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Domestic U.S. Airfares Fell to Record Low in 2018

In 2018 domestic U.S. airfares fell to their lowest level since records began being kept in 1995, according to new research from credit card comparison site CompareCards.com. The average domestic itinerary airfare that year was $350, down 1.8 percent from the previous low of $356 in 2017. 

At the same time, the cost of flying has not decreased everywhere. According to the report, the average airfare at 19 of the 100 largest U.S> airports actually increased year-over-year. The airports with the largest average airfare increases were:

  1. Chicago – Midway: The average airfare rose 6.58 percent to $306.36.
  2. Long Beach Airport: The average airfare rose 4.8 percent to $216.14.
  3. Chicago O’Hare: The average airfare rose 4.2 percent to $339.36. 
  4. Dallas – Fort Worth: The average airfare rose 3.2 percent to $384.35. 
  5. James M. Cox - Dayton International: The average airfare rose 3 percent to $421.64. 

The airports with the largest average airfare decreases, on the other hand, were:

  1. Long Island MacArthur: The average airfare fell 18.2 percent to $261.18. 
  2. Syracuse Hancock International: The average airfare fell 11.1 percent to $386.85. 
  3. Portland International Jetport: The average airfare fell 10.1 percent to $364.69. 
  4. Jacksonville International: The average airfare fell 8.4 percent to $361.39. 
  5. Savannah – Hilton Head: The average airfare fell 8 percent to $378.65. 

The most expensive U.S. airports were:

  1. Dane County Regional – Truax Field, down 6.8 percent to an average airfare of $462.84. 
  2. Ted Stevens Anchorage International, up 2.3 percent to an average airfare of $451.61.
  3. McGhee Tyson, down 3.6 percent to an average airfare of $449.20. 
  4. Birmingham – Shuttlesworth International, down 5.3 percent to an average airfare of $444.61. 
  5. Piedmont Triad International, down 2.9 percent to an average airfare of $435.89. 

All told, average airfare costs fell in 81 of the largest 100 airports in 2018, with some exceptions. Chicago – Midway saw the largest uptick in average airfare, increasing 6.58 percent, while airfares at Chicago O’Hare jumped 4.2 percent. 

In general, flying out of the largest airports including Dallas - Fort Worth, Ronald Reagan Washington National, LaGuardia and Phoenix Sky Harbor International, was more costly in 2018 compared to 2017, according to the report. 

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