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Customers say cost is important when they book a flight – but a nearby local airport is desired

A survey of customers who have booked holidays through has revealed that although cost is the most important factor when choosing to book a flight, the option to fly from a local airport is almost as important.

Customers were asked to pick what they consider to be the most important factor when booking flights from a list of options.

Cost was the choice of nearly half of respondents to the survey (44%), but over one third of people stated that the location of the departure airport was the most important factor for them.

Despite a lot of recent hype by airline companies, the option to check-in via the internet is not a feature desired by air travellers. None of the survey respondents claimed this was a major influence when booking a flight.

The full survey results are as follows:

Question: When you book a flight, which of the following is the most important factor?

Cost – 44%
Location of departure airport – 37%
Time of flight – 11%
Option to choose seat – 4%
Reputation of airline – 4%
Option to check-in on the internet – 0%

Paul Reeve of said: “When we carried out the survey we fully expected cost to be the defining factor, but we have noticed a change in the behaviour of our customers over the last few years, following the mass expansion of local airports in the UK.”

“People are now very used to being able to fly to their favourite holiday destinations from their nearest airport.”

“The days when holidaymakers from the north of England were willing to waste a day of their annual leave just to get to Heathrow Airport are long gone.”

The notion that local airports support a limited number of destinations is out-of-date. For example, within less than two hours there are flights from Manchester to Toronto, Hamburg, Dublin, Venice, Ibiza, Istanbul and Bratislava, as well as other destinations.

There are 20 main local airports across the UK offering travellers regular flights to the most popular holiday destinations.

The local UK airports continue to expand, with Doncaster-Sheffield Robin Hood Airport the most recent of the non-London airports to report record passenger numbers.

Paul continues: The option to cut down travelling time by flying from an airport near to home is especially important to people taking family holidays with small children. Many people will simply choose another holiday destination rather than have to travel from a less convenient airport.”

The survey was featured in the newsletter “Dash” which is distributed monthly to 20,000 subscribers. “Dash” holiday newsletter offers readers holiday tips, resort guides, updates on the tourism sector and special offers exclusive to readers.

Go to the homepage at to sign up for the “Dash” holiday newsletter.

Holidays-Direct is part of the Midlands Co-op Travel Group and is an online resources for researching and booking holiday flights and accommodation for destinations all around the world. is just one of a network of specialist holiday websites. The others are – – advice on choosing and booking citybreaks in New York and cities across Europe. – the ski team have over 100 years ski travel experience between them and share their expertise in booking family and group ski holidays. – a portal with information and great rates for worldwide cruise holidays.

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