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US Ticket Prices Hit a Record Low

US Ticket Prices Hit a Record Low
Scott Dylan

Do you feel like you’re paying less money than ever to fly?

The price of airfare in America technically just hit a new low. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics has revealed that the average fare has reached the lowest price level in close to 25 years. The numbers used by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics have been adjusted for inflation. Airline prices have been tracked by the government since 1995.

What are we looking at when it comes to ticket prices right now?

The average cost of a domestic ticket was $343 in 2018’s third quarter. That represents about a $2 drop from the third quarter of 2017. What’s more, it represents a $7 drop when compared to prices in the second quarter of 2018. The $343 figure accounts for all types of flights. The average price for a roundtrip ticket during the third quarter of 2018 was $417. The average price for a one-way ticket was $249.

You might be scratching your head upon hearing the news that airfare rates are lower than ever. In fact, the last ticket you booked might tell a different story entirely. There’s a reason for that. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics does not count fees that are added on by airlines when calculating and comparing all-time highs and lows. That means that fees for checked bags, seat upgrades, early boarding, assigned seating and refreshments aren’t put into the equation at all. Airlines are increasingly breaking apart features that used to come standard with tickets and using extra fees to generate revenue. Fees that go above and beyond the basic fare can add up to be close to the actual price of a ticket in some cases. The trend isn’t slowing down. More and more airlines are embracing the idea of offering bare-bones tickets that come with essentially zero perks and then charging for even the smallest conveniences. The rush to offer the lowest ticket could actually be costing passengers more when you put it all together.

We all know that there are opportunities out there to scoop up rock-bottom rates on fares during flash sales or promotional events. Budget carriers like Frontier and Southwest have opened up the possibility of quick, cheap getaways for more people with their cheap, no-frills tickets. However, the statistics released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics that cite 2018 as being the cheapest year for air travel on record are probably pretty skewed when you look at the total picture.

[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)


  1. OZFLYER86

    March 17, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    fares Australia to USA in low season are at lowest they’ve been since GFC. AUD$700 return(that’s around USD$496) return from Australian east coast to U.S. west coast & back !!!!

    We are also seeing insane fares to Europe. Airlines going broke everywhere as massive worldwide recession kicks in.

  2. musicman27pa

    March 17, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    I would love to see who crunched this data… With all the additional cash grabs for seats, luggage and prime time flights what I saw all year was higher prices in every category.

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