Study: Milwaukee’s airport ranks among worst for affordable international travel

O'Hare in Chicago ranks among best

Part or all of Concourse E could be converted into an international concourse.

Last updated on July 1st, 2019 at 04:12 pm

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport ranks among the worst major U.S. airports for affordable international flights in 2019, according to a report published today by Scott’s Cheap Flights.

The report lists the 10 airports that offered the most frequent, and the least frequent, deals on international flights last year. Milwaukee is included on the least frequent deals list at number 9.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Scott’s Cheap Flights is an email subscription service that finds and alerts its 1.6 million members to airfare deals. Annually, the company sends more than 7,000 deal alerts to U.S.-based members with deals at 150 airports, helping its members save an average of $550 per ticket, according to its website.

Scott’s recent study looked at commercial international airports in metro areas with a population of at least 1 million people. Its findings are based on the total number of deal emails Scott’s sent to members departing from those airports in the past year.

“The airports that received the highest number of deals per year were deemed to be the best airports for cheap international flights,” the company said. “And the airports that received the lowest number of deals were deemed to be the worst airports for cheap international flights.”

Milwaukee’s airport, which offers direct flights to Toronto, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and several cities in Mexico, had 44 deals last year.

A representative of Mitchell dismissed the study’s findings in an emailed statement.

“Unfortunately, these kinds of non-scientific, click-bait blogs are abundant and misleading and not an official source of airline fare data. While the airport continually pitches domestic and international flight opportunities to the airlines, choices made by Milwaukee’s travelers are the most important factor in determining how quickly our airport grows. Airlines add flights where passengers are boarding, and if local travelers choose Milwaukee for all of their flights, our community’s nonstop air service will grow.”

Ranking above Milwaukee was John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Colombus, Ohio, with 45 deals. Further down on the list were other small-to-mid-size airports including Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky; and Long Beach Airport in Long Beach California.

Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina ranked as the No. 1 worst airport for international travel, with 22 deals last year. By comparison, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York topped the list of the best airports, boasting 436 deals.

The report said Milwaukee-based travelers would find more deals at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which snagged the No. 6 spot on the best airports list and sees “more than six times the number of deals Milwaukee receives.”

It also cites Milwaukee as a “focus city” for Southwest Airlines, which could provide travelers with more opportunity to score discounts at the company’s larger domestic destinations, such as New York (LGA), Chicago (ORD), Detroit (DTW), Atlanta (ATL) and Minneapolis (MSP).

But the state of international travel out of Mitchell may soon improve.

Plans have been in the works for a new international arrivals terminal as part of a $50 million improvement project initially slated to be substantially complete by 2020.

In addition, Boyd Group International’s annual Airports:USA forecast indicates increased international flights are expected at large- to mid-size airports such as Milwaukee, Memphis, St. Louis and Kansas City.

That would happen as part of a predicted increase of nonstop flights to Europe from cities such as Albany, Grand Rapids, Columbus and Louisville by the end of 2024, according to the forecast.

Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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