Comparing past, present airfares is more difficult with new fees

Airfares have been increasing steadily since the beginning of the year, according to official data. But airlines also have been adding fees for services such as checking luggage and using pillows, making comparisons of past and present airfares increasingly difficult. "For most travelers, the airfare is now the starting point rather than the end point in calculating what your trip cost will be," said Henry Harteveldt, a Forrester Research analyst. "You can't rely on average airfare data anymore."

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