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2nd-Quarter 2010 Domestic Air Fares Increased 3.8% from 1st Quarter; Top 100 Airports: Highest Fare in Huntsville, Lowest Fare in Atlantic City

2nd-Quarter 2010 Domestic Air Fares Increased 3.8% from 1st Quarter; Top 100 Airports: Highest Fare in Huntsville, Lowest Fare in Atlantic City

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BTS 50-10
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Monday, November 1, 2010 - Average domestic air fares rose to $341 in the second quarter of 2010, up 3.8 percent from the average fare of $328 in the first quarter in the fourth consecutive increase from the previous quarter (Table 2), the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. During those four quarters, fares increased 13.1 percent after falling to a recent low of $301 in the second quarter of 2009.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reports average fares based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. 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 the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

The $341 second-quarter 2010 average fares were down 4.8 percent from the all-time high, not inflation-adjusted, of $358 in the third quarter of 2008. Second quarter 2010 average fares were up 13.1 percent from the post-9/11 second-quarter low of $301 in 2009, not adjusted for inflation. Adjusted for inflation, second-quarter 2010 fares in 1995 dollars were $238, down 21.1 percent from the average fare of $302 in the second quarter of 1999, the inflation-adjusted high for any second-quarter since 1995 (Table 1). BTS air fare records reach back to 1995. See BTS Air Fare web page for historic data.

Passenger airlines collected 70.9 percent of their total revenue from passenger fares during the first half of 2010. During the full year 2009, the percent of revenue from fares was 70.2 percent, down from 84.1 percent in 2000 (Table 1A).

Air fares in the second quarter of 2010 increased 0.5 percent since the second quarter of 2000, compared to an overall increase in consumer prices of 26.4 percent during that period (Table 6). In the 15 years from 1995, the first year of BTS air fare records, air fares rose 14.8 percent compared to a 42.9 percent inflation rate. In 1995 dollars, the average air fare in the second quarter of 2010 was $238, compared to $297 in 1995 and $300 in 2000 (Table 1).

See tables below for the following information about the top 100 airports based on 2009 originating passengers.

Table 3: Five highest and five lowest average fares in the second quarter: Huntsville, AL, had the highest average fare, $485, while Atlantic City, NJ, had the lowest, $178. For the Top 100 Airports, see Table 8  on the BTS website.

Table 4: Five largest increases and five largest decreases from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010: Charleston, SC, had the largest increase, 24.5 percent, and Grand Rapids, MI had the largest decrease, 6.0 percent. For the Top 100 Airports, see Table 9 on the BTS website.

Table 5: Five largest increases and five largest decreases from the second quarter of 2000 to the second quarter of 2010: Dallas Love had the largest increase, 47.0 percent, and White Plains, NY, had the largest decrease, 47.2 percent. For the Top 100 Airports, see Table 10 on the BTS website.

See the BTS Air Fare web page for average fares for the top 100 airports. Rankings can also be found on the BTS website . Fares for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico airports, which are not included in rankings, are available on the web page. Average fares for all airports are also available. 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.

Third-quarter 2010 average fare data will be released on Jan. 26, 2011.

Table 1: 2nd Quarter Average Fares 1995-2010 Compared to Inflation Rate

Fares based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. 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 the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Averages do not include frequent flyer fares.

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Average Domestic 2Q Fares ($) Percent change from previous year Percent change from 1995
Average Fares (2Q to 2Q) Inflation (Jun from previous Jun)* Cumulative Average Fares (2Q 1995 to 2Q of each year) Cumulative inflation rate (Jun of each year from Jun 1995)* Average Fare in 1995 dollars
1995 297     297
1996 276 -7.1 2.8 -7.1 2.8 268
1997 289 5.0 2.3 -2.5 5.1 275
1998 301 4.0 1.7 1.4 6.9 282
1999 329 9.4 2.0 11.0 9.0 302
2000 339 3.0 3.7 14.3 13.0 300
2001 329 -3.1 3.2 10.7 16.7 282
2002 318 -3.3 1.1 7.1 18.0 270
2003 315 -1.1 2.1 6.0 20.5 261
2004 309 -1.6 3.3 4.2 24.4 249
2005 307 -0.9 2.5 3.3 27.5 240
2006 342 11.4 4.3 15.1 33.0 257
2007 325 -4.7 2.7 9.6 36.6 238
2008 346 6.4 5.0 16.6 43.5 241
2009 301 -13.0 -1.4 1.5 41.4 213
2010 341 13.1 1.1 14.8 42.9 238

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Rate calculated using Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

Table 1A Passenger Airline Revenue from Fares 1990-2010 (through June)

Revenue from Passenger Fares as Percent of Scheduled Passenger Airline Total Revenue*

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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( thru 2Q) 70.9

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: Quarterly Change in Average Domestic Airline Fares

Percent Change by Quarter

Fares based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. 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 the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

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Average Domestic Fares
Avg Fare* ($) Pct. Change from Previous Quarter
3Q 2008 358 3.4
4Q 2008 345 -3.7
1Q 2009** 311 -9.8
2Q 2009 301 -0.7
3Q 2009 306 1.7
4Q 2009 319 4.2
1Q 2010 328 2.8
2Q 2010 341 3.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Average fares from 3Q 2008 to 1Q 2009 revised from July 29, 2009 release.

** Revised as of Nov. 2, 2010

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

Note: Quarter-to-quarter changes may be affected by seasonal factors.

Table 3: Highest and Lowest U.S. Domestic Average Itinerary Fares 2nd Quarter 2010

Top 100 Airports* Based on 2009 U.S. Originating Domestic Passengers

Fares based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. 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 the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

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Rank Origin 2nd Quarter 2010 ($)
  Highest Average Fares  
1 Huntsville, AL 485
2 Charleston, SC 461
3 Newark-Liberty, NJ 450
4 Knoxville TN 441
5 Memphis, TN 437
Average Fare at All Airports 341
Lowest Average Fares
1 Atlantic City, NJ 178
2 Long Beach, CA 241
3 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 249
4 Orlando, FL 251
5 Dallas Love, TX 256

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Not including Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

Table 4: Top 5 Increases/Smallest Decreases and Top 5 Decreases in U.S. Domestic Average Itinerary Fare, 2009 2010

Top 100 Airports* Based on 2009 U.S. Originating Domestic Passengers

Fares based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. 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 the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

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Rank Origin 2nd Quarter 2009 ($) 2nd Quarter 2010 ($) Percent Change
  Largest Increases      
1 Charleston, SC 371 461 24.5
2 Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 319 393 23.3
3 Manchester, NH 284 344 21.0
4 Greensboro/High Point, NC 333 401 20.7
5 Newark-Liberty, NJ 373 450 20.6
  Average Fare at All Airports 301 341 13.1
  Largest Decreases/Smallest Increases      
1 Grand Rapids, MI 403 379 -6.0
2 Atlantic City, NJ 185 178 -3.9
3 Milwaukee, WI 273 263 -3.6
4 Huntsville, AL 471 485 2.9
5 Pensacola, FL 372 386 3.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Not including Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

Table 5: Top 5 U.S. Domestic Average Itinerary Fare Increases and Decreases, 2001-2010

Top 100 Airports* Based on 2009 U.S. Originating Domestic Passengers

Fares based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. 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 the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

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Rank Origin 2nd Quarter 2000 ($) 2nd Quarter 2010 ($) Percent Change
  Largest Increases      
1 Dallas Love, TX 174 256 47.0
2 Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena, CA 186 261 40.3
3 Reno, NV 224 307 37.4
4 Lubbock, TX 230 315 37.2
5 Houston Hobby, TX 219 289 31.9
  Average Fare at All Airports 339 341 0.5
  Largest Decreases      
1 White Plains, NY 571 301 -47.2
2 Denver, CO 442 294 -33.5
3 Richmond, VA 480 346 -27.9
4 Milwaukee, WI 364 263 -27.7
5 Long Beach, CA 327 241 -26.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Not including Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

Table 6: Percent Changes to 2010 in Domestic Average Itinerary Fares and the Inflation Rate* by Year Since 1995

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

Fares based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. 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 the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

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Since 2nd Quarter... Duration in Years Average 2Q Itinerary Fare ($) Percent Change in Average Fare to 2nd Quarter 2010 Inflation Rate to Jun 2010
2010 - 341 - -
2009 1 301 13.1 1.1
2008 2 346 -1.6 -0.4
2007 3 325 4.7 4.6
2006 4 342 -0.3 7.4
2005 5 307 11.1 12.1
2004 6 309 10.1 14.9
2003 7 315 8.3 18.7
2002 8 318 7.2 21.2
2001 9 329 3.7 22.5
2000 10 339 0.5 26.4
1999 11 329 3.5 31.1
1998 12 301 13.2 33.7
1997 13 289 17.7 36.0
1996 14 276 23.5 39.1
1995 15 297 14.8 42.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

* Rate calculated using Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index

Note: Percent change based on unrounded numbers

For air fares for the following airports, go to http://www.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
Idaho: Boise
Illinois:Chicago Midway, Chicago O'Hare, Moline
Indiana: Indianapolis
Iowa: Des Moines
Kansas: Wichita
Kentucky: Louisville
Louisiana: New Orleans
Maine: Portland
Maryland: Baltimore
Massachusetts: Boston
Michigan:Detroit, Flint, 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
Tennessee: Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville
Texas: Austin, Dallas Love, Dallas/Ft. Worth, El Paso, Houston Bush, Houston Hobby, Lubbock, San Antonio
Utah: Salt Lake City
Vermont: Burlington
Virginia:Newport News/Williamsburg, Norfolk, Richmond
Washington: Seattle, Spokane
Wisconsin: Madison, Milwaukee