Shocker: It’s Getting More Expensive to Fly

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A passenger gets his boarding pass at an electronic ticket terminal at Chicago O'Hare International Airport

REUTERS/Stephen J. Carrera

[Ding] You are now free to move about the country — at even higher prices.

Numbers released by the Department of Transportation on Wednesday show that, when compared to last year’s first-quarter figures, airline fares have jumped by almost 5 percent. The AP reports that the average cost of a domestic flight during this year’s 1Q analysis was $328. That marks the highest first-quarter price since 2008 ($333), and second-highest overall pocket hit since 2001.

(See TIME’s 50 essential travel tips.)

Making matters worse, that $328 price consists of only the baseline ticket, taxes, and security fees. Add-on agony, topped by the new wave of checked-baggage costs, is not included.

But rest assured. The AP report notes that the government says average fares are 25 percent less than the costs in 1999, after inflation adjustments. Underline that keyword — inflation.

(See TIME’s 20 reasons to hate the airlines)