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Old 06-06-2010, 11:00 AM
Location: Chandler, AZ
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For those of you who have flown out of both cities, have you noticed whether airfares in and out of RDU are any cheaper than flying out of CLT, primarily because of the presence of Southwest Airlines in Raleigh?

The recent announcement that Southwest will begin servicing both Greenville/Spartanburg SC and Charleston SC early next year next should bring some relief from the high airfares that Charlotte & Asheville are notorious for.

I was wondering if any of you have found a dramatic difference in airfares between flying into Raleigh vs. flying into Charlotte?

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Old 06-06-2010, 12:49 PM
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Yes. In most cases it is dramatically cheaper to catch a flight out of RDU instead of getting one out of the US Airways fortress that we have here in Charlotte. However it doesn't have that much to do with Southwest. Prices there dropped a lot after American shut down its hub there and as a result, there was a lot more competition for O&D traffic. Southwest moved in because it was a good business opportunity for them.

It's too bad it's close to a 3 hour drive to get there. Southwest coming to Charleston and GSU won't have any affect on Charlotte prices if SW doesn't fly to Charlotte.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:02 PM
Location: Ayrsley
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I fly every week out of CLT and fares can vary wildly....however, the one perk is that you can get a direct flight pretty much anywhere out of CLT, whereas flights in RDU are more likely to involve a connection. So when looking at fares, if its cheaper out of RDU, factor in the fact that you will likely have a connection, as well as the drive time to and from RDU.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:42 AM
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If you buy your ticket far enough in advance, usually 2-3 weeks, you should be able to get a comparable price at CLT versus RDU for most destinations. I fly out of CLT usually at least 2-3x a month and see this. I'm also not one to drive almost 3 hours to save $200 either. Isn't worth the time to me. As others mentioned, the fact that you can get a non-stop flight to almost anywhere in the country from CLT is quite convenient. Also, when buying tickets, I recommend doing so on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Fares are usually less expensive on those days.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:40 PM
Location: Chandler, AZ
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Since GSP is only 80-something miles from Charlotte, I do hope that Southwest's presence will result in lower airfares for those of you who choose to drive down there if the price is right.

I also don't expect airfares into CLT to drop because of SWA's entrance into GSP (but it would be nice for you folks); Cincinnati fell from first to second among the nation's most expensive airports (drum roll for Huntsville, Al. please!) in 2009.

Of course, Cincy happens to be surrounded by three Southwest cities within 100 miles (Indianapolis/Louisville/Columbus), but their airfares, much like Charlotte's, have remained at nosebleed-inducing levels for ages and ages, costing both airports and nearby merchants tons of revenues.

At least residents of GSP & Charleston can look forward to some dramatically lower airfares next year, thanks to the 'Southwest effect'.
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