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I have paid £760 for next weeks ticket from Heathrow to Cape Town via Jo'burg with SAA. I believe this to be the same as I paid in January 1976. I appreciate the variables such as when booked etc. but is my memory playing tricks or can some one confirm £760 was approximately correct?

  • Just because I was curious... Using the Bank of England's inflation calculator that £760 in 1976 would cost ~£4886 in 2014 (the most recent year the calculator will allow you to enter). – Anthony Grist Jan 12 '16 at 14:48
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about the history of airfare pricing – JonathanReez Jan 26 '16 at 11:34
  • The inflation calculator would not be pertinent in this case. The ticket now should cost ~5000 today, and in terms of actual value of the pound probably does cost that much in terms of purchasing power, etc, but the face value on the ticket today is the same as 40 years ago. – CGCampbell Jan 26 '16 at 12:41
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    Also it's well documented that ticket prices have dropped over time - prices often haven't moved in a long, long time. (eg theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/…) – Mark Mayo Jan 26 '16 at 13:25
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    Inflation is kind of relevant, it explains why the face value on the ticket could still be the same even if air transport became vastly cheaper. – Relaxed Jun 22 '16 at 8:01
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In 1960, a round-trip from New York to London cost $350, according to a Pan Am advertisement. The same trip today, booked out-of-season, in economy class, with a layover and sufficiently in advance costs around $550, an increase of 60%. The official inflation rate was around 800% over the same time period, so it seems that the cheapest air fares have decreased by around 80%. Various sources confirm that air-travel prices have indeed gone down:

air travel prices chart

Therefore the answer is yes, it's feasible that the dollar value of both tickets stayed the same over the years.

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    I'm being a bit blind here. Where did the OP say they bought J? – Berwyn Jun 21 '16 at 15:06
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    No way! Modern business class has a flat bed. You didn't even get that in F in the 70s. Screw the food! – Berwyn Jun 21 '16 at 15:13
  • @Berwyn I was making a comparison with 1960, since I couldn't find exact fares in 1976. In 1960 the seats were definitely much better than modern economy, as well as everything else in the airports. – JonathanReez Jun 21 '16 at 15:14
  • They might've been better than modern economy, but they certainly were nothing like modern business. – Berwyn Jun 21 '16 at 15:15
  • @Berwyn Let's continue in chat. – JonathanReez Jun 21 '16 at 15:17

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