NYTimes blog names XNA most expensive mid-size airport in U.S.

According to a recent post by NY Times blogger Nate Silver, the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) is the most expensive mid-size airport in the country.

Mid-size airports, according to the data provided by Silver, are characterized as those ranked #51-100 in origin and departure traffic.

His calculations landed XNA at the most expensive on his list, with an average fair markup of $158 per ticket.

From the report:

Perhaps the most unfairly priced airport in America is Northwest Arkansas Regional in Fayetteville. Economy-class round trip tickets cost an average of $527 there, $158 above fair rates.

Silver blamed the high prices at XNA on its proximity to the world’s largest retailer, just down the road from the airport in Bentonville.

The reason, no doubt, is because the traffic there is dominated by business travelers on their way to and from the headquarters of Wal-Mart in nearby Bentonville. Although Wal-Mart is famous for its sensitivity to prices, and has saved consumers billions of dollars over the years, its pricing power evidently does not extend to the air fares its executives and clients have to cough up.