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Average airfares drop in Tampa Bay, rise slightly at Sarasota-Bradenton

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  • | 5:15 p.m. March 25, 2024
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Normally, airports do not like missing top or best of lists — unless the lists are about delays or fare increases.

So Tampa International Airport must be happy about a new ranking on roundtrip air fares, which showed TPA's fares went down $8.58, or 2%, from 2022 to 2023. That decrease meant TPA ranked No. 210 in fare increase change from 2022 to 2023 out of 253 major and medium-sized U.S. airports examined.

The study was done by Upgraded Points.

St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, a smaller hub, came in at 172. It too saw a decrease in fares, by 18 cents, about 0%. PIE's 2023 average fares were $160.39. The average fares in 2022 were $160.57.

Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, under the call letters RSW, saw a small increase of 0.2%, or $0.74, to $471.80, from $471.06.

At Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, fares went up 2%, or $8.71, to $437.60, from $428.89 in 2022. That brought it a ranking of No. 130 of the 253 airports.

Average airfare
Airport2022 Fares2023 FaresChange
Tampa International Airport$428.34$419.76-2%
St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport$160.57$160.390%
Southwest Florida International Airport$471.06$471.800.2%
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport$428.89$437.602%
Source: Upgraded Points

Most U.S. airports, major or small, were not as fare-friendly as TPA, PIE or RSW. Miami, for example, led large airports in air fare increases. 

Upgraded Points reported Miami fares jumped 8.2%, $35.28, to $462.97 in 2023 from $427.69 in 2022.

Commercial flight prices eased slightly in 2023, decreasing to $449 in the third quarter of 2023. But the end of the standard pandemic protocol has brought out the travelers and that brought demand prices.

"As travel restrictions eased and public health recovered, airfares rebounded to a peak price of $495 in the second quarter of 2022," says Upgraded Points.

A 74% price increase for roundtrip fares since COVID-19 eased "reflects the revived demand and widespread inflation during that period, including elevated jet fuel prices," the firm says. "While the average roundtrip ticket price nominally sits above pre-2020 prices, airfares are actually lower now than at any point prior to the pandemic after adjusting for inflation."


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