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If you need to get out of town quickly, there’s nothing like having a convenient airport. Trenton is blessed to have our own “hidden airport,” the Trenton Mercer Airport, just a 15 minute drive from downtown. Sure, it’s essentially a bus terminal with planes, but it’s a great deal and a terrific way to save some money if you’re reasonably flexible about your travel.
In our area, the Trenton airport has become synonymous with Frontier Airlines, the only commercial airline that flies out of TTN. Frontier is a “discount” airline, where the low fare gives you only a no-frills seat on the plane to your destination. If you want to select your seat, you’ll pay extra (including the option to sit with a little or a lot more leg-room). Carry-ons that can’t be stowed below your seat are an extra charge, as are checked bags (so pack light to save!). You’ll pay for the sodas you drink, and even if you want to sit in a seat with a “laptop-friendly” tray table (and trust me, there’s no way you are fitting a laptop on the non-friendly tables!). Why on earth would you agree to all these add-ons that are so often offered for free by larger airlines? By flying Frontier, you only have to pay for what you want. If you’re doing a two-day trip to Chicago and don’t need a carry-on and don’t care how big your seat is, you might be able to catch a flight for $29 each way. There simply isn’t a better bargain out there.
Even parking is cheaper at the Trenton Mercer Airport. You can currently expect to spend $8/day to park right in front of the terminal, which makes the $11/day at Philly International’s economy lot feel incredibly steep. And the terminal is small enough that there is never much of a wait at security–so you can budget much less time for your trip than you would by flying out of Newark or Philly, not to mention the time savings you get by not driving an hour to either of those two airports.
On Frontier, at the time of this writing, you can get to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, various locations in Florida, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, and Saint Louis. There are often discounts offered on Frontier’s website, with fares as low as $19 each way. What’s the downside? Many of the flights run only once a day (or less) to each destination–meaning that if your flight to Cleveland gets cancelled or delayed, you might not be able to catch another one for a day or two. Since there aren’t other airlines to switch to at the terminal, you’ll be out of luck. That said, with only one airline, the Trenton airport doesn’t really get congested, so you’re slightly more likely to suffer those delays at your destination’s airport than you are in Trenton.
If you’re into amenities, this isn’t the place to go. But if you want a cheap flight and the extraordinary convenience of an airport 15 minutes from you house, then you’ll be sure to find yourself at TTN.