(The Center Square) – A new study shows airfare prices have been on the rise at Illinois airports over the past year.
SmartAsset examined the average domestic flight price from 72 major airports over one year. Airfare costs increased by 16% on average across the U.S. Domestic airfare in the first quarter of this year averaged $382, up from $328 a year before.
The report found that airfare at Chicago O’Hare International increased around 18% over the past year, which was among the top 25 highest increases in the country.
“In 2020 and 2021, everyone stopped traveling with airfares dropping as much as 66%, and now we’re seeing the recovery from that,” said the study’s author Jaclyn DeJohn.
Prices at St. Louis Lambert International Airport increased nearly 20% over the past year, while prices at Midway Airport in Chicago increased just over 8%.
DeJohn said price increases have been even higher at Illinois’ smaller airports, like Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington and Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield.
“What we are seeing is that bigger airports like Chicago O’Hare are actually staying a little bit cheaper than the smaller, more local airports,” said DeJohn.
A couple vacation destinations hold the top two spots for the highest airfare increases. Miami International is No. 1, with airfares increasing around 31% in the past year. Southwest Florida International in Fort Myers is second with an increase of nearly 26%.
The study compared Bureau of Transportation Statistics data for the average airfare prices that saw 100,000 or more passengers at U.S. airports in 2022.