The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) quarterly Passenger Origin and Destination (O&D) Survey provides the data for the O&D Survey Airfare Index. Through this passenger survey, BTS collects data on a 10 percent sample of airline itineraries. Each sample observation comprises a fare value (actual fare paid, including tax), a sequence of airports and carriers, and other details of an itinerary traveled by a passenger or group of passengers.
The O&D Survey Index data presented here were developed only for research purposes by BTS statisticians, in consultation with researchers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This ongoing BTS research1 is aimed at developing a new method of computing price indices for air travel, based on transaction prices. The current official U.S. Consumer Price Index for commercial air travel is the BLS Airline Fare Index, but it does not reflect the full range of fares consumers pay.2
1 For a description of the experimental index estimation methodology, see Lent and Dorfman, “A Transaction Price Index for Air Travel,” 2003, available on request from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2 A description of the BLS estimation method is available on the BLS website at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifacaf.htm.