The average U.S. domestic airfare for the third quarter of 2014 was $396, the same as in the second quarter, which was the highest average fare since 1995. The fares, adjusted for inflation, were reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation.

Third quarter fares rose 17.2 percent between the recession-impacted low of $338 in 2009 to $378 in the third-quarter of 2011. Since then, third quarter fares have risen slower, only increasing 4.7 percent from 2011 to 2014. The chart below outlines these changes.

Many U.S. airlines, in their fourth quarter of 2014 earnings calls, have stated they don’t expect to be lowering airfares despite the plummeting price of jet fuel. The relative slow pace of airfare increases — at least domestically — namely just a 4.7 percent third quarter increase from 2011 to 2014 puts that stance into context.

Average fares are based on domestic round-trip fares. If a customer does not purchase a round-trip fare then one-way fares, which accounted for 33 percent of fares calculated in the third quarter, are included.

The average fare only accounts for the price paid at the time of purchase so does not include any other fees for baggage, Wi-Fi, or food. It can be assumed, therefore, that customers are paying more than $396 for their total trip.

In the third quarter, passengers originating in Cincinnati, Ohio, paid the highest average fare of $533 while passengers in Mesa, Arizona, paid the lowest fare of $100.

YearAverage Fare in Constant 2014 Dollars ($)Year-to-Year % Change in Average Fare (Q3 to Q3)Cumulative % Change in Average Fare (Q3 1995 to Q3 of Each Year)
1995$447
1996$407-9%-9%
1997$4172.5%-6.7%
1998$45910%2.7%
1999$450-2%0.7%
2000$4612.6%3.3%
2001$405-12.3%-9.4%
2002$399-1.4%-10.7%
2003$4020.7%-10.1%
2004$372-7.4%-16.8%
2005$366-1.5%-18%
2006$3875.7%-13.3%
2007$374-3.4%-16.3%
2008$3914.4%-12.6%
2009$338-13.4%-24.3%
2010$3709.4%-17.1%
2011$3782.2%-15.3%
2012$377-0.3%-15.5%
2013$3975%-11.2%
2014$3960%-11.3%

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, BTS Air Fares and Origin and Destination Survey

Photo Credit: In this Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011, file photo, a passenger walks through an American Airlines baggage claim area at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press