PhotoConsumers traveling by air this past spring saw the amount they paid for a ticket go down.

The Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports the average domestic air fare dropped to $353 in the second quarter down 9.6% from $390 at the same time a year ago, adjusted for inflation.

The second-quarter 2016 fare was down 26.2% from the average fare of $478 in 1999 -- the highest inflation-adjusted second quarter average fare in 21 years since BTS began collecting air fare records in 1995.

Nickle-and diming you

In recent years, the amount of additional revenue obtained from fees charged to passengers as well as from other sources has increased. U.S. passenger airlines collected just 74.3% of their total revenue from passenger fares during the second quarter of 2016, compared with 87.6% in 1995.

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, and do not include frequent-flyer or “zero fares.”

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.

The complete report is available on the BTS website.



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