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Cost of a plane ticket the year you graduated college

  • Cost of a plane ticket the year you graduated college

    The romantic possibilities of air travel have long captivated American travelers seeking adventure across the country. Since the first commercial flight took off over 100 years ago, the U.S. airline industry has since grown to handle over 600 million miles traveled every year, permeating every aspect of our lives, from business to leisure.

    But commercial air travel is not without its pain points, perhaps none greater than the constant fluctuation of ticket costs, and the industry’s lack of pricing transparency. A flight is one of the very few services in the world where you are almost certainly paying a different amount from the customers sitting right next to you.

    That first flight was just 23 minutes and cost $400 (roughly $9,600 today), and ticket prices have been a constant source of customer complaints ever since. But just how much has the price of a ticket changed over time? Using data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Stacker analyzed the average price for U.S. domestic airline fares from 1995-2017 along with CPI changes for airline fare from 1964-1995. For each year, we also included the average price for the popular routes of Boston—Seattle, Chicago—Atlanta, and New York—Los Angeles. These figures reflect fares for paying customers only and are typically representative of roundtrip travel, as defined by the BTS.

    For those nostalgic for the time where the skies were yours for a few hundred dollars and a dream, read on to see the cost of a plane ticket the year you graduated from college.

  • 1964

    Average domestic airline fare: $36.66 (inflation-adjusted: $289.36)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $38.18 (inflation-adjusted: $301.36)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $13.76 (inflation-adjusted: $108.60)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $40.37 (inflation-adjusted: $318.69)

     

  • 1965

    Average domestic airline fare: $36.81 (inflation-adjusted: $285.97)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $38.34 (inflation-adjusted: $297.83)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $13.82 (inflation-adjusted: $107.33)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $40.54 (inflation-adjusted: $314.96)

     

  • 1966

    Average domestic airline fare: $36.81 (inflation-adjusted: $277.17)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $38.34 (inflation-adjusted: $288.67)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $13.82 (inflation-adjusted: $104.03)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $40.54 (inflation-adjusted: $305.27)

     

  • 1967

    Average domestic airline fare: $36.97 (inflation-adjusted: $270.83)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $38.50 (inflation-adjusted: $282.07)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $13.87 (inflation-adjusted: $101.65)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $40.71 (inflation-adjusted: $298.29)

     

  • 1968

    Average domestic airline fare: $37.74 (inflation-adjusted: $265.37)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $39.31 (inflation-adjusted: $276.39)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $14.16 (inflation-adjusted: $99.60)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $41.57 (inflation-adjusted: $292.28)

     

  • 1969

    Average domestic airline fare: $40.52 (inflation-adjusted: $270.20)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $42.21 (inflation-adjusted: $281.41)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $15.21 (inflation-adjusted: $101.41)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $44.63 (inflation-adjusted: $297.59)

     

  • 1970

    Average domestic airline fare: $43.77 (inflation-adjusted: $276.06)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $45.59 (inflation-adjusted: $287.51)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $16.43 (inflation-adjusted: $103.61)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $48.21 (inflation-adjusted: $304.05)

     

  • 1971

    Average domestic airline fare: $46.87 (inflation-adjusted: $283.16)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $48.81 (inflation-adjusted: $294.91)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $17.59 (inflation-adjusted: $106.28)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $51.62 (inflation-adjusted: $311.87)

     

  • 1972

    Average domestic airline fare: $48.10 (inflation-adjusted: $281.60)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $50.10 (inflation-adjusted: $293.28)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $18.05 (inflation-adjusted: $105.69)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $52.98 (inflation-adjusted: $310.15)

     

  • 1973

    Average domestic airline fare: $49.80 (inflation-adjusted: $274.49)

    Boston, MA - Seattle, WA fare: $51.87 (inflation-adjusted: $285.88)

    Chicago, IL - Atlanta, GA fare: $18.69 (inflation-adjusted: $103.02)

    New York, NY - Los Angeles, CA fare: $54.85 (inflation-adjusted: $302.32)