People often drive to Grand Junction or even Denver to catch flights, but Stewart said Montrose often has the best prices.
Stewart compared the cost of flying between Grand Junction or Montrose to 10 major airports, and found that the cost was cheaper from Montrose six out of 10 times. He searched Travelocity.com using the dates of Aug. 18 to Aug. 25 and found that flights to Houston, New York City, Chicago, Orlando, Tampa, and Atlanta were cheaper from Montrose than Grand Junction. He also found that flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and San Francisco were cheaper from Grand Junction.
Stewart said to get the best deals, the best time to book a flight is 21 days in advance and as much as three months ahead for holiday travel.
But airfare changes from day to day, and using Stewart’s criteria a week later yielded similar results, with five of the 10 flights cheaper out of Montrose, with some differences.
When Stewart checked round trip prices, a flight from Grand Junction to Dallas was cheaper than Montrose by $58, but a check a week later showed, the Montrose price had dropped and the difference was only $40 more out of Montrose.
That $40 can easily be eaten up expenses, Stewart said, making Montrose “an even better deal.”
“For a Montrose resident party of two flying out of Grand Junction, it is estimated to cost $47 more in gas, parking, time and other costs per person over and above the air tickets for their trip,” he said, based on a four-night stay.
But Montrose prices can go up, giving Grand Junction the price advantage. Stewart’s search for the August trip showed a roundtrip ticket to Houston cost $278 out of Grand Junction and $255 from Montrose. A week later, the same trip cost $282 from Grand Junction and $333 out of Montrose.
Prices for flights from Grand Junction to New York City also went up in the last week, from $320 to $378, while the Montrose price remained at $250. The fare from both cities to Washington D.C. was $290 a week ago, but dropped to $287 in Montrose.
Stewart said the 10 cities he did in his survey are among the top markets for Montrose and represent cities in various regions of the country.
Using the same dates as Stewart but checking on Cheaptickets.com showed that closer destinations vary for the two departure points. Flying to Phoenix from Grand Junction is about $40 cheaper than Montrose, but a flight to Las Vegas is about $20 cheaper from Montrose. On the other hand, a flight to Albuquerque from Grand Junction, at $159, is a big savings over the Montrose price of $255.
Deals can also be found in international travel, with roundtrip airfare to Mexico City at $233 from both Montrose and Grand Junction. A flight to London is also less expensive from Montrose, at $441 compared to $524 from Grand Junction. And if you’re going to Paris for that week in August, Grand Junction is a better choice, with a rate of $383 compared to $748 for Montrose.
But if Singapore is your destination, it’s far cheaper for the $700 roundtrip ticket from the Montrose airport, while the price from Grand Junction was listed at $1,035.
There may be competition between the airports, but prices fluctuate and, in the end, Stewart said travelers benefit from both airports because of “great and affordable air service access to and from hundreds of U.S. cities … that are served by Montrose and Grand Junction airports at very affordable rates.”