Dulles is most expensive for average air fare

Dulles International Airport ranked as the most expensive airport in the U.S. for average domestic air fares in 2021. BWI Marshall and Reagan National rank in the middle.

Financial advice site FinanceBuzz looked at the most recent fare data from the Department of Transportation to rank the 45 busiest U.S. airports for average air fare costs.



Overall, the national average airfare cost rose just slightly from 2020 to 2021, up 0.30%. Air fares have risen significantly since the beginning of 2022, so these numbers are not adjusted for the current landscape.

Even so, the slight increase in 2021, adjusted for inflation, was the first time since 2014 that average domestic fares have posted a year-over-year increase.

In 2021, the average domestic air fare at Dulles was $408.08, an increase of $28.92 from 2020.

Reagan National ranks No. 24 for average domestic air fares at $329.17, up $13.41 from 2020.

BWI Marshall has the lowest average domestic air fares in the D.C. region, and ranks No. 18 nationally, at $313.50, though it saw one of the largest year-over-year increases, at $46.08.

Dulles and San Francisco International Airport are the only two with average domestic air fares over $400.

Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International had the lowest average domestic air fares in 2021 at $233.36, followed by Orlando International Airport at $241.01 and Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas at $247.53. It is the first time in three years that Harry Reid International, formerly McCarran International, did not have the most affordable air fare.

Three of the five least expensive airports for domestic air fares are in Florida.

The full ranking of the 45 busiest airports, based on average domestic fares in 2021 as reported by the DOT, is online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up