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AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

 

The so-called "Golden Age" of flying -- a vibrant era of luxury in which the comfort and enjoyment of the passenger was put first. These were the '50s and '60s, before the jumbo jet made airline travel much cheaper and more accessible to the public.

The quickly approaching holiday season is traditionally the busiest time in travel. Whether the seasonal gathering call for a short jaunt, cross country or inter-continental, one thing is sure flying is the safest, and fastest way to any destination.

A lot has changed since the Golden Age, both for the better and -- some would argue -- for the worse. Travel didn't always involve long TSA lines and cramped, dingy airplane seating. Many like to reminisce, though many gripe about the days in which flying was significantly less expensive than today, Mooseroots, a Graphiq site, found that this may not entirely be the case.

MooseRoots calculated the average price of domestic airfare at five different airports over time since 1963. To do so, they used data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics going back to 1995, as well as Consumer Price Index and inflation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate prices in years where data is not available.

 

They noted both the raw and inflation-adjusted prices of flights for comparison at the top five international airports in the U.S. with the most passengers: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

 

When it received its first flight in 1926, no one could have expected that the little 287-acre patch of land outside of Atlanta, Georgia, would later grow to be the 4,700-acre home to the world's busiest airport. The average flight in 1963 cost about $41, which equals $323 with inflation. Last year, it cost around $392.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

 

The largest airport in California, Los Angeles International Airport is the only airport to rank among the top five U.S. airports for both passenger and cargo traffic. Considered the "Gateway to the Pacific Rim" for its connections to Asia and Latin America, this airport has seen a relatively larger jump in average flight prices from 1963. An average ticket that used to cost $38 in 1963 ($299 with inflation) today cost $399 in 2015.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)

 

In 2014, Chicago O'Hare International Airport beat record-holder Atlanta for the title of the busiest airport in the world in number of takeoffs and landings, but slipped back into second last year. Nonetheless, the popular hub has the most runways (nine) of any major international airport, largely serving United and American Airlines. A flight in 1963 cost $43 ($340 with inflation), and about $360 in 2015. The most expensive an average ticket has ever been was in 2000, when a ticket cost $409 ($581 with inflation).

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

 

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport hosted the first landing of an Air France Concorde in the U.S. in 1973. Since then, the airport has only grown and facilitated more passenger traffic than most of the world's most notable airports. In fact, the main hub for American Airlines served a record of 64,174,163 passengers in 2015.

In 1963, it cost $48 ($378 inflation-adjusted) to catch a flight out of DFW. That cost rose and recently declined to about $385 in 2015.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

 

Though today it is the busiest international air passenger gateway into the U.S., it was originally built in 1948 to help relieve LaGuardia Airport from overcrowding. Originally named New York International Airport and commonly called "Idlewild Airport," the hub was renamed in 1963 in memory of the recently assassinated former President John F. Kennedy. That same year, at flight cost $45 ($358 inflation-adjusted). In 2015, an average flight cost $430.

Research More CPI Data on MooseRoots

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