The relatively new pervasiveness of budget airlines has promoted U.S. travel, according to a new survey. The survey, commissioned by the Allegheny County Airport Authority, states that the low-cost carriers — most of whom are continually expanding their services — increased the number of air travel passengers with their decreased fares.
The figures of the survey are taken from the Pittsburgh International Airport but can be taken as a good indicator of nationwide trends. The study shows that average one-way fares to all destinations had decreased by 27 percent, down from $192 in 2000 to $140 in 2006.
So while I have reported on the overall increase in business travel costs and highlighted this phenomenon on this site, it seems that the budget airlines are doing their best to dock this trend. Moreover, the arrival of Virgin America to the scene should continue to have a positive impact for travelers on the cost of air travel. This could mean further increases in passenger traffic, a greater focus on amenities in both budget and deluxe carriers, and/or a reversal of the increase in overall costs.
In any case, the predominance of budget airlines is a positive movement for anyone who enjoys or needs to travel, professionally and personally.