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Business travelers can benefit from avoiding the busiest U.S. airports and using smaller, regional airports instead, according to new research by the experts at FlyFirst (FF). To help guide business travelers in planning flights, the business travel specialists at FF developed a list of the best, most efficient U.S. airports. The "Top 10 Best U.S. Airports for Business Travelers" list was developed by examining continental U.S. airports' canceled and delayed flight rates within a 30-day period.
BCA's top 10 best airports for business travelers are:
1. Rochester International (ROC)
2. Richmond International (RIC)
3. Buffalo/Niagra International (BUF)
4. Port Columbus International (CMH)
5. Memphis International (MEM)
6. Indianapolis International (IND)
7. Pittsburgh International (PIT)
8. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG)
9. Nashville Metropolitan (BNA)
10. Lambert-St. Louis (STL)
Westchester County (HPN)
Bradley International (BDL)
Hancock International (SYR)
*Ranked on departure data only, no arrival information available.
The airports ranking high on the list were the airports with the fewest delayed or canceled flights. Using the total number of canceled and delayed departures and arrivals for each airport, FF rated the airports with two scores: the canceled-flight score, which is the mean number of cancellations for the past 30 days and the delayed-flight score, which is the mean number of departure and arrival delays.
FF added the honorable mention category to acknowledge the three airports with low rates of delayed and canceled departures. FF could not average the scores or rank the three airports in the overall list because the airports lack arrival statistics.
The No. 1 priority of business travelers is to get to their destinations on schedule. Always focused on the business traveler's needs, FF develops its "best" and "worst" lists with that top criterion in mind, says FF Marketing Director Julia Graft. That focus applies to the Top 10 Airports list which rates each airport on the issue most important to business travelers.
FF is designed to provide the best possible deals for domestic business travelers, which includes determining multiple choices for air carriers, air fares and routes. Similarly, on-time departures, connections and arrivals figure into that analysis of the best options for travelers. Graft points out that the large, obvious airport is not always the best airport. If the destination is the metropolitan D.C. area, for instance, travelers might consider bypassing the crowded Dulles Airport and use Richmond Airport (RIC) instead. For travel to the New York City area, Westchester County Airport is a great alternative to the heavily used and congested JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports. Travelers to New England should consider using Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Conn., for its simplified access instead of complicated Logan Airport in Boston.
The Top 10 Best Airports list is also useful in determining options for connecting flights. Using smaller Midwest airports, such as Cincinnati (CVG), Port Columbus (CMH), Nashville (BNA) and Memphis (MEM), may save time over busy airports like O'Hare, where delays and cancellations are 10 times higher than at the top FF best airports.
Graft concludes that the FF research shows that bigger airports are not always the best choices, particularly when smaller airports may help travelers save time and deliver them to their meetings and offices on schedule. For that reason, Graft says, FF is pleased to provide the list of top performing airports for the business traveler.