From the Denver Post by Danika Worthington
Flying from Denver International Airport is getting cheaper, with the average base ticket price improving to No. 6 from No. 13 last year in Cheapflights’s annual survey of most affordable airports.
The survey compared the base-ticket price — not including added fees — for a set of destinations from the 101 most-searched U.S. airports. Cheapflights has conducted the study every July since 2010.
Denver’s average base airfare is $242, more expensive than the $202 base at Long Beach, Calif., the cheapest airport, and yet far less costly than the $641 average base airfare at Honolulu International, the most expensive.
Denver has been moving up in the list of affordability since 2012, when it ranked No. 81 with an average base price of $582. Prices have also dropped across the nation — even the average fares at the most expensive airports on the list are $150 cheaper than last year.
“This is just further proof that prices to get from here to there are practically at historic lows,” said Emily Fisher, travel expert with Cheapflights. “Can’t say 100 percent historic lows, but certainly in recent memory.”
Fisher said the lower costs were likely a combination of cheaper oil prices and, in Denver, increased competition between traditional and up-start airlines.
Jet fuel was priced at $1.18 per gallon Monday, compared with $1.50 in July 2015 and $2.96 by the end of July 2012, according to Bloomberg data.
Colorado Springs Municipal Airport made its first appearance on the list, ranking No. 39 with an average base flight price of $303.
Denver International Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery also said competition among carriers was likely contributing to the decrease in cost, noting that the airport has added more destinations and carriers, including ultra-low-cost carriers, like Frontier and Spirit, since 2012. it is also centrally located to both coasts.
Montgomery also said the airport charges airlines relatively low landing fees, which he said may also influence ticket prices.
He also said more people are flying. Last year, the airport set a record with 54 million passengers. This year, DIA has set traffic records for nine consecutive months, putting it on a trajectory to beat last year’s record.
“With so many more people taking to the skies, I think that is one reason you might see it become more affordable. Demand for carriers is up as well,” Montgomery said.
However, he also said travelers may be booking the cheapest destinations they can find.
“I think there’s a lot of factors at play,” Montgomery said. “It’s good news ultimately for the consumers. We’re happy to see so many people are taking to the skies.”
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