Believe it or not: The average price of a plane ticket has gone down

Plane tickets are getting less expensive.

The average cost for domestic air fare dropped to $344 for the third quarter of 2016, down nearly 9 percent from the same time the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

RELATED: Number of guns found at airport checkpoints up sharply in 2016

A US Airways jet passes an American Airlines plane parked at the gate at Palm Beach International Airport.  (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)
A US Airways jet passes an American Airlines plane parked at the gate at Palm Beach International Airport. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

The number, which is adjusted for inflation, is based on itinerary fares, which typically are two-way trips but could include a one-way ticket. The DOT said those one-way fares accounted for about 38 percent of all tickets purchased from July to September last year. For that time period, the average cost of a one-way fare was $242, and the average cost of a round-trip fare was $424. Fare prices do not include extra charges such as baggage fees — only the price paid when a traveler buys a ticket.

Palm Beach International Airport’s average domestic fare for the third quarter last year was $327 — a slight increase from the same time in 2015 — and the airport had nearly 340,000 passengers start their trips there, the DOT said.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the average domestic fare was $241 — the lowest among its group of airports that served between 1 million and 1.5 million passengers in the third quarter last year, and about a 9 percent drop from the same time the year before.

Ticket prices fell about 14 percent from 2014, and about 26.5 percent from the third quarter of 2000, when average ticket prices hit a peak for the 21-year stretch the DOT has kept track of fare records, the agency said.

 

 

 

FPL files data with state to prove investments are paying off for customers

Florida Power & Light Co. said Thursday that it has filed data with the Florida Public Service Commission showing that its investments in strengthening its grid are paying off for customers.

(Bill Ingram /The Palm Beach Post)
(Bill Ingram /The Palm Beach Post)

Since 2006, FPL said it has invested more than $2 billion to strengthen its electric system, including hardening nearly 550 main power lines serving critical community facilities, such as police and fire stations, hospitals and 911 centers. By the end of this year, FPL said it will have bolstered every main power line serving critical community facilities in the 35 counties it serves.

“We’re building a stronger and smarter electric grid to provide our customers with reliable service year-round, all the while keeping our typical residential bills the lowest in Florida and 30 percent below the national average,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Our continued investments in strengthening the electric grid and utilizing advanced smart grid technology help us deliver electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad. This has been very evident during our most recent spell of severe El Niño-related weather, including tornadic activity, which for the past several weeks has been impacting our service territory.”

FPL said its efforts to bolster overhead power lines also have resulted in better reliability. The hardened lines, the utility said, perform approximately 40 percent better than lines that have not been hardened.

FPL also said its use of more than 4.8 million smart meters on homes and businesses, plus another 36,000 advanced smart grid devices on its poles and wires, allows it to monitor the health of its system as well as to predict, and sometimes prevent outages, and restore power faster when outages occur.