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Airfare soaring at LAX; ticket prices up 42%

Airline travelers can expect to shell out more money when they book domestic trips this holiday season, particularly at two California airports.

A new study from Smart Asset found Los Angeles International Airport and Fresno Yosemite International Airport have seen some of the largest airfare increases in the nation, year over year.

To determine the rankings, researchers at SmartAsset analyzed 100 of the busiest airports in the U.S. An airport was considered “busy” based on its total number of domestic passengers in 2021.

The airports were compared across three metrics: average airfare costs in the second quarter of 2022, the one-year percentage change and dollar change in average ticket costs. The data came from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Pensacola International Airport (PNS) topped the list with airfares increasing an average of $157 per ticket in the second fiscal quarter of 2022 compared Q2 2021.

Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) ranked second on the list with airfares increasing $140.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) ranked fourth on the list with tickets increasing $133. The study found the average domestic airfare at LAX is $448, roughly 42% higher than a year ago.

Nationally, average airfare on domestic flights increased from $328 to $397 – or 21%.

West Coast airports in California, Washington, Idaho and Arizona accounted for six out of the top 10 airports to see the biggest increase.

With high ticket prices, some consumers may be waiting for a price drop, but experts say that’s unlikely.

“We’d normally expect prices to drop off a little over the winter months,” Roger Broussard, a professional pilot, told Smart Asset. “But this year, the power looks to be in the hands of the airlines, with demand looking set to stay high and limited spaces to go around, meaning prices will stay high.”

Experts also recommended that consumers shop around for the best deals if they plan on traveling this holiday season.

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