: $466

Percent increase: 36.22%

Dollar amount change: $124

10. Pensacola, Florida — Pensacola International 

Average fare: $462

Percent increase: 51.28%

Dollar amount change: $157

Though prices are high, there are still strategies you can try to save money on airfare.

First of all, “the sooner you book your flights, the less money you’ll spend,” Amanda Poses, founder and travel consultant at Poses Travel & Co., tells CNBC Make It.

The second you know what trip you want to take, book it, Poses said. Planning as far ahead as possible will hopefully put you ahead of the curve of when your flight becomes more in demand. 

Another good thing to look out for is the option to check your luggage online. A lot of the time, it’s less expensive to purchase a bag online for your flight than to check it in person, she said. 

And planning ahead for vacations should not be limited to airfare. “Even if your plans are booked, you should be booking transfers, dining and anything you want so you get the most value out of your trip,” Poses said.

Want to earn more and work less? Register for the free CNBC Make It: Your Money virtual event on Dec. 13 at 12 p.m. ET to learn from money masters how you can increase your earning power.

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