Do you prefer to fly out of San Antonio, or Austin?

City's air service under microscope ahead of mayoral races

SAN ANTONIO – When you fly, do you compare prices between San Antonio and Austin?

How often does the Capital City woo you away from the convenience and comfort of the Alamo City?

Surprisingly, it’s more than one might think, considering the congestion on Interstate 35, the traffic in Austin and the hour-and-a-half drive to get there.

According to, in 2015 Austin-Bergstrom International Airport ranked 16th on a national list of popular airports throughout the country. Its rank improved from 54 just the year before. reported the average airfare from Austin came in at $293.

In comparison, San Antonio ranked 71st on that 2015 list. It did improve from the 83rd spot the year before. The average flight, according to the website, cost $434.

Price is a driving force for the airport popularity among the two competing Texas cities.

(The map below shows direct flights from San Antonio and Austin. San Antonio is the red peg, with the blue airplanes as direct flights. Austin is the green peg, with yellow airplanes as its direct destinations. Use the menu feature on the top left of this map to add or subtract a layer to view the destinations.)

Politics plays a role

Wednesday, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff formally announced his support for Mayor Ivy Taylor in her upcoming re-election bid.

He said that it’s important to carry on the job that they have both worked on together for years. He hopes that he can continue working with her on projects such as improving air service from San Antonio.

“We’re hurting, I must tell you,” he said emphatically outside of City Hall after his endorsement announcement.

“Are you paying more for a flight on some flight out of San Antonio than you would out of Austin? Yes you are,” he said. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of it, and if we don’t, we’re going to continue to get hurt by a lack of good air service.”

Wolff said that long term, the framework for a regional airport is being put into place with a mission statement and a task force assigned to study the issue.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff endorses Ivy Taylor in re-election bid

He warned that it’s important to start now, though, because a project like that won’t be realized for another 20 to 25 years.

Airports like to pride themselves on the number of direct routes offered. This week, San Antonio announced a new direct destination to Toronto. However, the airport has struggled recently with the demise of several direct flights to Mexico. Currently, San Antonio International Airport offers direct flights to more than 30 destinations throughout Texas and the United States.

In contrast, Austin-Bergstrom offers direct flights to more than 50 locations in Texas, the United States and the world. Currently, it offers direct international flights to London and Frankfurt.