TRUMP WIN: Dep. of Transportation announces decrease in travel costs

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Behind all the Russia-collusion stories, and all the reporting about infighting between White House staff members, the Trump administration is quietly posting some great victories. It’s a shame the American people aren’t being told about them more often.

You will not find this information on any mainstream media websites, or Fox News, for that matter.

A perfect example of a White House victory comes from the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Air fare costs are dropping, thus, putting more money into the pockets of taxpayers.

The average domestic air fare decreased to $352 in the first quarter of 2017, down 5.0 percent from $370 in the first quarter of 2016, adjusted for inflation, but up 1.5 percent from $347 in the fourth quarter of 2016 (Table 1), the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today.

Take a look at the chart below:

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Origin and Destination Survey: DB1BTicket


BTS reports average fares based on domestic itinerary fares. Itinerary fares consist of round-trip fares, unless the customer does not purchase a return trip. In that case, the one-way fare is included. One-way trips accounted for 34 percent of fares calculated for the first quarter of 2017. The average domestic one-way air fare was $256 in the first quarter of 2017, while the average round-trip air fare was $417. Fares are based on the total ticket value, which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include fees for optional services, such as baggage fees. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or “zero fares.” Constant 2017 dollars are used for inflation adjustment.

Inflation-Adjusted Air Fares

The first quarter fare of $352 was the lowest first-quarter fare in the 22 years since BTS began collecting air fare records in 1995. The previous low was $370 in the first quarter of 2016. The first-quarter 2017 fare was down 28.3 percent from the average fare of $491 in 1999, the highest inflation-adjusted first quarter average fare on record. Since 1995, inflation-adjusted fares declined 26.5 percent. See BTS Air Fare web page for historic data.

In recent years, airlines have obtained additional revenue from fees charged to passengers, as well as from other sources. U.S. passenger airlines collected 73.7 percent of their total revenue from passenger fares during the first quarter of 2017, down from 87.6 percent in 1995.

Quarter-to-Quarter Change

Average fares rose 1.5 percent from $347 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to the $352 in the first quarter of 2017, the second consecutive quarterly increase. Prior to that, fares declined for six consecutive quarters after reaching an inflation-adjusted recent high of $402 in the first-quarter of 2015.

Unadjusted Air Fares

The $352 first-quarter 2017 average fare was down 2.6 percent from the first quarter 2016 fare of $361 dropping to the lowest first-quarter fare since $328 in 2010. The first quarter 2017 fare was down 12.5 percent from the fare of $396 in the third quarter of 2014, which was the highest average fare for any quarter since 1995. Since 1995, unadjusted fares rose 18.5 percent compared to a 61.3 percent increase in overall consumer prices.

First quarter 2017 fares of $352 were up 1.5 percent, from the fourth-quarter 2016 fares of $347. The first quarter 2017 average fare was down 2.6 percent from the first quarter of 2016 ($361) and down 9.4 percent from the first quarter of 2015 ($388). See Air Fares for historical data.

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