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Airfares continue to rise, government data show

February 2, 2011 | 10:32 am

Deltalax The latest airline data from the federal government are good news for the rebounding airline industry but bad news for passengers.

Average domestic airfares increased 10.7%, to $340, from July to September 2010, compared with the same period in the previous year, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported Wednesday.

Airfares have been rising steadily since June 2009 after taking a severe drop at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, according to agency numbers.

Still, the average fare of $340 is 5.4% below the all-time high -- not adjusted for inflation -- of $359 in the third quarter of 2008.

The airfare data come two weeks after the Air Transport Assn., the trade group for the nation's airlines, reported the 12th consecutive month of airline revenue growth for U.S.-based carriers. In December, passenger revenue rose, on average, 9% for U.S. carriers, compared with the same month in 2009, the trade group reported.

The airfare numbers do not include revenue the airlines collect from fees charged to check luggage, change flight schedules, buy on-board food and upgrade to roomier seats.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: A passenger prepares to board a plane at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times