A new survey from the U.S. Department of Transportation says airfares from the Des Moines International Airport are some of the highest in the country. The survey says Des Moines ranks fifth highest with an average flight costing $403. Airport general manager Roy Criss says demand and competition drive the cost of air travel, and they’ve tried to make it cheaper for airlines to fly out of Des Moines.
Criss says over the last three years the management of the airport has reduced the cost of doing business from about $9.52 per person on a plane to about $8.48. He says they’ve also reduced landing fee weight charges and the rent people pay per square foot. While Des Moines’ ranking for fares went up, the average cost of the fare did go down slightly from the same period last year.
Ridership is down in Des Moines about 10% this year, and Criss says the economy is to blame. "It’s very frustrating to see that your airport ranks high as far as fares are concerned when the management of the airport works really hard to keep the cost of business down," Criss says.
The survey covers the nation’s 100 largest markets and found the nationwide fare average is now $315. The lowest average fare was in Long Beach, California at $207. Huntsville Alabama had the most expensive average at $505.
See the whole survey here .