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Here is another open secret for Canadians to save money in travel: cross the board to US airports to fly.  You can save hundreds of dollars per person flying anywhere in the world.

For lack of competition between Canadian airlines and thanks to heavy and plenty taxes and fees charged on air travel by the  government, we Canadians have been ripped off badly on our air travel cost for years. I was very puzzled when my neighbor drove to fly to Florida from Watertown airport in NY, until he explained to me the savings.  For a family of 4, the saving is over $1000.  For a drive slightly over 2 hours,  this is more than tempting!

A recent National Post article provided some actual numbers.

For example, the lowest fare on an American Airlines round-trip flight between Toronto and New York City two weeks before departure is $400, $82.50 of which is for various taxes and fees.

By contrast, an AA flight on the same day from Buffalo to New York City costs $177 round-trip, only $21.40 of which is taxes and fees.

In fact, Canadian made estimated 5 million cross-border flight visits every year.  This is the effect of high airfare and high tax/fee.

If you decide to cross the border to fly from a US airport, the following are the closest airports to your location

  • From Great Toronto Area: Buffalo, NY or Niagara Falls International Airport
  • From Montreal: Plattsburgh, N.Y., which calls itself “Montreal’s U.S. airport”
  • From Vancouver: Seattle, Wash.,
  • From Ottawa, Kingston; Watertown, NY
  • From Winnipeg: Fargo, N.D.,
  • From Fredericton and Saint John: Bangor, Me.,

Many of the US airports offer discounted long-term parking rate.  New York’s Niagara Falls International Airport has cheaper fare than Buffalo airport and promote itself to Canadian with reduced long-term parking rates and designating a special section for Canadian travelers on its website.

If you have a flexible schedule for your flight, the last minute flight ticket can make even more savings.


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