Anyone who’s flown recently has probably noticed that airfares – like the price of seemingly everything else in the world – have been going up and up.
A new study by Smartasset.com found that Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) ranks 15th in the nation when it comes to the largest ticket price increases. However, the study’s methodology is disputed by PTIA officials.
According to the study by Smartasset.com, “Our findings show that Piedmont Triad International ranked among the 15 airports with the largest price increases as of Q2 [Quarter 2] 2022.”
Smartasset.com is a financial information and advice website that provides tools and data meant to help users make smart decisions with their money.
The study, which can be viewed at https://smartasset.com/data-studies/airfare-price-increases-november-2022, found that average airfare prices shot up by more than 20 percent over the second quarter of 2022 from the previous quarter. It states that new data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that, from the first to the second quarter of 2022, the average cost of a domestic flight in the US increased from $328 to $397.
It also found that six of the 10 airports with the largest price increases are in the western United States.
On the East Coast, it found PTIA to be one of the airports with the highest fare increases – coming in 15th out of the county’s 100 busiest airports.
The leaders are as follows …
(1) Pensacola International Airport in Florida
(2) Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California
(3) Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state
(4) Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Montana
(5)) Los Angeles International Airport (which essentially came in tied with Bozeman.)
In an email regarding the study, PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker wrote that the methodology is questionable.
“This has always been a problem: various organizations like Smartasset trying to use the DOT [Department of Transportation] Statistics data to write stories about airfares,” Baker wrote. “The airlines in the USA don’t use the raw DOT BTS data. Almost all airlines use the Cirium Diio Mi tool as do many airports including PTI.”
That tool with the interesting name covers over 97 percent of worldwide airline scheduled flights with data that goes back two decades and looks forward nearly a year.
“The DOT Bureau of Transportation reports mix one-way, multi-leg and roundtrip fares and attempts to create a picture of the average airfare,” Baker wrote. “The airlines don’t do this. They use the Cirium Diio Mi tool, which uses methodology that gives a better picture of the fare paid by enplaning O&D [Origin and Destination] passengers for the one-way origin and destination flight out of the origin airport.”
Baker added that the widely used industry tool shows that, out of all the commercial service airports in North Carolina, PTIA had the smallest increase in average domestic fares between the second quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2022.