Flying out of town? You’ll be paying about 17% more compared to last year, report says

Travel spending is high and is expected to remain high.
Travel spending is high and is expected to remain high.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 10:41 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It’s no secret that the burden of inflation is hitting our bank accounts and credit card bills. As summer is underway, you’ll likely be seeing double-digit increases when it comes to the average cost of a domestic airfare ticket.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, when adjusted for inflation, the average cost of a flight domestically was about $328 during the first quarter of 2022. Government officials note that while that price is down slightly from the holiday season, it’s about 16.9% higher than the first quarter of 2021.

The report also details another way airlines have been raking in the cash: passenger fees. Airlines reportedly collected 68.5% of total operating revenues from airfares, down from 88.5% in 1990. Those calculations don’t include optional services, and charges at the gate, such as baggage fees, seat selection, and upgrades, which are big money makers for airlines.

Demand for travel is surging as Americans begin to recoup time lost from the pandemic lockdowns, closures, and restrictions. According to CNBC, travel spending is expected to stay high. In May, a Bank of America study into consumer spending found that travel agency and airline spending is up 60% year-over-year despite the rising cost of living. Airfares could also continue to increase as American Airlines and United Airlines work to negotiate big pay raises, upwards of $64,000 or 16% for pilots to prevent strikes and shortages.