1978 to 1999 - Average airline fare fell 40% (adjusting for inflation).
1978 in 1999 - Airline travel increased from 227 billion passenger-miles in 652 billion passenger-miles.
In the late 1970s, commercial airline travel was heavily regulated. Airlines had to get permission from the Civil Aeronautics Board for any change in their routes, schedules, prices, and so forth. Airlines could not adjust their equipment, schedule or fares to keep up with shifts in passengers' needs. Planes flew half-empty at odd times, and tickets were expensive. An economist named Alfred Kahn was named to head the CAB. He deregulated the airlines and arranged to have CAB abolished. New airlines sprang up to meet growing consumer demand for service between new locations. Airline schedules were revised. Fare structures were modified. The average number of empty seats declined. Fares fell 40 percent. Air travel almost doubled from 1980 to 1997.