There’s a great article on today’s New York Times website about the falling cost of flying. The writer, Josh Barro, adds research and useful analysis to an assertion that I have long suspected: flying just keeps getting cheaper – that is, when you look at real dollars.
I have been answering questions about Belize since 1987, which was our first year to offer kayaking in the country. Back then, flights to Belize were about $480 round trip. This figure was amazingly consistent for years and years, maybe even over a decade. It barely seemed to matter where you were flying from.
Now, fares vary more than they used to, but a good guesstimate for a round trip ticket from the US or Canada to Belize is $650. That is assuming you are not flying at Christmas or Spring Break. Even back in 1987, it was more at peak times. But $480 is 1987 equals $1,012 today, which is what tickets to Belize really should cost now. If you do the calculation in reverse, $650 today equals $308 in 1987, 47% less than the cost of a ticket to Belize back then.
We have all gotten very spoiled with these great rates, but they have to become “real” sometime. People have a FIT when they can’t find a ticket to Belize for under $1000. They keep hoping for the old $480 days to come back, and are upset when they don’t. But think about how far away Belize is! There’s a reason airlines have been going bankrupt, they are subsidizing our vacations.
So when the airline charges you for an extra bag, or to carry on luggage, don’t get mad. They are just trying to make their business work so they can keep flying you south so you can join us on the island!