Veteran reporter Steve Bennish covers transportation and brings you the latest government data on air fares each quarter.
Air fares at Dayton International Airport were on average lower late last year than those found at the major airports that serve Columbus and Cincinnati, according to government data released Monday.
At Dayton International Airport, the average fare was unchanged at $362 in fourth quarter 2012 from fourth quarter 2011. In Cincinnati, it went up from $511 in 2011 to $518 in 2012. In Columbus, it went up from $360 in 2011 to $368 in 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Monday.
The average domestic airfare dropped a dollar to $374 in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 0.2 percent from the average fare of $375 in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Huntsville, Ala., had the highest average fare, $544, while the resort town of Atlantic City, N.J., had the lowest, $157.
But over the long haul, air fares have been quite affordable. The fourth-quarter 2012 fare was down 16.7 percent from the average fare of $449 in 2000, the highest of any fourth quarter adjusted for inflation, the bureau said.
Dayton registered a 19 percent drop in average fare from 2000 to 2012, the data showed. Columbus saw a 10.9 percent drop, and Cincinnati saw a 15.8 percent decline.
For comparison, there was a 32 percent overall increase in consumer prices from 2000 to 2012.
Fares are based on total ticket value, or the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees imposed by any other entity at the time of purchase, the bureau said. Fares include only the price paid at the time of ticket purchase and do not include other fees, such as baggage fees, paid at the airport.
The bureau added that passenger airlines collected 70.7 percent of their total revenue from passenger fares during the first nine months of 2012, down from 1990 when 87.6 percent of airline revenue was received from fares.