Airfare Inflation: Airline Ticket Prices (1964-2022)

Prices for airline tickets tumbled 7.8% in July after they declined 1.8% in June, but they are still 27.7% higher over the year, according to data released Aug. 10, 2022, by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS surveys pricing on thousands of goods and services as a part of their Consumer Price Index (see CPI data), which is a measure of inflation in the United States at the consumer level. As recently as April, airfares jumped 18.6% for their biggest 1-month increase since the category was created in 1963.

Currently, while dropping in July, airline ticket prices over the past year are handily outpacing the overall rate of inflation. (Annual U.S. inflation is currently 8.5%.)

Chart: Annual Change in Prices for Airline Tickets

The following chart plots the average change in prices for airline tickets by calendar year since 1964. As year 2022 is unfinished, the final point shows the change in prices from June 2021 to July 2022.

Table of Inflation Rates for Airline Fares (Percent Change in Airline Ticket Prices) from 1964 to 2022

The following table displays "airline fares" inflation on an annual basis by month and calendar year. In clearer terms, it shows the percent of increase or decrease in those costs over the listed periods. As the figures are 12-month based, look to the December column to find the overall change in prices by calendar year. The last column, "Ave," shows the inflation rate for airline fares by year.

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Ave
1964 0.0
1965 0.8 0.8 0.4
1966 0.0 -0.4 0.0
1967 -0.4 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.4
1968 2.1 2.5 2.5 2.1 2.1
1969 7.8 8.6 7.8 13.5 7.4
1970 13.5 13.5 6.5 6.5 6.5 4.9 4.9 4.9 9.8 9.8 9.8 4.7 8.0
1971 4.7 4.7 6.1 6.1 6.1 11.1 11.1 11.1 6.9 6.9 6.9 6.5 7.1
1972 6.5 6.5 4.7 4.7 4.7 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.9 2.6
1973 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 3.9 3.9 3.9 4.1 4.1 4.1 7.0 3.5
1974 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 10.3 10.3 10.3 7.9 7.9 7.9 8.9 8.4
1975 8.9 8.9 9.2 9.2 9.2 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.3 9.3 9.3 7.6 8.9
1976 7.6 7.6 8.9 8.9 8.9 7.3 7.3 7.3 9.6 9.8 9.8 7.3 8.2
1977 7.3 7.3 7.5 7.5 7.5 4.6 4.6 4.6 3.8 3.5 3.5 7.1 5.8
1978 7.5 7.5 6.0 6.3 6.0 5.5 4.8 4.6 3.0 3.0 3.2 -0.9 4.6
1979 -0.9 0.0 0.0 0.2 1.1 1.5 4.4 8.2 12.8 16.3 22.0 29.9 8.1
1980 32.5 33.5 35.6 37.2 39.3 41.8 39.5 41.2 45.0 42.7 38.8 33.4 38.2
1981 32.2 30.8 32.2 32.0 29.1 31.0 32.7 28.2 20.1 18.2 16.4 14.5 25.9
1982 13.1 13.5 10.2 9.7 11.5 9.7 8.2 7.1 9.9 11.1 9.8 9.2 10.3
1983 9.8 7.0 6.3 9.1 5.7 4.9 5.4 5.8 3.4 3.1 4.9 4.8 5.7
1984 4.4 5.9 6.5 3.0 6.0 6.5 7.5 8.0 6.3 6.3 5.5 6.4 6.0
1985 6.6 6.8 8.2 8.5 7.1 5.9 4.0 3.1 6.0 6.7 6.7 6.3 6.3
1986 6.1 5.7 3.7 3.6 4.1 4.5 4.9 4.6 2.9 1.5 2.5 5.3 4.1
1987 5.2 6.0 7.3 6.5 5.3 3.9 3.4 5.2 5.7 4.5 4.1 1.6 4.9
1988 0.7 -1.0 -0.9 0.8 0.9 2.1 2.4 0.9 0.6 2.0 2.0 3.3 1.1
1989 5.0 7.1 6.6 5.4 6.0 6.1 6.0 6.0 5.7 6.2 6.2 5.3 6.0
1990 5.6 7.6 10.3 11.5 11.9 11.6 11.4 11.5 13.5 15.7 18.6 22.7 12.8
1991 21.9 19.6 13.5 5.2 3.3 3.5 3.3 4.1 0.7 -3.9 -5.2 -6.0 4.6
1992 -6.3 -7.6 -2.7 5.0 2.9 -4.3 -0.9 -3.3 -3.0 6.8 9.0 6.6 0.0
1993 9.4 12.7 9.2 7.1 13.4 20.2 19.7 21.7 23.8 14.7 14.5 17.0 15.1
1994 12.2 10.0 12.7 11.7 3.3 4.4 2.8 4.2 2.4 -0.5 -5.6 -9.5 3.8
1995 -6.3 -5.4 -3.6 -0.6 5.0 9.9 7.9 2.2 2.4 7.7 7.7 1.8 2.3
1996 -0.1 3.9 -0.3 -1.8 -1.0 -4.1 -3.2 -0.4 3.3 3.3 4.5 14.7 1.5
1997 10.4 2.4 7.3 8.7 6.5 3.6 5.5 1.6 1.0 2.7 -1.3 -4.8 3.5
1998 1.0 7.1 4.5 2.9 1.7 0.9 1.8 7.1 4.0 -0.1 1.7 4.1 3.1
1999 3.1 2.3 5.0 7.5 7.4 4.4 7.7 4.5 3.7 9.6 12.7 10.9 6.6
2000 7.5 8.9 8.8 6.1 9.6 16.8 10.5 15.3 14.7 5.1 5.1 5.9 9.4
2001 7.8 5.1 -0.9 -1.7 -1.6 1.8 0.8 -2.4 -1.0 0.0 -3.4 -3.9 0.0
2002 -3.8 -4.1 -2.3 0.0 0.9 -4.5 -5.5 -3.8 -5.2 -5.1 -3.2 -2.4 -3.3
2003 -3.4 -3.2 -1.8 -1.9 -2.6 0.0 2.8 1.2 1.6 4.1 2.2 -0.1 -0.1
2004 1.3 1.3 0.5 0.6 -1.2 -2.4 -3.5 -5.5 -5.4 -4.1 -0.6 -1.5 -1.8
2005 -3.2 -2.9 -1.4 1.1 4.1 5.8 7.0 8.7 9.0 9.1 6.4 6.4 4.1
2006 8.6 8.3 6.7 4.6 5.1 5.9 5.4 5.8 4.8 1.9 -1.5 -1.0 4.5
2007 0.2 1.4 1.8 1.2 -1.0 -1.3 -1.4 -1.3 0.2 3.4 8.9 10.6 1.8
2008 8.9 7.6 10.2 10.1 14.4 18.7 19.9 20.9 17.5 10.4 4.0 1.4 12.0
2009 -0.9 -3.5 -7.7 -9.2 -13.3 -17.1 -16.6 -15.9 -11.6 -6.5 0.6 4.3 -8.5
2010 3.4 5.4 7.5 10.7 13.8 14.1 10.2 8.7 6.1 4.4 4.7 5.8 7.8
2011 9.8 12.3 13.7 12.1 9.1 6.7 7.6 9.5 10.1 9.6 7.1 4.5 9.3
2012 1.8 0.1 -0.8 1.2 3.2 2.0 -0.7 -3.0 -2.6 -0.5 0.9 2.1 0.3
2013 3.8 3.6 3.8 1.9 3.0 3.6 3.3 1.5 0.8 2.5 4.2 -1.4 2.5
2014 -4.8 -3.8 -4.1 -0.2 4.7 5.3 -0.2 -2.7 -3.0 -2.8 -3.9 -4.7 -1.6
2015 -3.0 -3.0 -5.0 -7.5 -6.6 -5.2 -5.6 -6.0 -6.0 -5.2 -3.8 -3.0 -5.0
2016 -1.7 -1.8 -1.3 0.4 -3.1 -4.7 -4.6 -3.5 -2.7 -5.2 -6.6 -4.7 -3.3
2017 -3.3 -1.1 0.0 -0.6 -2.9 -4.3 -2.5 -3.2 -3.1 -1.3 -2.5 -4.0 -2.4
2018 -5.1 -5.4 -5.7 -6.9 -6.6 -5.9 -4.1 -1.3 -0.4 -0.5 -1.6 -2.6 -3.9
2019 -2.8 -2.3 -2.9 -1.8 0.9 1.5 1.3 1.6 1.9 1.5 2.0 1.7 0.2
2020 2.7 2.4 -10.6 -24.3 -28.8 -27.2 -23.7 -23.2 -25.0 -20.0 -17.0 -18.4 -18.0
2021 -21.3 -25.6 -15.1 9.6 24.1 24.6 19.0 6.7 0.8 -4.6 -3.7 1.4 0.0
2022 4.9 12.7 23.6 33.3 37.8 34.1 27.7

Table of CPI Data for Airline Fares (1963-2022)

The following table displays BLS’s CPI data for airline fares.

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Ave
1963 23.7
1964 23.6 23.7 23.7
1965 23.8 23.9 23.8
1966 23.9 23.8 23.8 23.8 23.8
1967 23.8 23.9 23.9 24.0 23.9
1968 24.3 24.5 24.5 24.5 24.4
1969 24.5 24.5 26.2 26.2 26.2 26.6 26.6 26.6 26.4 26.4 26.4 27.8 26.2
1970 27.8 27.8 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.9 27.9 29.0 29.0 29.0 29.1 28.3
1971 29.1 29.1 29.6 29.6 29.6 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 30.3
1972 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 31.0 30.9 30.9 30.9 31.5 31.5 31.5 31.6 31.1
1973 31.6 31.6 31.6 31.6 31.6 32.1 32.1 32.1 32.8 32.8 32.8 33.8 32.2
1974 33.8 33.8 33.8 33.8 33.8 35.4 35.4 35.4 35.4 35.4 35.4 36.8 34.9
1975 36.8 36.8 36.9 36.9 36.9 38.6 38.6 38.6 38.7 38.7 38.7 39.6 38.0
1976 39.6 39.6 40.2 40.2 40.2 41.4 41.4 41.4 42.4 42.5 42.5 42.5 41.1
1977 42.5 42.5 43.2 43.2 43.2 43.3 43.3 43.3 44.0 44.0 44.0 45.5 43.5
1978 45.7 45.7 45.8 45.9 45.8 45.7 45.4 45.3 45.3 45.3 45.4 45.1 45.5
1979 45.3 45.7 45.8 46.0 46.3 46.4 47.4 49.0 51.1 52.7 55.4 58.6 49.2
1980 60.0 61.0 62.1 63.1 64.5 65.8 66.1 69.2 74.1 75.2 76.9 78.2 68.0
1981 79.3 79.8 82.1 83.3 83.3 86.2 87.7 88.7 89.0 88.9 89.5 89.5 85.6
1982 89.7 90.6 90.5 91.4 92.9 94.6 94.9 95.0 97.8 98.8 98.3 97.7 94.4
1983 98.5 96.9 96.2 99.7 98.2 99.2 100.0 100.5 101.1 101.9 103.1 102.4 99.8
1984 102.8 102.6 102.5 102.7 104.1 105.6 107.5 108.5 107.5 108.3 108.8 109.0 105.8
1985 109.6 109.6 110.9 111.4 111.5 111.8 111.8 111.9 113.9 115.6 116.1 115.9 112.5
1986 116.3 115.8 115.0 115.4 116.1 116.8 117.3 117.0 117.2 117.3 119.0 122.0 117.1
1987 122.4 122.7 123.4 122.9 122.3 121.4 121.3 123.1 123.9 122.6 123.9 123.9 122.8
1988 123.2 121.5 122.3 123.9 123.4 124.0 124.2 124.2 124.7 125.0 126.4 128.0 124.2
1989 129.3 130.1 130.4 130.6 130.8 131.6 131.6 131.7 131.8 132.8 134.2 134.8 131.6
1990 136.6 140.0 143.8 145.6 146.3 146.8 146.6 146.8 149.6 153.6 159.2 165.4 148.4
1991 166.5 167.4 163.2 153.1 151.1 152.0 151.5 152.8 150.6 147.6 150.9 155.4 155.2
1992 156.0 154.7 158.8 160.7 155.5 145.4 150.1 147.8 146.1 157.6 164.5 165.7 155.2
1993 170.7 174.4 173.4 172.1 176.3 174.7 179.6 179.8 180.8 180.8 188.3 193.8 178.7
1994 191.5 191.8 195.5 192.3 182.1 182.3 184.7 187.4 185.2 179.9 177.8 175.3 185.5
1995 179.5 181.4 188.5 191.2 191.2 200.4 199.2 191.6 189.7 193.7 191.5 178.4 189.7
1996 179.4 188.4 187.9 187.7 189.2 192.1 192.9 190.9 196.0 200.1 200.1 204.7 192.5
1997 198.1 192.9 201.6 204.1 201.5 199.1 203.6 194.0 198.0 205.5 197.5 194.8 199.2
1998 200.1 206.6 210.7 210.1 205.0 200.9 207.3 207.8 206.0 205.2 200.8 202.8 205.3
1999 206.4 211.4 221.3 225.8 220.2 209.7 223.3 217.2 213.6 224.9 226.4 224.9 218.8
2000 221.8 230.2 240.7 239.5 241.3 245.0 246.8 250.4 244.9 236.3 238.0 238.2 239.4
2001 239.0 242.0 238.6 235.5 237.5 249.3 248.8 244.3 242.5 236.4 230.0 229.0 239.4
2002 229.9 232.1 233.2 235.4 239.6 238.1 235.1 235.0 230.0 224.4 222.6 223.4 231.6
2003 222.1 224.7 228.9 231.0 233.3 238.0 241.7 237.9 233.7 233.6 227.5 223.1 231.3
2004 224.9 227.6 230.0 232.4 230.5 232.2 233.3 224.7 221.0 224.0 226.2 219.7 227.2
2005 217.7 220.9 226.8 234.9 240.0 245.6 249.7 244.2 240.8 244.3 240.7 233.8 236.6
2006 236.5 239.3 242.0 245.8 252.3 260.0 263.3 258.4 252.4 248.9 237.0 231.4 247.3
2007 237.021 242.627 246.331 248.807 249.760 256.723 259.543 255.105 252.919 257.409 258.116 255.873 251.686
2008 258.046 261.017 271.514 274.020 285.607 304.810 311.244 308.309 297.228 284.166 268.452 259.566 281.998
2009 255.621 251.829 250.561 248.943 247.675 252.803 259.585 259.351 262.848 265.696 270.069 270.667 257.971
2010 264.331 265.358 269.377 275.696 281.740 288.517 285.979 281.930 278.828 277.344 282.695 286.438 278.186
2011 290.243 298.099 306.256 309.087 307.310 307.804 307.798 308.670 307.065 304.031 302.635 299.315 304.026
2012 295.429 298.477 303.843 312.845 317.066 313.920 305.689 299.284 299.228 302.533 305.354 305.733 304.950
2013 306.603 309.283 315.303 318.815 326.500 325.321 315.789 303.848 301.476 310.012 318.197 301.357 312.709
2014 291.836 297.679 302.464 318.331 341.947 342.697 315.012 295.609 292.397 301.466 305.885 287.175 307.708
2015 283.152 288.626 287.362 294.603 319.401 324.953 297.324 277.768 274.897 285.837 294.143 278.658 292.227
2016 278.334 283.520 283.584 295.909 309.540 309.679 283.501 268.040 267.457 270.922 274.761 265.436 282.557
2017 269.241 280.517 283.583 294.034 300.609 296.384 276.308 259.359 259.143 267.297 267.970 254.947 275.783
2018 255.496 265.272 267.482 273.817 280.804 278.937 264.994 255.877 258.196 265.930 263.809 248.290 264.909
2019 248.433 259.049 259.698 268.767 283.275 283.001 268.314 259.849 263.149 269.871 268.994 252.411 265.401
2020 255.200 265.142 232.113 203.342 201.649 206.066 204.785 199.496 197.424 215.993 223.360 205.983 217.546
2021 200.825 197.204 197.134 222.953 250.209 256.684 243.613 212.882 198.975 205.994 215.159 208.954 217.549
2022 210.762 222.227 243.689 297.143 344.853 344.101 311.205

 

Data Source for Chart and Tables: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Airline fares in U.S. city average, all urban consumers, not seasonally adjusted. Base Period: 1982-84=100.