In news that is bound to delight low-cost airlines, a survey released this week has found that flying to "alternative" airports - i.e. not a city's major hub - may actually be better for our health.

Nearly 2,400 US travelers were asked earlier this year about their experience of flying through alternative airports and a whopping 77 percent of them said that they were less stressed out by the experience than by flying through a major airport.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey was conducted by an alternative airport, Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), which brands itself as an alternative to Chicago's O'Hare (ORD).

Nonetheless, it threw up some interesting results, with only 19 percent of the respondents saying that they bothered to search for alternative airports for their destination.

That's despite the fact that 70 percent of travelers consider "low fares" the most decisive factor when booking a flight - and budget airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair regular choose alternative airports as they tend to charge lower fees than mainstream hubs (Mitchell Airport claims its airfares are, on average, $108/€75 less than O'Hare).

A blog post by travel expert Pete Greenberg even found that alternatives generally perform better when it comes to sticking to schedule, with New York's MacArthur, Miami's West Palm Beach, and San Francisco's Oakland all considerably more punctual than their larger counterparts.

Of course, there is often a good reason an airport is an alternative - fly into London Luton, for instance, and it's considerably harder to get to the center of London than it is from London Heathrow or London City Airport.

However with the growth in low-cost airlines, it seems alternative airports are likely to play an ever-greater role in the way we travel - and it turns out that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

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