Business Travel Costs At Highest Levels Since 2001

Business air travel costs have hit their highest levels in nearly five years as carriers regain pricing power, a survey showed Sept. 20. American Express Business Travel said its survey of travel managers showed U.S. domestic one-way airfares increased 13% from a year ago to an average of $247. This was the highest since late 2001.

The survey found higher costs in all categories, including economy-class tickets and international travel.The average international fare was up 6% to $1,709, with discount economy airfares increasing 9% to $1,150.

The survey found that both domestic and international hotel rates were higher. Average domestic booked hotel rates rose 3% to $139 in the second quarter. But the increases were steeper in major cities. In the top 34 domestic hotel markets, budget hotel prices jumped 26% to $167, economy lodging rose 12% to $162, and deluxe accommodations increased 10% to $219 a night. The average international booked hotel rate increased 11% to $237.

Car rental costs increased as well with the average daily cost for car rentals rising 4% from a year ago to $67.26.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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