I bet you can think of a million things you'd rather do than fly during the holidays. Between the surge in flight prices, weather delays, long security lines, and crowded planes, you'd almost rather stay home. But the quality time with your family and the delicious feast makes it all worth it.
But it doesn't have to be so bad if you know which lesser-known airports are viable alternatives. Some of these may be a bit of a drive from your final destination but at least you'll avoid the crowds. Keep these in mind when you book your flights for Christmas.
If you typically fly out of:
10. John F. Kennedy International (JFK)
Instead, try MacArthur Airport in Islip, New York. (ISP). It's on Long Island, just 50 miles from Manhattan. Southwest, American, and Elite Airways all fly through ISP.
9. Newark Liberty International (EWR)
Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) in Ewing, N.J is an airport that the military and civilians use. TTN is located 52 miles from Newark.
8. San Francisco International (SFO)
There's more than one airport in the Bay Area. Oakland International Airport (OAK) is only 20 miles from San Francisco.
7. Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH)
Try Houston's smaller airport, William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). It's only 11 miles from downtown. You can also try Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) or San Antonio International Airport (SAT).
6. Charlotte-Douglas International (CLT)
Charleston International Airport (CHS) in South Carolina is about a three-hour drive from Charlotte, North Carolina. JetBlue, Delta, Southwest, United, and American fly through CHS.
5. Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)
Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) is only 17 miles from DFW. Southwest, Delta and Virgin America fly through this nearby alternative.
4. Denver International (DEN)
Colorado Springs Airport (COS) isn't too far from Denver and you could pick a scenic route to make it more fun. American, United, Alaska, Delta, and Allegiant have service through COS.
3. Los Angeles International (LAX)
The security lines at LAX can extend outside on a regular basis. Try Long Beach Airport (LGB) or Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR) instead. JetBlue, Delta, United, and Southwest fly through both of these airports.
2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL)
Atlanta is another city where you may have to drive to if you use an alternate airport because there aren't any other major international airports nearby. Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) is 123 miles away, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) is 147 miles away, and Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) is 161 miles away.
And the worst airport for holiday flights is...
1. Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
Chicago Rockford International Airport is 73 miles away from ORD and Allegiant Air offers service there. Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) is just 21 miles away and Southwest flights fly in and out of it.