The Los Angeles basin has relatively cheap airfare, according to federal data

Long Beach Airport has the cheapest fares in the nation by one metric. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer.

Long Beach Airport has the cheapest fares in the nation by one metric. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer.

Greater Los Angeles is a good place to buy domestic airfare, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The L.A. Basin had an average domestic roundtrip airfare of 383.55 in the fourth quarter of 2013, a number that has dropped 12.5 percent since 2000, when the average airfare was 438.41. (The fares are inflation adjusted, so 2013 numbers can be compared to 2000.) Among major metropolitan areas, only Chicago had a lower average airfare at the end of 2013.

Region Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2000 Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2010 Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2011 Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2012 Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2013 % change 2000-2013 % change 2012-2013
Greater New York City 544.78 396.73 415.22 412.92 434.12 -20.3 5.1
Greater Los Angeles 438.41 360.84 385.21 383 383.55 -12.5 0.1
Greater San Francisco 484.29 355.46 381.71 385.04 385.94 -20.3 0.2
Greater Chicago 466.59 352.56 359.02 368.16 382.22 -18.1 3.8
Greater Washington DC 461.3 360.97 387.9 378.33 384.01 -16.8 1.5
Greater Boston 504.09 343.82 360.87 375.03 369.21 -26.8 -1.6
Greater Dallas/Fort Worth 513.88 386.92 403.47 385.82 383.98 -25.3 -0.5
Greater Houston 452.8 397.8 431.69 446.52 436.84 -3.5 -2.2

The Los Angeles basin consists of Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena, Long Beach, Los Angeles Int’l, Ontario and Santa Ana.

Long Beach has the cheapest fares in the nation, with an average roundtrip fare of 248.63. You’ll probably see a lot of media coverage about this today. But just remember that Long Beach is a bit unusual. Flights from the airport are relatively short, mostly on the West Coast. And the main tenant, Jetblue, is considered a low-fare airline. The is a good thing for travelers who can use Long Beach. But this is not really a business plan other airports can borrow.

Here is our local, airport by airport chart.

Overall rank Region Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2000 Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2010 Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2011 Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2012 Inflation Adjusted Average Fare 4Q 2013 % change 2000-2013 % change 2012-2013
1 Long Beach 402.39 248.86 236.8 237.34 248.63 -38.2 4.8
3 Burbank 251.7 280.7 308.72 285.92 281.23 11.7 -1.6
16 Ontario 341.32 317.74 337.94 343.45 335.2 -1.8 -2.4
33 Santa Ana 490.48 350.04 371.16 371.77 369.41 -24.7 -0.6
76 Los Angeles 479.7 393.96 420.56 415.95 414.88 -13.5 -0.3
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Southwest to take over Orange County – Cabo route from Air Tran

Southwest will take over Orange County to Los Cabos, Mexico flying from AirTran

Southwest will take over Orange County to Los Cabox, Mexico flying from AirTran. Photo: Southwest.

Southwest Airlines, long-known for only domestic flights, will soon start flying its own airplanes between Santa Ana, Calif. in Orange County and Los Cabos, Mexico.

Technically this is neither a big deal nor a surprise. Southwest closed its merger with AirTran in 2011, and has slowly been ending operations for the smaller carrier. Since June 2012, AirTran has flown from Santa Ana to Los Cabos, so it was only a matter of time until Southwest took over. Southwest starts officially flying the route on Aug. 10.

AirTran also flies from Orange County to Mexico City. I don’t think anything has been announced about if and when Southwest will take over flying.

Here are the routes Southwest said it will soon fly internationally, along with the lowest fares in the market.

  • Atlanta to Nassau, Bahamas for as low as $127 one-way
  • Baltimore/Washington to Nassau, Bahamas for as low as $126 one-way
  • Denver to Los Cabos, Mexico for as low as $192 one-way
  • Orlando to Montego Bay, Jamaica for as low as $148 one-way
  • Milwaukee to Cancun, Mexico for $214 one-way
  • Santa Ana/Orange County, Calif., and Los Cabos, Mexico for $143 one-way
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