Time for a little reality check. Everyone is screaming about the unprecedented rise in airfares. Well, everyone is wrong.
Our good friends at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics released their first quarter airfares this morning. Granted, we’re already in the third quarter of 2008, and granted the numbers showed a healthy four percent increase from a year ago.
But look past the first chart. Go on, scroll down. See the one on airfares adjusted for inflation (Table 6)? The BTS numbers getting all the attention don’t account for inflation. But look at this …
Airfares have remained relatively steady during the last decade. But when you account for inflation, they’ve actually gone down.
Bottom line: air travel is still a bargain. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
(Disclaimer: I took a few liberties with arranging the data on the above chart — please refer to the original for the raw numbers.)