Hubs or Local - Where to Board?

All of my stuff has been packed, it's loaded and on it's way to my new home. Being on the brink of living in a new place, questions are now in my mind on how to handle flights from here on out. While I'm well placed to take advantage of both Delta and American hubs, it also isn't exactly next door. Charlotte is a good 1.5 hours away by car and Atlanta is around 2 hours away, so is it worth it to drive to a hub every time and likely pay more for parking as well as gas to get to those hubs, or is the local airport a better option?

This is a question I have not yet been able to completely answer in my mind. On one hand the drive at either end is never something I look forward to. Nothing like a long flight home from overseas, then another 2 hours in the car before I can truly be back in my own house. Hubs tend to come with quite a few benefits though, more direct flights, lower fares, more flights to choose from and better services. On the down sides is the busier nature of the airport and surrounding area, with longer lines to deal with and security that is more likely to take forever.

On the other hand the local airport is quieter, closer by and likely cheaper to park at. Local airports mean less tired driving after a long flight, and I know the area better with little chance of major rush hour traffic around a major city like Atlanta. On the flip side comes higher prices for fares in most cases, rare exceptions do happen, but the question is if the higher fare offsets the other expenses of parking, tolls, gas and time.

This is likely not a question that I'll easily answer as a catch all. Best plan here is probably a case by case review. Short duration trips may be better on parking costs, and the layover in Atlanta would need to be considered. If I need to sit around Atlanta for 3 hours waiting for a connection to my local airport, then it is probably a good idea to just drive since it'll only take 2 hours to drive home.

Either way, I'm excited to try new flights from a new location on a new carrier. Do any of you deal with local airports more? I've dealt with Philadelphia as a hub for so long that my regional experiences have been fairly rare. What are your thoughts?


Rocket Scientist, Travel Junkie, and Ruler of the 4th Moon of Omicron Persei 8