Lonely Planet Writer

Passengers warned of hidden costs landing miles away from cities

What’s in a name? Air passengers are finding out that claims they will be flying to a city can lead to costly disappointment when they land far, far away – in one case 131 miles and over two hours away.

People expect Robin Hood Airport to be in Nottingham, in fact it is close to Doncaster in the  next county
People expect Robin Hood Airport to be in Nottingham, in fact it is close to Doncaster in the next county Image by Ben Sutherland / CC BY 2.0

Airports that use the name of cities, despite the fact that they are literally miles away, are actually eating into your holiday time and cash, travellers have been warned.

However the fact that the landing areas are remote from a big city means the airport can charge the airlines which use them much less, thus lowering operational costs. That in turn helps the carriers to offer cheaper air fares.

The Daily Mail reports that Paris Vatry Airport is 131 miles away from the French capital and takes over two hours to get to the city by car.

It also points out that Frankfurt Hahn Airport is not near to the city and is in fact nearly an hour-and-a-half to the city centre.

The Mail also highlights the case of Robin Hood Airport. The assumption, because of its name, is that it is in Nottingham; in reality it is situated in the next county near Doncaster and it take a full hour to drive the 41 miles to the city on the banks of the Trent.

In Norway, Oslo-Torp airport, used by Ryanair and Norwegian, is 73 miles or almost an hour-and-a-half away from the capital though the name suggests it is nearby.

The co-founder of Skyscanner, Barry Smith, said people were often misled by the names of airports and the cheap fares on offer. However he warned that the low fares soon began to rise when the cost of bus, train or car transport was added into the equation.

Barcelona (Girona) and Barcelona (Reus) share a unique record – both landing sites are actually 58 miles from the centre of the city.

For those still reeling from Paris Vatry Airport’s isolation, there is some consolation that Paris (Beauvais) is a mere 54 miles – or an hour’s drive – from the Champs Elysees.