More than half of holidaymakers aged over 50 see regional airports as their preferred departure option, according to new research.
A Saga Holidays poll of more than 10,300 over 50s found that 51% prefer to fly from regional airports, with 46% being prepared to pay more for the convenience.
Doncaster Sheffield, Exeter and Newcastle international were rated as the top regional airports.
Only one in five of those asked would rather fly from larger airports, including Heathrow and Gatwick.
Over half of respondents would change airline in order to fly from their preferred regional airport, the study found.
As many as one in four would not book a holiday package from a travel company if it did not offer flights from their regional airport and one in five would change their destination altogether.
Regional airports were seen as being closer to home and less busy while offering cheaper car parking and better transport links.
The poll revealed that 62% of respondents had flown from regional airports in the past three years.
Saga Holidays managing director, Maria Whiteman, said: “The over 50s have a passion for travel and an appetite for adventure, they want to explore the world and discover new and exciting destinations but they clearly want to do it in a way that is as stress-free and convenient as possible.
“Over recent years we have seen an unprecedented interest from customers who want to travel from their regional airports.
“Accounting for 58% of the UK’s travel and tourism spending, the overs 50s are an extremely important age group for the industry.
“We know how important it is to keep ahead of the trends and have been increasing the number of regional departures for our holidays to meet this increasing demand, we recently added just over 290 additional regional flight options for our customers.”
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