I'm most likely attending the February admitted student open house...what is the best city/airport to fly to in terms of convenience and COST? Currently living in North Carolina fyi...
There are a lot of places to fly into. Where you want to go depends on how far you want to drive once you get to Illinois. Cheapest is usually Chicago, second cheapest, and much closer, is usually Bloomington.
1. Chicago (ORD or MDW) is usually (a lot) cheaper than the closer regional airports, but you'll end up driving 3+ hours from either airport to get down here.
2. Champaign (CMI) is incredibly convenient, a 10 minute drive from the school. I think most of the flights coming into Champaign involve a transfer in Chicago (and a 30 minute flight from there to here).
3. Bloomington (BMI) is more popular because it tends to be cheaper, is a nice small airport with free parking (most flights I've taken out of there are Delta with a changover in Atlanta or Detroit) and it's less than an hour drive from Champaign.
4. Another option is Indianapolis (IND), I've never been there personally but have a lot of friends who have flown out of there - it's a nice, fairly new airport, but farther away. You're looking at a 2 hour drive to get to Champaign.
5. Peoria and Springfield (PIA and SPI) also have small regional airports, but those tend to be equally as expensive as flying directly into Champaign in my experience. Both are a little less than a 2 hour drive away.