Bellingham airport ranks nationally for cheap airfare

The average plane ticket price at Bellingham International Airport decreased more in the last 14 years than fares at any other airport in the country, according to a new report by the United States Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

In the second quarter of 2000, the average fare cost $478, adjusted for inflation. By the second quarter of 2014, the average fair had dropped by 59.7 percent to $192.

Other airports with big price drops since 2000 include Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, with a 50.6 percent decrease and Denver International Airport with a 44.8 percent decrease.

At the other end of the scale, fares at Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas increased more since 2000 — 26.1 percent — than fares at any other airport in the country.

The study also ranked airports changes in airfare during the last year. From the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014, average fares at Bellingham International decreased by 10.1 percent. Only the Savannah/Hilton International Airport in Savannah, Georgia, which had a 13.7 percent decline in airfare, decreased more in the last year.

Bellingham also ranked in the top five for lowest overall average domestic fare in 2014.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics based the study on the total ticket price of domestic fares. Total ticket price includes additional taxes and fees paid at the time of the ticket purchase, but not baggage fees or other fees paid at either the airport or onboard the aircraft.

The bureau adjusted fares for inflation.

Traffic at Bellingham International Airport this summer was about 10 percent less than summer 2013.

In September, Port of Bellingham aviation director Daniel Zenk said that the decrease is due to industry consolidation.

“We expected that there would be a plateau and a slight decrease,” Zenk said last month. “Now we anticipate that things will start to turn around.”



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