Airfare priced at $100 in 1981 $318.81 in 2023

Airfare Inflation Calculator

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Prices for Airfare, 1981-2023 ($100)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for airline fares are 218.81% higher in 2023 versus 1981 (a $218.81 difference in value).

Between 1981 and 2023: Airfare experienced an average inflation rate of 2.80% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, airfare costing $100 in the year 1981 would cost $318.81 in 2023 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.88% during this same period, inflation for airfare was lower.

In the year 1981: Pricing changed by 25.87%, which is significantly above the average yearly change for airfare during the 1981-2023 time period. Compared to inflation for all items in 1981 (10.33%), inflation for airfare was much higher.

Price Inflation for Airline fares since 1963

Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1980 (38.39%), 2022 (30.15%), and 1981 (25.87%).

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Buying power of $100.00 since 1981

Below are calculations of equivalent buying power for Airfare, over time, for $100 beginning in 1981. Each of the amounts below is equivalent in terms of what it could buy at the time:

YearUSD ValueInflation Rate
1981$100.0025.87%
1982$110.2210.22%
1983$116.595.78%
1984$123.616.03%
1985$131.416.31%
1986$136.794.09%
1987$143.464.88%
1988$145.121.15%
1989$153.775.96%
1990$173.3012.70%
1991$181.274.59%
1992$181.340.04%
1993$208.7715.13%
1994$216.673.78%
1995$221.582.27%
1996$224.811.46%
1997$232.723.52%
1998$239.793.04%
1999$255.546.57%
2000$279.679.44%
2001$279.66-0.01%
2002$270.50-3.27%
2003$270.18-0.12%
2004$265.41-1.77%
2005$276.404.14%
2006$288.854.51%
2007$294.001.78%
2008$329.4112.04%
2009$301.34-8.52%
2010$324.957.84%
2011$355.149.29%
2012$356.220.30%
2013$365.282.54%
2014$359.44-1.60%
2015$341.36-5.03%
2016$330.06-3.31%
2017$322.15-2.40%
2018$309.44-3.94%
2019$310.020.19%
2020$254.12-18.03%
2021$254.120.00%
2022$330.7530.15%
2023$318.81-3.61%*

* Not final. See inflation summary for latest details.
** Extended periods of 0% inflation usually indicate incomplete underlying data. This can manifest as a sharp increase in inflation later on.


Raw Consumer Price Index data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Airline fares:

Year1963196419651966196719681969197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020202120222023
CPI23.70023.66723.83323.82023.90024.44026.20028.26230.33131.14632.20834.85437.98541.15443.50045.53149.14668.01585.60894.35499.808105.823112.500117.100122.815124.231131.638148.362155.177155.238178.723185.485189.692192.454199.223205.277218.762239.423239.408231.569231.292227.208236.615247.277251.686281.998257.971278.186304.026304.950312.709307.708292.227282.557275.783264.909265.401217.546217.549283.143272.923

Adjust airfare prices for inflation

Start with the inflation rate formula:

CPI in 2023 / CPI in 1981 * 1981 USD value = 2023 USD value

Then plug in historical CPI values from above. The CPI for Airline fares was 85.608 in the year 1981 and 272.923 in 2023:

272.923 / 85.608 * $100 = $318.81

Therefore, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $100 in 1981 has the same "purchasing power" as $318.81 in 2023 (in the CPI category of Airline fares).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the Consumer Price Index for Airline fares in 1963. In addition to airfare, the index produces monthly data on changes in prices paid by urban consumers for a variety of goods and services.

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