Hoping to find some fair fares? A look at air passenger costs

January 02, 2019

As the new year begins, some may be relieved that the holiday traveling season is winding down, while others are starting to plan next year’s big trip. As anyone who has booked a flight can attest, airfares can vary widely over the seasons and years.

From November 2017 to November 2018, consumer prices for airline fares were down 1.6 percent. That compares with a decline of 6.9 percent from April 2017 to April 2018.

12-month percent change in airline fares, U.S. city average, all urban consumers, not seasonally adjusted
Month Percent

Jan 2008

8.9%

Feb 2008

7.6

Mar 2008

10.2

Apr 2008

10.1

May 2008

14.4

Jun 2008

18.7

Jul 2008

19.9

Aug 2008

20.9

Sep 2008

17.5

Oct 2008

10.4

Nov 2008

4.0

Dec 2008

1.4

Jan 2009

-0.9

Feb 2009

-3.5

Mar 2009

-7.7

Apr 2009

-9.2

May 2009

-13.3

Jun 2009

-17.1

Jul 2009

-16.6

Aug 2009

-15.9

Sep 2009

-11.6

Oct 2009

-6.5

Nov 2009

0.6

Dec 2009

4.3

Jan 2010

3.4

Feb 2010

5.4

Mar 2010

7.5

Apr 2010

10.7

May 2010

13.8

Jun 2010

14.1

Jul 2010

10.2

Aug 2010

8.7

Sep 2010

6.1

Oct 2010

4.4

Nov 2010

4.7

Dec 2010

5.8

Jan 2011

9.8

Feb 2011

12.3

Mar 2011

13.7

Apr 2011

12.1

May 2011

9.1

Jun 2011

6.7

Jul 2011

7.6

Aug 2011

9.5

Sep 2011

10.1

Oct 2011

9.6

Nov 2011

7.1

Dec 2011

4.5

Jan 2012

1.8

Feb 2012

0.1

Mar 2012

-0.8

Apr 2012

1.2

May 2012

3.2

Jun 2012

2.0

Jul 2012

-0.7

Aug 2012

-3.0

Sep 2012

-2.6

Oct 2012

-0.5

Nov 2012

0.9

Dec 2012

2.1

Jan 2013

3.8

Feb 2013

3.6

Mar 2013

3.8

Apr 2013

1.9

May 2013

3.0

Jun 2013

3.6

Jul 2013

3.3

Aug 2013

1.5

Sep 2013

0.8

Oct 2013

2.5

Nov 2013

4.2

Dec 2013

-1.4

Jan 2014

-4.8

Feb 2014

-3.8

Mar 2014

-4.1

Apr 2014

-0.2

May 2014

4.7

Jun 2014

5.3

Jul 2014

-0.2

Aug 2014

-2.7

Sep 2014

-3.0

Oct 2014

-2.8

Nov 2014

-3.9

Dec 2014

-4.7

Jan 2015

-3.0

Feb 2015

-3.0

Mar 2015

-5.0

Apr 2015

-7.5

May 2015

-6.6

Jun 2015

-5.2

Jul 2015

-5.6

Aug 2015

-6.0

Sep 2015

-6.0

Oct 2015

-5.2

Nov 2015

-3.8

Dec 2015

-3.0

Jan 2016

-1.7

Feb 2016

-1.8

Mar 2016

-1.3

Apr 2016

0.4

May 2016

-3.1

Jun 2016

-4.7

Jul 2016

-4.6

Aug 2016

-3.5

Sep 2016

-2.7

Oct 2016

-5.2

Nov 2016

-6.6

Dec 2016

-4.7

Jan 2017

-3.3

Feb 2017

-1.1

Mar 2017

0.0

Apr 2017

-0.6

May 2017

-2.9

Jun 2017

-4.3

Jul 2017

-2.5

Aug 2017

-3.2

Sep 2017

-3.1

Oct 2017

-1.3

Nov 2017

-2.5

Dec 2017

-4.0

Jan 2018

-5.1

Feb 2018

-5.4

Mar 2018

-5.7

Apr 2018

-6.9

May 2018

-6.6

Jun 2018

-5.9

Jul 2018

-4.1

Aug 2018

-1.3

Sep 2018

-0.4

Oct 2018

-0.5

Nov 2018

-1.6

Import air passenger fares, or fares paid to foreign carriers by U.S. residents for international travel, were up 0.7 percent over the 12-month period ending November 2018. Import fares to Asia carriers led the way, up 2.2 percent.

Air passenger fares, import and export, 12-month percent change
Month Import air passenger fares Import Europe Import Asia Import Latin America/Caribbean Export air passenger fares Export Europe Export Asia Export Latin America/Caribbean

Nov 2005

4.4% 4.6% 1.9% -1.1% -1.6% -5.0% -5.5% 3.3%

Dec 2005

4.1 3.4 6.5 0.6 -4.3 -9.4 -9.2 10.2

Jan 2006

3.6 4.0 0.7 0.6 -6.0 -11.6 -10.5 4.5

Feb 2006

4.2 4.9 2.9 2.5 0.2 -4.6 -2.7 6.2

Mar 2006

4.5 5.5 1.9 1.9 -4.0 -10.5 -8.1 7.0

Apr 2006

3.8 5.3 3.6 -1.1 -1.3 0.5 -6.6 5.5

May 2006

5.6 4.7 3.3 4.1 -2.5 -4.6 -7.6 6.3

Jun 2006

6.7 5.8 6.3 4.5 2.3 1.7 -2.4 6.9

Jul 2006

5.6 5.1 4.0 2.3 -0.5 -2.2 -4.3 4.1

Aug 2006

5.6 4.6 2.3 4.6 -0.5 0.3 -4.7 4.6

Sep 2006

5.6 5.1 3.8 6.1 2.1 6.0 -4.3 7.5

Oct 2006

5.9 5.0 1.9 9.1 3.0 7.1 -2.4 10.5

Nov 2006

7.7 8.8 1.0 8.4 6.4 11.0 -0.5 10.7

Dec 2006

7.8 8.9 0.6 7.4 7.0 12.7 1.5 5.3

Jan 2007

7.0 8.6 5.0 6.6 6.9 14.2 0.8 6.9

Feb 2007

7.1 10.3 4.0 9.8 3.2 8.0 -5.3 12.9

Mar 2007

7.0 10.5 4.2 9.8 7.2 12.9 -1.3 16.0

Apr 2007

4.8 11.2 3.7 1.4 9.3 11.1 3.7 13.8

May 2007

3.9 11.5 2.3 0.0 7.5 10.1 3.9 10.5

Jun 2007

5.8 15.5 2.3 -0.5 5.7 6.3 3.2 9.9

Jul 2007

7.2 15.5 3.9 -0.1 5.7 6.3 3.1 7.2

Aug 2007

8.2 17.0 5.4 0.2 3.9 6.7 -1.9 8.7

Sep 2007

7.1 18.8 5.1 1.8 8.6 7.3 10.8 10.0

Oct 2007

5.5 11.3 5.3 2.6 10.0 7.8 11.5 9.1

Nov 2007

5.6 7.4 5.0 5.7 11.5 9.6 9.9 10.6

Dec 2007

7.9 8.9 3.2 3.4 13.4 12.6 16.7 7.7

Jan 2008

7.8 8.5 1.6 3.6 14.3 11.5 23.4 1.3

Feb 2008

6.7 5.2 3.2 3.8 9.8 7.9 17.1 -7.8

Mar 2008

6.8 5.0 3.3 5.1 11.6 8.0 21.4 -7.6

Apr 2008

12.6 13.3 4.4 18.8 6.3 4.8 18.2 -7.8

May 2008

13.7 12.5 6.5 22.5 6.0 7.0 9.6 -2.0

Jun 2008

18.7 21.2 10.3 27.1 16.4 24.8 17.0 1.2

Jul 2008

19.5 24.0 8.5 27.2 17.6 21.3 19.7 3.9

Aug 2008

15.8 20.8 4.4 25.0 20.6 17.4 29.8 12.2

Sep 2008

15.0 11.3 13.8 10.9 11.2 12.9 15.3 0.2

Oct 2008

25.3 32.7 17.3 4.6 5.5 9.9 7.6 -1.6

Nov 2008

22.9 33.9 20.2 1.9 5.2 9.7 14.6 -4.3

Dec 2008

16.3 18.5 14.1 23.1 5.7 2.2 14.8 5.3

Jan 2009

12.2 24.2 13.5 -0.5 1.9 -0.2 5.4 7.1

Feb 2009

8.1 17.6 10.0 -5.1 -3.5 -5.7 -1.1 5.8

Mar 2009

2.7 8.1 5.2 -9.1 -9.4 -13.7 -3.7 -3.5

Apr 2009

-7.1 -9.0 1.9 -11.1 -11.0 -17.5 -9.3 -1.2

May 2009

-10.1 -14.9 3.1 -20.2 -15.5 -22.1 -9.1 -17.1

Jun 2009

-14.2 -13.9 -9.1 -22.7 -19.4 -22.4 -20.0 -13.4

Jul 2009

-20.1 -21.1 -12.9 -21.2 -21.8 -22.1 -21.6 -15.2

Aug 2009

-19.5 -23.9 -11.3 -16.8 -19.5 -22.0 -19.7 -15.6

Sep 2009

-14.5 -13.1 -7.9 -12.3 -17.8 -21.2 -16.4 -14.6

Oct 2009

-11.6 -9.4 -5.0 -7.2 -14.4 -15.5 -12.9 -14.0

Nov 2009

-6.4 -2.5 -8.5 0.6 -11.3 -8.0 -15.8 -9.8

Dec 2009

-3.2 6.1 -7.8 -7.2 -5.2 0.4 -12.3 -4.0

Jan 2010

-0.7 -0.8 -1.2 3.1 -4.4 1.5 -9.2 -2.3

Feb 2010

0.4 1.3 -4.3 8.5 5.1 17.8 4.9 -1.6

Mar 2010

11.0 20.8 2.7 15.0 11.3 27.9 11.4 8.1

Apr 2010

17.3 28.7 6.6 20.6 19.2 33.4 21.4 9.9

May 2010

23.3 42.0 9.4 22.5 22.0 37.2 24.8 20.5

Jun 2010

19.0 25.6 14.5 23.4 27.6 38.1 42.2 18.0

Jul 2010

21.3 28.4 15.8 18.4 30.5 33.4 45.7 15.6

Aug 2010

19.0 27.6 15.2 14.5 21.2 24.9 42.0 8.7

Sep 2010

16.7 20.4 12.6 21.4 21.9 29.5 33.6 16.6

Oct 2010

14.9 17.3 12.4 24.7 21.2 23.6 34.1 16.1

Nov 2010

12.8 13.6 12.9 20.4 15.0 4.0 38.8 16.3

Dec 2010

11.6 9.4 11.7 16.7 8.3 1.0 23.8 10.1

Jan 2011

12.2 15.2 6.9 20.6 13.2 -0.8 30.5 12.2

Feb 2011

13.6 16.4 9.7 19.8 4.1 -6.6 9.7 10.6

Mar 2011

7.6 2.2 9.0 20.0 9.6 -7.2 14.2 14.7

Apr 2011

4.5 -0.1 3.9 18.2 8.1 -3.2 9.2 14.2

May 2011

7.3 4.2 2.7 22.7 12.2 2.8 16.2 13.7

Jun 2011

5.0 2.1 2.8 19.3 5.8 0.5 5.0 8.3

Jul 2011

6.2 1.0 2.6 22.3 10.2 7.8 7.9 15.5

Aug 2011

7.4 0.3 5.1 23.8 18.1 13.3 11.4 16.9

Sep 2011

8.5 3.3 8.4 17.4 11.9 6.8 10.8 14.0

Oct 2011

5.5 -0.4 4.1 14.0 11.9 7.1 11.9 13.2

Nov 2011

6.2 -0.7 8.7 10.5 13.0 14.8 9.4 10.9

Dec 2011

5.7 3.3 3.7 9.2 13.1 9.3 13.5 8.4

Jan 2012

8.8 4.5 9.7 13.3 9.5 12.8 7.9 7.3

Feb 2012

11.8 7.6 17.2 12.1 15.6 20.4 10.0 35.2

Mar 2012

10.9 8.8 7.0 9.3 7.1 14.6 2.3 27.3

Apr 2012

10.3 9.8 9.3 5.9 6.2 13.1 7.8 14.3

May 2012

5.1 0.2 10.2 0.8 8.4 5.2 1.8 25.9

Jun 2012

8.6 7.9 5.9 3.8 8.7 4.9 9.7 22.1

Jul 2012

5.2 5.5 3.9 -1.0 3.8 -4.1 4.4 18.9

Aug 2012

2.5 3.9 2.5 -5.2 -3.6 -7.5 5.2 12.3

Sep 2012

3.0 4.5 0.5 -6.4 -2.5 -4.6 -3.7 12.4

Oct 2012

3.1 6.3 0.5 -6.9 -0.7 -6.2 0.7 14.4

Nov 2012

2.9 12.7 -5.0 -2.3 -0.7 1.8 -4.9 12.9

Dec 2012

8.2 17.5 5.4 -1.0 -2.5 4.5 0.7 -2.7

Jan 2013

3.9 14.1 1.4 -8.5 2.6 4.0 4.3 0.0

Feb 2013

2.3 16.6 -6.3 -7.8 -1.4 -0.3 0.4 -18.6

Mar 2013

1.7 14.2 0.1 -5.8 0.1 6.1 -3.9 -16.0

Apr 2013

1.2 11.6 1.1 -7.7 -3.2 -5.7 -8.6 -12.1

May 2013

2.6 12.4 -1.6 -3.5 -4.4 -0.8 -7.1 -20.6

Jun 2013

2.9 7.4 2.1 -0.4 -3.4 1.9 -6.4 -15.3

Jul 2013

2.1 6.4 -0.2 -0.2 -4.7 2.7 -10.0 -13.6

Aug 2013

-0.5 6.2 -3.0 0.4 -3.6 2.9 -11.8 -8.6

Sep 2013

1.1 10.5 -4.1 3.5 -1.2 1.8 -10.9 -13.5

Oct 2013

3.4 10.3 -1.6 3.1 -3.6 0.5 -13.5 -8.9

Nov 2013

7.9 10.3 1.3 0.8 -3.1 2.3 -10.3 -11.0

Dec 2013

8.2 5.4 0.8 1.4 3.2 -0.1 -9.6 5.3

Jan 2014

5.1 2.8 0.3 2.8 -1.6 -3.0 -8.0 1.6

Feb 2014

6.7 3.6 3.4 1.2 -6.3 -3.8 -11.8 2.7

Mar 2014

4.8 3.0 0.2 0.5 -3.6 -2.4 -6.9 2.2

Apr 2014

4.8 0.1 -2.9 3.7 1.9 5.2 -0.7 3.7

May 2014

5.0 4.3 1.9 2.1 -1.2 5.0 -0.3 6.6

Jun 2014

1.4 -1.1 -3.2 -2.3 0.4 1.8 0.5 3.7

Jul 2014

2.6 1.8 -1.6 -2.1 0.5 -0.7 3.3 -8.7

Aug 2014

6.7 3.1 1.7 0.1 3.9 -4.6 1.0 -5.0

Sep 2014

6.3 2.0 0.9 0.9 1.8 4.4 0.7 -1.4

Oct 2014

4.4 0.8 0.1 4.3 1.6 7.0 1.1 -5.8

Nov 2014

1.9 1.2 -0.7 -1.3 -1.8 -2.2 2.4 -5.8

Dec 2014

2.7 4.5 -0.2 -0.7 -2.0 4.4 0.2 -4.8

Jan 2015

2.3 8.6 -6.9 -1.7 -4.0 1.5 -8.3 -8.1

Feb 2015

-0.6 8.1 -9.7 0.2 -5.1 -0.8 -3.8 -10.2

Mar 2015

0.5 9.5 -4.5 -1.0 -7.8 -3.1 -7.8 -9.3

Apr 2015

-2.7 5.0 -6.2 -4.8 -13.8 -9.8 -14.7 -14.1

May 2015

-2.9 4.6 -8.0 -5.5 -13.1 -9.8 -14.5 -14.9

Jun 2015

-1.1 2.4 -5.2 -5.7 -14.2 -13.0 -14.9 -12.8

Jul 2015

-2.4 0.7 -6.5 -4.4 -14.2 -9.0 -16.2 -6.5

Aug 2015

-3.2 -1.5 -7.8 -5.4 -17.5 -10.3 -15.2 -10.7

Sep 2015

-7.2 -1.1 -8.3 -9.1 -17.0 -8.6 -14.6 -19.0

Oct 2015

-4.7 0.4 -5.0 -13.0 -15.6 -10.8 -11.3 -17.3

Nov 2015

-2.2 2.6 -4.8 -11.3 -11.5 -2.3 -12.9 -14.5

Dec 2015

-9.9 -9.9 -7.2 -8.4 -14.6 -11.7 -14.6 -18.5

Jan 2016

-4.3 -3.0 -2.5 -13.8 -11.0 -7.3 -9.1 -11.0

Feb 2016

-3.3 -2.2 -3.0 -11.7 -10.9 -6.7 -7.9 -16.3

Mar 2016

-6.3 -9.7 -7.6 -11.2 -4.9 6.5 -6.7 -15.0

Apr 2016

-0.2 0.3 -1.2 -12.4 -7.2 -1.7 -4.8 -12.4

May 2016

-0.5 -2.6 -4.1 -9.5 -10.2 -9.0 -6.1 -9.4

Jun 2016

-8.4 -7.4 -6.9 -4.6 -9.2 -7.1 -6.6 -10.7

Jul 2016

-8.3 -8.9 -6.8 -4.7 -9.9 -13.6 -5.7 -5.0

Aug 2016

-9.1 -8.4 -9.4 -4.1 -7.1 -9.9 -4.3 -5.1

Sep 2016

-0.8 -3.1 -7.4 -0.4 -6.7 -9.3 -6.4 3.4

Oct 2016

0.2 -0.3 -7.7 3.7 -3.0 -3.6 -5.7 8.0

Nov 2016

-6.0 -6.3 -11.7 8.4 1.4 -3.7 1.5 5.4

Dec 2016

-4.2 -4.4 -8.4 2.8 4.7 9.3 1.3 4.8

Jan 2017

-4.9 -5.6 -6.9 8.6 0.5 3.1 2.2 -0.7

Feb 2017

-4.2 -8.6 -4.2 8.0 2.7 10.5 -2.7 5.6

Mar 2017

-2.7 -5.9 -1.9 9.3 -0.5 -8.0 -1.7 7.0

Apr 2017

-9.1 -17.1 -5.2 12.7 -0.5 -5.7 0.2 8.6

May 2017

-6.9 -14.4 -2.4 8.3 1.9 0.9 -7.5 5.9

Jun 2017

-3.8 -11.9 2.3 6.8 2.2 -2.4 -4.2 4.8

Jul 2017

-2.6 -9.6 -1.3 5.8 4.4 2.8 -5.2 2.9

Aug 2017

-7.4 -13.5 -2.6 3.0 -2.2 -5.9 -9.9 3.3

Sep 2017

-3.7 -6.5 7.8 3.0 1.0 6.4 -4.9 5.7

Oct 2017

-1.4 -3.9 3.2 0.4 2.0 6.8 -8.3 -2.7

Nov 2017

-0.9 0.4 3.6 0.4 -1.6 5.3 -11.4 0.6

Dec 2017

4.2 10.3 3.8 2.7 -5.8 -6.6 -5.0 -0.8

Jan 2018

2.6 8.6 0.9 1.2 -1.9 -5.4 -2.8 3.8

Feb 2018

4.2 10.3 -0.7 3.5 2.3 -4.0 4.5 5.7

Mar 2018

1.5 3.1 -0.2 3.4 1.7 2.7 4.4 0.1

Apr 2018

7.9 16.9 2.4 2.2 4.1 7.2 0.5 2.0

May 2018

1.2 7.1 2.3 -1.5 1.4 3.6 3.2 -1.2

Jun 2018

4.8 10.9 3.9 -1.2 1.5 2.3 6.3 1.6

Jul 2018

1.5 8.0 2.3 -1.0 -1.8 0.8 10.7 -3.9

Aug 2018

3.5 8.3 2.9 -2.7 -3.3 4.3 -2.9 -3.9

Sep 2018

5.7 9.6 -2.1 -2.6 2.4 -3.8 13.5 -5.8

Oct 2018

-2.2 2.5 -1.7 -2.4 -2.9 -6.8 9.3 -6.2

Nov 2018

0.7 1.5 2.2 -0.9 -3.3 -6.5 7.4 -6.8

Export air passenger fares, or fares paid to U.S. carriers by foreign residents for international travel, were down 3.3 percent from November 2017 to November 2018. Asia export passenger fares were up 7.4 percent, while export Latin America/Caribbean fares were down 6.8 percent.

These data are from the Consumer Price Index and International Price programs. See our fact sheet for more information about import and export airfares. We also have more charts on consumer prices and import and export prices.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Hoping to find some fair fares? A look at air passenger costs on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/hoping-to-find-some-fair-fares-a-look-at-air-passenger-costs.htm (visited September 16, 2019).

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