Travel News

Zero to zillions: How much does it cost to reach your airport?

Simon Calder’s Travel

This column is coming to you from a sunny Tuesday afternoon in the impeccably pretty lakeside town of Burlington, Vermont. Despite the clear blue sky and sunshine dappling Lake Champlain right now, and the allure of churches and cafés in this good-natured New England city, people are leaving town.

Twenty-four hours ago the Great American Eclipse cast Burlington briefly into mid-afternoon darkness, much to everyone’s delight. But now the cosmic circus has moved on, with the next performance scheduled for northwest Europe in 2026.

At Burlington’s ambitiously named “international” airport, the small jets to the big cities are lining up: Philadelphia, Chicago O’Hare, New York La Guardia…

As is common with minor regional airports in the US, fares are painfully high. On Friday, for example, the cheapest fare for the 90-minute hop to New York is $349 (£275). But at least reaching the airport will not trouble your bank balance. Throughout the state of Vermont, no fares are currently charged on any public transport. Green Mountain Transit’s bus 11 will take you out to the airport for free.

New England has another example of benevolence towards the airline passenger: the handy Silver Line bus from Logan airport will whisk you into central Boston for nothing – and even provide a free transfer to the Red Line for the north or south of the Massachusetts capital.

In Europe, the six miles from Luxembourg airport into the city are covered eight times an hour by free buses, and thanks to the remarkable national policy of zero fares everywhere, you can of course transfer anywhere you wish in the Grand Duchy.

Other countries are not so kind to airline passengers: many transport operators take the view that if you can afford a flight you’ll pay dearly to reach the airport. In my new survey of the UK’s 10 worst-value rail trips, half the journeys priced at £1 per mile or higher are airport links:

  • Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow Central – £2.10 per mile
  • Stansted airport to Stansted Mountfitchet – £1.31 per mile
  • Three Bridges to Gatwick airport – £1.15 per mile
  • Stansted airport to Bishop’s Stortford – £1.11 per mile
  • Stansted airport to Elsenham – £1 per mile

You will spot that these are all short journeys (typically three or four miles), which tend to be proportionately more expensive. But the Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…