Domestic airfares increased nearly 5 percent in the first three months of 2010 from the same period in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Air Transport Association points out that, adjusted for inflation, the average $328 round-trip fare is 25 percent lower than in the first quarter of 1999. But what the trade group left out is any mention of the fees that airlines have begun to charge passengers over the past two years. Many of these extras were provided to passengers free of charge in 1999. These fees generated more than $7.8 billion for the nation’s top 10 airlines in 2009, according to the government.