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Chicago Airfares Rising Faster Than Most Other Cities: Report

Airplane

First Posted: 07/28/11 02:18 PM ET Updated: 09/27/11 06:12 AM ET

Already home to the perpetually highest gas prices in the nation, Chicago's airfares are also moving in an upward direction -- at a rate faster than all but one other city, according to federal data reported by Crain's Wednesday.

According to the report, the average domestic airfare out of Chicago during the year's first quarter was $360, 11.8 percent higher than the previous year's average of $322.

San Francisco -- with a 13 percent increase over the previous year -- was the only metropolitan travel hub who saw a bigger increase in their average airfare price, the report continues. On the other end of the spectrum, Boston -- with only a 4.2 percent average fare increase -- saw the smallest jump.

Though Chicago's airfares are climbing more quickly than other cities, the city's airfare prices remain among the lowest, thanks to competition among the three airlines based out of the city's two airports at O'Hare (United and American) and Midway (Southwest).

As one example, Southwest's Great Fare Deals promotion, announced earlier this month, is offering a selection of vastly reduced fares through August 2, according to the Chicago Tribune. Flights from Chicago to Washington, D.C., for example, are as low as $122 one-way. One can get from Chicago to Minneapolis-St. Paul for just $59 one way. The Tribune also recently caught wind of flights from Chicago to Los Angeles going for $99 each way thanks to Virgin America's Fares to Fly By promotion, which runs through Saturday.

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Filed by Joseph Erbentraut  |