Domestic airfares drop 3.6% from last year

Complain all you want about the airlines but at least the fares are not on the rise.

When adjusted for inflation, domestic airfares dropped 3.6% in the April-through-June period, compared with the same period last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The average domestic fare--including round trips and one-way fares---during that period was $378, compared with the adjusted-for-inflation total of $392 for the same time in 2012, the bureau reported Wednesday.

Even when the fares were not adjusted for inflation, the average fare was down from the average of $385 in the second quarter of 2012, the bureau said.

But the fares don't include extra charges that passengers pay to check baggage, upgrade to roomier seats, connect to wireless Internet and buy food or drinks on board, among other expenses.

A study released in September found that 53 airlines around the globe collected $27.1 billion in extra passenger fees in 2012, a 20% increase over 2011, according to IdeaWorks Co., a Wisconsin consultant on airline fees.

The airport with the highest average domestic airfare was in Huntsville, Ala., where fares were $547. The lowest average airfare was $159 from Atlantic City, N.J., the Bureau of Transportation Statistics found.


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