NewsLocal News / July 15, 2015

Why Are Airfare Prices So High?

After accounting for the recent merger between US Airways and American Airlines, those four big companies—American, Delta, Southwest and United — made up about 94 percent of all passengers flying in and out of Indianapolis this May. - stock photo

After accounting for the recent merger between US Airways and American Airlines, those four big companies—American, Delta, Southwest and United — made up about 94 percent of all passengers flying in and out of Indianapolis this May.

stock photo

Indianapolis Airport Authority officials say airline mergers are contributing to increased ticket prices at the Indianapolis airport, but there are other factors at play when it comes to the cost of flying.

An Associated Press report published Tuesday drew a connection between rising airfare prices and the decreasing number of major airlines. Thanks to mergers, there are only four major airlines left flying the skies.

After accounting for the recent merger between US Airways and American Airlines, those four big companies — American, Delta, Southwest and United — made up about 94 percent of all passengers flying in and out of Indianapolis this May. 

Indianapolis Airport Authority Business Development Director Mark Busalacchi agrees those mergers have played a role in increasing the airport’s historically low ticket prices.

“As time progressed and as consolidation took place, we began to be more in line with what the national average was and now we are in fact above what the national average is,” Busalacchi said.

According to the AP report, Indianapolis’s prices are 6 percent above the national average.
But experts like Alex Mozdzanowska say there are other factors affecting those increases.

“It sort of depends on where you focus the lens and where you look,” Mozdzanowska said.

Mozdzanowska says factors such as changes in a city’s population density and what types of tickets travelers are buying affect prices, too. Busalacchi agrees, saying the city has had a large uptick in business travel, which can drive up average prices.

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