U.S. Airline Traffic Data

First Quarter 2019 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

A man at a departure gate
First Quarter 2019 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

First quarter 2019 average domestic itinerary air fare: $353.

Adjusted for inflation, (constant 2019 dollars) the 1Q 2019 air fare was:

  • Up 0.3% from 1Q 2018 ($352)
  • Down 2.0% from 4Q 2018 ($361)
  • Down 15.5% from 1Q 2015 ($418)

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, BTS Air Fares, Origin and Destination Survey

Itinerary Fares: Round-trips, but includes one-way tickets if no return is purchased.

Breakout of trip types: one-way, 39% ($259); round-trip, 61%, ($421).

Fare calculations by BTS

Based on a random sample of 10% of the tickets.

Total ticket value: The price charged by airlines at time of ticket purchase.

Included: Additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at time of ticket purchase.

Not included: Fees for optional services, such as baggage fees.

Figure 1. Figure 1. U.S. Average Domestic Fares, 1st Quarter 1995-2019Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Origin and Destination Survey

Inflation-Adjusted Air FaresFirst Quarter 2019 fare ($353):Compared to All First Quarters: Down 30.7% from the highest 1Q fare, $510 in 1999Compared to All Quarters: Down 30.7% from the highest fare for any quarter, $510 in 1Q 1999Start of BTS records: Down 29.0% from 1Q 1995 ($498)Recent high: Down 16.0% from 2Q 2014 ($421)All-time low: Up 2.6% from 3Q 2018 ($344)

Other Revenue: In recent years, airlines obtained additional revenue from passenger fees, as well as from other sources. U.S. passenger airlines collected 72.9% of total operating revenue of $44.4 billion from passenger fares during the first three months of 2019, down from 88.5% in 1990.

Unadjusted Air Fares  First Quarter 2019 fare ($353):Trend: Down 1.6% from 4Q 2018 ($359)Compared to All First Quarters: Down 9.0% from the highest 1Q fare, $388 in 2015Compared to All Quarters: Down 10.7% from the highest fare for any quarter, $396 in 2Q 2014Start of BTS records: Up 19.0% from 1Q 1995 ($297) (compared to 64.6% consumer price increase)Recent low: Up 5.2% from 3Q 2017 ($336)Recent high: Down 10.7% from 2Q 2014 ($396)

Fares by Airport

Figure 2. Fares by Airport Group based on Number of Originating Domestic Passengers 1Q 2019Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Origin and Destination Survey

Fares by airport group:

Highest: Eight airports with between 50,000 and 99,999 originating passengers ($388)

Lowest: Nine airports with 1.0 to 1.49 million originating passengers ($339)

Additional data: see Top 100 Airports or All Airports. Fares for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico airports are not included in rankings but are available on the web page. Second Quarter 2019 average fare data will be released Oct. 15.

Standard error: Results for average fares are based on the BTS Origin & Destination Survey, a 10% sample of airline tickets used during the quarter. Averages for airports with smaller samples may be less reliable.

Note: Results for average fares are based on the BTS Origin & Destination Survey, a 10% sample of tickets used during the quarter. For results based on all itinerary fares, the standard error is 0.29. The 90% confidence interval ranges from $352.84 to $353.80. For results based on round-trip fares, the standard error is 0.36. The 90% confidence interval ranges from $420.72 to $421.91. For results based on one-way fares, the standard error is 0.38. The 90% confidence interval ranges from $258.40 to $259.64.



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