DC-area airport ranks No. 1 for most expensive domestic flights

Dulles International Airport, which always ranks among most expensive airports for fares, topped the list in 2022.

Finance Buzz, using U.S. Department of Transportation data, ranks Dulles No. 1 on the list of most expensive airports for domestic airfare, so it is not skewed by the more expensive international flights at Dulles. In 2022, the average domestic roundtrip fare at Dulles was $494.78, outranking San Francisco International, at $456.86, and Charlotte Douglas International, at $444.43.

Portland International Airport and Detroit round out the top five for highest average domestic fares last year.

In 2021, only two airports had average domestic fares that topped $400. In 2022, 11 airports topped $400.

Overall, the national average airfare cost for domestic flights increased 14.1% from 2021 to 2022, when adjusted for inflation, and 23.2% when not adjusted.

It is the second time since 2014 that the inflation-adjusted average airfare cost has increased year-over-year. 2021 was the only other year, with inflation-adjusted airfare prices up 0.3%.

The five least expensive U.S. airports for domestic fares are Harry Reid International in Las Vegas ($264.24), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International ($271.78), Orlando International ($273.35), Oakland International (288.23), and Chicago Midway International (303.05).

When adjusted for inflation, airfare is considerably less expensive than it was two decades ago.

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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.

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