Fares Continue Rising, and Rising, and Rising

New data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) illustrates something most of us could have guessed, which is that fares are continuing to go up. The most recent figures, from the second quarter (April through June) of this year, show the average domestic fare rising steadily, to $341.

Before this, the average fare hadn't cracked $340 since the fourth quarter of 2008.

More troubling, this is the fourth straight quarter that the average fare has gone up. In the second quarter of 2009, it was $301. No surprise, then, that Priceline is predicting this will be the second most expensive Thanksgiving and Christmas travel season in eight years.

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The BTS report also notes that the ratio of airline revenue from fares has been steadily dropping. In 2000, airlines pulled in 84 percent of their revenue from ticket sales, with the other 16 percent coming from ancillary revenues, which include extra fees and charges. As you might guess, the last couple years have seen a dramatic increase in ancillary revenue. So far in 2010, that ratio is around 70 percent from fares and 30 percent from ancillaries.

Readers, have you felt the pinch of higher airfares?

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