SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Airline tickets at Sacramento International Airport have gone up 14.4 percent over the past 8 years. That's more than twice the average rate increase nationwide of 6.5 percent.
USA Today researchers took a look at the 100 busiest airports in the US, and tracked the average airfare all the way back to 2005. The data showed as less seats were available flying to and from airports, ticket prices went up; the opposite is also true.
Sacramento travel agent Anita Vanderzanden said the Sacramento airport, SMF, does not see the same competition for passengers that Bay Area airports do.
San Francisco International Airport has seen its average price for a domestic flight go down 16.6 percent since 2005, but the average ticket is still the most expensive of the Bay Area airports, $414 (down from $496 in 2005). At the same time, the number of seats available to passengers has gone up 22.2 percent in that same time period.
Oakland's airport, like SMF, has seen an 6 percent increase in ticket prices, from $294 in 2005 to $278 in 2013. The number of available seats compared to 2005 is down 35.7 percent. San Jose has seen a 9 percent increase in price and 27.4 percent decrease in the number of seats available since 2005.
RELATED: USA Today interactive map of airfare changes
Passengers at Sacramento International Airport Monday said they were generally inclined to pick convenience over cost when purchasing their tickets.
"Driving to Oakland or San Francisco, and then paying for parking, what, $30-$40 a day, on top of you know, a $40 tank of gas each way, it kind of works itself into a wash," said Bryan Richardson, a frequent flyer between Sacramento and Portland, Oregon.
"It's purely logistics, and it's well worth the additional expense," added Larry Kliewer, a Dixon resident who opts to fly out of SMF instead of Bay Area airports.
He also mentioned the cost of gas and parking often negates any cost savings in finding a cheaper ticket at a different airport.