Fourth quarter airfare data is in from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and the numbers are predictably dour for travelers: The cost of flying is on the rise.
Nationwide, average domestic airfares from the top 100 airports rose 10 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010, with an average fare of $368 (up from $335). Fares at Houston's two major airports rose, as well, straddling the national average.
William P. Hobby, which has historically been considered one of the most affordable airports in the United States, has seen a 38.7 percent increase the average domestic ticket price since 2000 — the fifth largest fare increase in the country.
Since the fourth quarter of 2010, the Southwest Airlines hub has seen an 8.3 percent price increase, clocking in at an average itinerary fare of $304 in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Domestic passengers from IAH (the Continental turned United hub) saw a price increase of 16.2 percent from 2010 (up from $425 to $494 per trip), and a 22 percent average fare increase since 2000.
Do these numbers surprise you? Does it change your view on Southwest's drive to make Hobby into Houston's second international airport at all?