Air Travel Price Index - Box 6-A

Air Travel Price Index - Box 6-A

Air Travel Price Index (ATPI)

The BTS quarterly Passenger Origin and Destination Survey provides the data for the ATPI. Through this 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 ATPI data presented here were developed only for research purposes by BTS statisticians. This ongoing BTS research1 aims to develop a new method of computing price indexes for air travel, based on transaction prices. The current official U.S. Consumer Price Index for commercial air travel is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (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 from BLS.

2 A description of the BLS estimation method is available at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifacaf.htm.