You may think that paying US$300 for that flight cross country is a rip-off, but almost all of your ticket price goes to paying off fees, labor, and taxes. The biggest portions of your ticket prices go to pay off airport fees, taxes, and even paying off the initial investment of the airplane. An Airbus A320 costs the airline around US$107 million to purchase, and when that is broken down to the number of passengers it can hold, it’s about 12 dollars per person, per flight.
It’s not so much that the airlines are ripping you off, although that’s not to say they don’t, it’s that flying is just really expensive. Flying is getting cheaper, and in many areas, it is the cheapest form of transportation. Many still opt to drive, but when you factor in maintenance costs and time, flying usually beats it out. It is likely, however, that the airline industry will be shaken up with the implementation of the hyperloop, or even self-driving cars. Who knows, the future of transportation could look a lot more ‘grounded’ in a few years.