U.S. Airfares Lowest in Decades, but Fees Rising
The average fare for airline travel within the United States has hit the lowest level since the government started keeping track in 1995, after adjusting for inflation.
However, that doesn’t count fees that airlines add for things like checking a bag, getting a better seat or moving up in the boarding line.
Airlines get an increasing share of their revenue from those fees and from deals with credit card providers, helping them remain profitable.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Thursday that the average domestic itinerary was $343 in the third quarter of last year. The average round trip was $417, and the average one-way ticket was $249.
The overall figure of $343 is down $2 from the third quarter of 2017 and $7 lower than the second quarter of 2018.
Separately, Southwest Airlines said this week that the partial shutdown of the federal government will cost it $60 million in lost revenue during the first quarter.
Southwest said it has continued to see softer bookings that it blames on the shutdown, which ended officially on Jan. 25.
Delta Air Lines stood by a January estimate that it figures to lose $25 million in revenue from the shutdown. Other carriers have not provided estimates.Travel