2024 could be the year to travel as airfare prices are declining

Last month there was a notable decline in airfare prices, with a 7.1% decrease compared to the same month last year.
A traveler pushes a cart topped with baggage in Denver International Airport.
Posted at 8:09 PM, Apr 16, 2024

If you've noticed that airfare prices seem a bit more affordable lately, it's because they're on a downward trend.

According to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average domestic airfare for 2023 was $382, making it 3.1% lower than the inflation-adjusted average fare of $394 in 2022; and it's 36.4% lower than the peak fare of $600 recorded in 2000.

The news comes while costs continue to rise in most other sectors — yet the desire to travel continues to increase.

"In the first quarter 2023, passenger demand increased with U.S. airlines reporting 75.4 million originating passengers, up 138.8% from 31.6 million passengers in the fourth quarter of 2020," DOT said in the press release. "U.S. passenger airlines collected 74.2% of total operating revenue of $39.2 billion from passenger fares during the first three months of 2023, down from 88.5% in 1990."

As for the numbers for this year, Nerdwallet reports that airfares dropped by 7.1% in March compared to the same month in 2023, and since 2019 before the start of the pandemic, airfares have only gone up by 2.6%.

While the prices are a bit lower, airlines like Delta are still benefiting from the traveling boom.Delta's first-quarter earnings report highlighted a $37 million profit fueled by the strong demand, and the airline says they expect the trend to continue throughout the summer.

Best airlines, top tips for smooth air travel with your pets
Dachshund dog sits in blue pet carrier in airport.

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