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Today, travel shopping engine CheapAir.com released the results of its 2023 year-over-year study, revealing the U.S. cities with the greatest and smallest increases in airfare prices.
Although nowhere in the entire United States managed to escape fare price hikes in comparison with the same period in 2022, the data suggests that smaller American cities have been the most impacted by the inflation of flight costs.
While the average lowest domestic airfare price is up 17 percent over a year ago overall, depending upon the specific city they’re flying out of, customers are contending with year-over-year cost increases of anywhere between 10 and 35 percent.
For the study, CheapAir.com examined 128 million airfares for domestic flights out of 74 separate departure cities across the entire span of the U.S. Findings showed that larger departure cities are, on average, seeing smaller price increases than smaller cities, which are experiencing larger cost spikes.
In fact, all of the top five recorded airfare increases were out of smaller-scale airports, as were seven of the top 10. The city with the single heftiest price increase (35 percent) is Flint, Michigan, which is serviced by Bishop International Airport. That equates to an average extra expense of $130 per domestic airline ticket.
Then 10 cities with the greatest fare hikes in 2023 are:
Flint, Michigan: 35 percent increase
Akron, Ohio: 32 percent increase
Dayton, Ohio: 30 percent increase
Greensboro, North Carolina: 28 percent increase
Tucson, Arizona: 25 percent increase
Burbank, California: 24 percent increase
Miami, Florida: 23 percent increase
San Juan, Puerto Rico: 23 percent increase
Fort Myers, Florida: 22 percent increase
Minneapolis, Minnesota: 22 percent increas
Taken as an example of a small U.S. airport, Flint’s Bishop International serves a modest 200,000 passengers annually, on average, and ranked #167 on StratosJets 2022 list of the nation’s 200 busiest airports.
CheapAir.com posits that smaller airports are more heavily affected by price increases because they offer fewer flights and are served by fewer airlines than their larger counterparts; and are struggling to keep up with demand as people return to the skies post-pandemic and carriers continue to contend with staffing and equipment shortages.
This trend is a continuance of the same type of trajectory as was witnessed in last year’s study, when cities like Flint, Akron, Dayton and Greensboro also topped the list of places where airfare prices had risen most since the previous year.
Meanwhile, CheapAir.com also produced a list of the major metropolitan airports witnessing the smallest price increases among American cities studied. The rankings are as follows:
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Laurie Baratti is a San Diego-based journalist whose work has previously appeared in publications like TravelAge West, SPACE,...
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