You are here

2nd-Quarter 2013 Domestic Air Fare Down 3.6% from 2nd Quarter 2012 (Adjusted for Inflation)

Press Release Number: 
BTS 48-13
Date: 
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

PDF | Excel

Top 100 Airports: Highest Fares at Huntsville, Lowest Fares at Atlantic City

Domestic Air Fares


2nd Quarter Average Domestic Fares 1995-2013

The average domestic air fare decreased to $378 in the second quarter of 2013, down 3.6 percent from the average fare of $392 in the second quarter of 2012, measured in constant 2013 dollars (Table 1), the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. Huntsville, Ala., had the highest average fare, $547, while Atlantic City, N.J., had the lowest, $159 (Table 6).

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reports average fares based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares, unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value, which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees, such as baggage fees, paid at either the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or “zero fares,” or abnormally high reported fares.

The second-quarter 2013 fare was down 18.4 percent in constant 2013 dollars from the average fare of $463 in 1999, which was the highest of any second quarter, adjusted for inflation (Table 2).  The 18.4 percent decline took place while there was an increase in overall consumer prices of 40.5 percent. In the 18 years BTS began collecting air fare records in 1995, inflation-adjusted fares declined 16.9 percent compared to a 53.1 percent increase in overall consumer prices (Table 2). See BTS Air Fare web page for historic data.

U.S. passenger airlines collected 70.6 percent of their total revenue from passenger fares during the second quarter of 2013, down from 1990 when 87.6 percent of airline revenue was received from fares (Table 1A).

Quarter-to-Quarter Change
Over the past three years, from the second quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2013, inflation-adjusted fares decreased 0.6 percent (Table 3).

Air Fares in Unadjusted Dollars
Not adjusting for inflation, the $378 second-quarter 2013 average fare was the second highest average fare for any second quarter since 1995. The highest unadjusted second quarter fare was $385 in 2012 (Table 4).

Unadjusted second-quarter 2013 fares were down 0.3 percent from the first quarter of 2013 (Table 5). See Tables 13-16 for additional unadjusted fare data by airport.

Fares by Airport
Tables 6-8 provide fare data on the top 100 airports based on 2012 originating passengers. All figures are reported in 2013 dollars.

Table 6: Five highest and five lowest average fares in the second quarter: Huntsville had the highest average fare ($547) while Atlantic City had the lowest ($159). For the Top 100 Airports, see Table 10 on the BTS website.

Table 7: Five largest increases and five largest decreases in constant 2013 dollars from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013: Colorado Springs, Colo., had the largest increase (9.6 percent) and Bellingham, Wash., had the largest decrease (21.6 percent). For the Top 100 Airports, see Table 11 on the BTS website.

Table 8: Five largest increases and five largest decreases in constant 2013 dollars from the second quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2013: Newport News/Williamsburg, Va., had the largest increase (30.6 percent) and Bellingham had the largest decrease (55.2 percent). For the Top 100 Airports, see Table 12 on the BTS website.

For additional data, see Top 100 Airports, Rankings  or All Airports. Since average fares are based on the Origin and Destination Survey 10 percent ticket sample, averages for airports with smaller samples may be less reliable. Fares for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico airports are not included in rankings but are available on the web page. Third-quarter 2013 average fare data will be released in January.

 

Table 1. 2nd Quarter Average Fare 1995-2013, Adjusted for Inflation

Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

  Average Fare in 2013 dollars ($) Year-to-Year Percent Change in Average Fare (2Q to 2Q) (%) Cumulative Percent Change in Average Fare (2Q 1995 to 2Q of each year) (%)
1995 454 - -
1996 411 -9.6 -9.6
1997 422 2.6 -7.2
1998 431 2.3 -5.1
1999 463 7.3 1.8
2000 459 -0.7 1.1
2001 431 -6.1 -5.1
2002 413 -4.3 -9.2
2003 400 -3.1 -12.0
2004 381 -4.7 -16.2
2005 368 -3.3 -19.0
2006 393 6.8 -13.5
2007 365 -7.2 -19.8
2008 370 1.5 -18.5
2009 327 -11.8 -28.1
2010 365 11.7 -19.7
2011 382 4.8 -15.8
2012 392 2.4 -13.8
2013 378 -3.6 -16.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

 

Table 1A. Passenger Airline Revenue from Fares 1990-2013

Year Revenue from Passenger Fares as Percent of Total Scheduled Passenger Airline Revenue* (%)
1990 87.6
1995 85.6
2000 84.1
2001 82.7
2002 82.3
2003 79.5
2004 76.6
2005 75.0
2006 74.4
2007 74.3
2008 72.9
2009 70.2
2010 71.3
2011 71.0
2012 70.3
2013 (1Q) 70.1
2013 (2Q) 70.6
2013 (1Q+2Q) 70.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, P-12

* Scheduled passenger airline total revenue is the sum of the following Schedule P12 accounts with account numbers: Reservation cancellation fees (3919.1), Baggage fees (3906.2), Miscellaneous Operating Revenue (3919.2), Transport-Related Revenue (4898) and Passenger Revenue (Fares) (3901).

 

Table 2. Percent Changes to 2013 in Average Domestic Average Fares and the Inflation Rate* by Year Since 1995

(2nd Quarter to 2nd Quarter for fares; Jun to Jun for inflation)

Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Since 2nd Quarter of ... Duration in Years Average Fare in 2013 dollars ($) Percent Change in Average Fare to 2nd Quarter 2013 (%) Inflation Rate Change to Jun 2013
2013   378    
2012 1 392 -3.6 1.8
2011 2 382 -1.3 3.4
2010 3 365 3.4 7.1
2009 4 327 15.6 8.3
2008 5 370 2.0 6.7
2007 6 365 3.5 12.1
2006 7 393 -4.0 15.1
2005 8 368 2.5 20.1
2004 9 381 -0.9 23.1
2003 10 400 -5.6 27.1
2002 11 413 -8.5 29.8
2001 12 431 -12.4 31.2
2000 13 459 -17.8 35.4
1999 14 463 -18.4 40.5
1998 15 431 -12.4 43.3
1997 16 422 -10.4 45.7
1996 17 411 -8.1 49.0
1995 18 454 -16.9 53.1

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Rate calculated using Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index

 

Table 3. Inflation-Adjusted Average Domestic Airline Fares by Quarter

Average Fare and Percent Change by Quarter

Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Quarter/Year Average Domestic Fare (2013$)
Average Fare in Constant 2013 dollars ($) Quarter-to-Quarter Percent Change in Average Fare (%)
2Q 2010 365 3.7
3Q 2010 363 -0.5
4Q 2010 357 -1.8
1Q 2011 372 4.2
2Q 2011 382 2.9
3Q 2011 371 -2.9
4Q 2011 381 2.7
1Q 2012 379 -0.5
2Q 2012 392 3.2
3Q 2012 370 -5.4
4Q 2012 381 2.7
1Q 2013 380 -0.2
2Q 2013 378 -0.6

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

Note: Fares for the most recent four quarters are in current dollars, not adjusted for inflation.

 

Table 4. Unadjusted 2nd Quarter Average Fares, 1995-2013

Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

  Average Fare in current dollars ($) Year-to-Year Percent Change in Average Fare (2Q to 2Q) (%) Cumulative Percent Change in Average Fare (2Q 1995 to 2Q of each year) (%)
1995 297    
1996 276 -7.1 -7.1
1997 289 5.0 -2.5
1998 301 4.0 1.4
1999 329 9.4 11.0
2000 339 3.0 14.3
2001 329 -3.1 10.7
2002 318 -3.3 7.1
2003 315 -1.1 6.0
2004 309 -1.6 4.3
2005 307 -0.9 3.3
2006 342 11.4 15.1
2007 325 -4.7 9.6
2008 347 6.6 16.9
2009 302 -13.0 1.7
2010 341 12.9 14.8
2011 370 8.5 24.6
2012 385 4.1 29.7
2013 378 -1.9 27.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

 

Table 5. Unadjusted Average Domestic Airline Fares by Quarter

Average Fare and Percent Change by Quarter

Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Quarter/Year Average Domestic Fare (current$)
Average Fare in current dollars ($) Quarter-to-Quarter Percent Change in Average Fare (%)
2Q 2010 341 3.8
3Q 2010 340 -0.3
4Q 2010 335 -1.5
1Q 2011 356 6.3
2Q 2011 370 3.9
3Q 2011 361 -2.4
4Q 2011 368 2.1
1Q 2012 373 1.2
2Q 2012 385 3.2
3Q 2012 367 -4.6
4Q 2012 374 1.9
1Q 2013 379 1.2
2Q 2013 378 -0.3

SOURCE: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

 

Table 6. Airports with Highest and Lowest U.S. Domestic Average Itinerary Fares 2nd Quarter 2013

Top 100 Airports* Based on 2012 U.S. Originating Domestic Passengers

Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Rank Origin 2nd Quarter 2013 ($)
  Highest Average Fares  
1 Huntsville, AL 547
2 Cincinnati, OH 518
3 Houston Bush, TX 492
4 Washington Dulles 480
5 Memphis, TN 476
  Average Fare at All Airports 378
  Lowest Average Fares  
1 Atlantic City, NJ 159
2 Bellingham, WA 210
3 Long Beach, CA 237
4 Las Vegas, NV 257
5 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 275

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Not including Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico

 

Table 7. One-Year Change by Airport: Top 5 Airport Percentage Increases and Decreases in U.S. Domestic Average Itinerary Fare, 2nd Quarter 2012 to 2nd Quarter 2013

Top 100 Airports* Based on 2012 U.S. Originating Domestic Passengers, Fares Adjusted for Inflation

Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Rank Origin 2nd Quarter 2012 (2013$) 2nd Quarter 2013 (2013$) Percent Change (%)
  Largest Increases      
1 Colorado Springs, CO 405.70 444.68 9.6
2 Huntsville, AL 512.72 547.49 6.8
3 Milwaukee, WI 333.73 351.67 5.4
4 White Plains, NY 364.64 383.28 5.1
5 Atlanta, GA 372.98 383.05 2.7
  Average Fare at All Airports 391.56 377.56 -3.6
  Largest Decreases      
1 Bellingham, WA 267.28 209.62 -21.6
2 Charleston, SC 464.62 394.79 -15.0
3 Providence, RI 385.10 342.25 -11.1
4 Las Vegas, NV 286.06 257.01 -10.2
5 Islip, NY 312.41 281.73 -9.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Not including Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

 

Table 8. 13-Year Change by Airport: Top 5 Percentage Increases and Decreases in U.S. Domestic Average Itinerary Fare, 2000-2013

Top 100 Airports* Based on 2012 U.S. Originating Domestic Passengers, Fares Adjusted for Inflation

Fares are based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Rank Origin 2nd Quarter 2000 (2013$) 2nd Quarter 2013 (2013$) Percent Change (%)
  Largest Increases      
1 Newport News/Williamsburg, VA 319.39 417.13 30.6
2 Dallas Love, TX 236.29 290.80 23.1
3 Reno, NV 302.84 352.41 16.4
4 Houston Hobby, TX 296.78 336.65 13.4
5 Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena, CA 252.19 284.82 12.9
  Average Fare at All Airports 459.37 377.56 -17.8
  Largest Decreases      
1 Bellingham, WA 467.81 209.62 -55.2
2 White Plains, NY 772.76 383.28 -50.4
3 Atlantic City, NJ 303.05 159.41 -47.4
4 Long Beach, CA 442.95 236.82 -46.5
5 Denver, CO 599.16 323.72 -46.0

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Not including Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

 

For air fares for the following airports, go to http://apps.bts.gov/xml/atpi/src/index.xml

Multiple airport areas for which a single average fare calculation is available are: Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

Airports covered by average fare calculations are:

Alabama: Birmingham, Huntsville

Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson

Arkansas: Little Rock

California: Burbank, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles Intl, Oakland, Ontario/San Bernardino, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana (Orange County)

Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver

Connecticut: Hartford

District of Columbia: Dulles, Reagan National

Florida: Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Tampa, West Palm Beach

Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah

Idaho: Boise

Illinois: Chicago Midway, Chicago O'Hare

Indiana: Indianapolis

Iowa: Des Moines

Kansas: Wichita

Kentucky: Lexington, Louisville

Louisiana: New Orleans

Maine: Portland

Maryland: Baltimore

Massachusetts: Boston

Michigan

Detroit, Grand Rapids

Minnesota: Minneapolis/St. Paul

Mississippi: Jackson/Vicksburg

Missouri: Kansas City, St. Louis

Nebraska: Omaha

Nevada: Las Vegas, Reno

New Hampshire: Manchester

New Jersey: Atlantic City, Newark

New Mexico: Albuquerque

New York: Albany, Buffalo, Islip, New York JFK, New York LaGuardia, Rochester, Syracuse, White Plains

North Carolina: Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh/Durham

Ohio: Akron/Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton

Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa

Oregon: Portland

Pennsylvania: Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

Rhode Island: Providence

South Carolina: Charleston, Greenville-Spartanburg

Tennessee: Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville

Texas: Austin, Dallas Love, Dallas/Ft. Worth, El Paso, Houston Bush, Houston Hobby, San Antonio

Utah: Salt Lake City

Vermont: Burlington

Virginia: Norfolk, Richmond

Washington: Bellingham, Seattle, Spokane

Wisconsin: Madison, Milwaukee