Travel gage, a search-engine devoted to looking up the lowest costs on airfares is probably one of many available via the web but what sets it apart is a nifty tool that tells users how expensive is it to fly from one's hometown. averaged what it costs a family of four to fly from one's home city and came up with a number for some of the most popular cities in the US. " That number was compared with the average cost-of-living in that city based on the U.S. Department of Labor statistics. An index rating below 1.00 for a city indicates the Travel Price Index is lower than the cost-of-living there; a rating above 1.00 shows the Index is higher than the cost-of-living".The index called travelnomics labels cities that come in at less than 1.0 as "very affordable" and from 1.12 and above as expensive.

Interstingly, New York City was one of the lowest in the list with an index number of 0.57 and Los Angeles came in at 0.80 and San Francisco at 0.71. Many major (but smaller relative to NYC) cities exceeded the national average with Houston leading the pack at 1.30 and Salt Lake City at 1.24. A probable explanation for the anomaly, fewer flights out of cities like Salt Lake and Houston as compared to LA and NYC ensuring less competition. In today's adverse economic climate, the gage likely is a useful tool for individuals and corporations planning air travel.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.