Air Fares

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1st-Quarter 2018 Air Fare Data

Release Number: 
BTS 35-18

Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

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First quarter 2018 average domestic itinerary air fare: $346

  • Down 3.7 percent from 1Q 2017 ($360)
  • Down 1.1 percent from 4Q 2017 ($350)

Averages adjusted for inflation.

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Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, BTS Air Fares, Origin and Destination Survey

Itinerary Fares: Round-trips but includes one-ways if no return is purchased.
Trips: One-way, 39 percent ($253); round-trip, 61 percent, ($413)
 
Fare calculations by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)
Total ticket value: The price charged by airlines at time of ticket purchase.
Included: Additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at time of ticket purchase.
Not included: Fees for optional services, such as baggage fees.

Inflation-Adjusted Air Fares (Constant 2018 dollars)

Unadjusted 1Q Fares (current dollars)Inflation-Adjusted 1Q Fares (2018 $)
1995297490
1996284456
1997283442
1998305468
1999332501
2000340498
2001348492
2002320448
2003319434
2004320428
2005301391
2006323404
2007318388
2008333391
2009314368
2010328376
2011356399
2012373407
2013378406
2014382405
2015388411
2016361379
2017352360
2018346346
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Origin and Destination Survey

1Q 2018 fare ($346):
Same Quarter: Down 30.9 percent from the highest 1Q fare, $501 in 1999
All Quarters: Down 30.9 percent from the highest fare for any quarter, $501 in 1Q 1999
Start of BTS records: Down 29.2 percent from 1Q 1995
Recent low: Up 1.9 percent from 3Q 2017 ($340)
Recent high: Down 16.3 percent from 4Q 2014 ($414)

Other Revenue: In recent years, airlines obtained additional revenue from passenger fees, as well as from other sources. U.S. passenger airlines collected 73.3 percent of total revenue from passenger fares during 1Q 2018, down from 87.6 percent in 1995.

1Q2018 fare ($346):
Trend: Decreased from previous quarter
Same Quarter: Down 10.8 percent from the highest 1Q fare, $388 in 2015
All Quarters: Down 12.4 percent from the highest fare for any quarter, $396 in 2Q2014
Start of BTS records: Up 16.7 percent from 1Q 1995 (compared to 64.9 percent consumer price increase)
Recent low: Up 3.2 percent from 3Q2017 ($336)
Recent high: Down 12.4 percent from 2Q2014 ($396)
 

Fares by Airport

Originating Domestic Passengers1Q Fares (current dollars)
2M+335
1.5M-2M348
1M-1.5M319
500K-1M339
100K-500K371
50K-100K467
Top 100 Airports341
All Airports346
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Origin and Destination Survey

Highest: Six airports with between 50,000 and 99,999 originating ($467).
Lowest: 11 airports with 1.0 to 1.49 million originating passengers ($319).

Additional data: see Top 100 Airports or All Airports. Fares for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico airports are not included in rankings but are available on the web page. Second Quarter 2018 average fare data will be released Oct. 16.

Standard error: Results for average fares are based on the BTS Origin & Destination Survey, a 10 percent sample of airline tickets used during the quarter. Averages for airports with smaller samples may be less reliable.

All itinerary fares: standard error is 0.31.  The 90 percent confidence interval ranges from $345.97 to $347.00.
Round-trip fares: standard error is 0.39. The 90 percent confidence interval ranges from $413.19 to $414.47.
One-way fares: standard error is 0.40. The 90 percent confidence interval ranges from $252.63 to $253.95.
Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2018