(p. 3) Since the industry was deregulated in 1979, increased competition and airline consolidation caused airfares, when adjusted for inflation, to drop 40 percent, according to the Eno Center for Transportation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank devoted to transportation issues. In 2016, it found the average domestic round-trip ticket in the United States cost $367 versus $187 in 1979.
“Airlines became very efficient at trying to get as many paying passengers onboard per flight,” said Paul Lewis, the vice president of policy and finance at the Eno Center. “Seats got closer, load factors got higher and while we don’t tend to like cramming into an airplane, that’s how we’re able to enjoy relatively low fares.”
Technology advancements and the surge in low-cost carriers, particularly on international routes, have made flying more convenient, if not necessarily more comfortable.
For the full commentary, see:
Elaine Glusac. “THE GETAWAY; Tickets From Here to There for Less.” The New York Times, Travel Section (Sunday, July 14, 2018): 3.
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date July 13, 2018, and has the title “THE GETAWAY; Fly Farther, for Cheaper. For Now..”)