Couple of years back, I was planning a trip to Bandipur National park in Karnataka. I was flying from Mumbai. As per internet search, the closest airport to Bandipur is Mysore (about 73km from Bandipur. Approx 1.5 hrs drive from airport). So I searched for a flight for 2 people from Mumbai to Mysore. I got a roundtrip fare of INR 18000 (approx USD 250). The flight was one stop via Bengaluru airport. Looking at this 1 stop flight via Bengaluru, I thought of checking the distance from Bengaluru airport to Bandipur. This was 286 km and approximate driving distance of 5hrs drive.
The driving distance from Bengaluru airport to Bandipur national park was acceptable to me. So the next step was to check the airfare from Mumbai to Bengaluru. This was approx 9500 (USD 120). That’s more than 50% saving on flight. Wow!! But that’s not it. Since Bengaluru airport is 286km (5hrs drive) and Mysore airport is 73km (1.5hrs drive), I still had to figure out the difference in taxi cost from Bengaluru airport to Bandipur and Mysore airport to Bandipur.
Mysore airport to Bandipur costs INR 2500 (approx USD 35) for taxi while Bengaluru airport to Bandipur costs INR 4000 (approx USD 50) for taxi. So my total cost to reach Bandipur via Mysore is INR 18000 + INR 2500 = INR 20500 (approx USD 285) whereas the same via Bengaluru costs me INR 9500 + 4000 = 13500 (approx USD 170). So I save more than 40% doing the trip via Bengaluru.
There is still one criteria we haven’t discussed yet. Mumbai to Mysore has a total flight time including layover of 4 hrs approx. Add another 1.5 hours drive to Bandipur. So the total travel time from Mumbai is approx 5.5 hrs. While the flight from Mumbai to Bengaluru is approx 1.45hrs. Adding 5 hrs drive to Bandipur makes the total travel time 6.45 hrs. It takes me 1 hour extra to reach Bandipur via Bengaluru and I save more than 40%. I think it’s no brainer!!
The logic we used above is to check the airfare from airports other than the closest airport and add the taxi fare to see which option is best. This could be applied to any place in the world. For e.g. Orlando, USA has its own airport. There is another airport Tampa which is 80miles or 1 hour drive to Orlando. Then there is a third airport, Fort Myres which is 160 miles or 3 hours drive to Orlando. One more popular airport is Miami which is 236 miles or 3.5 hours drive to Orlando. There is a reason why I included Miami in the list. Miami being a popular international tourist spot, you will have many flights operating to this city and hence you are likely to get a better airfare for this route. However, don’t forget to factor a taxi from these airports to Orlando.
You could also visit http://www.tripdarwin.com to know the combined fare including taxi from airport for the end to end journey from multiple nearby airports. For more information you could visit https://www.tripdarwin.com/faq#transport
I hope you save money on your next trip.