Average airlines fares at Raleigh-Durham International Airport dropped in the first quarter, giving local travelers a welcome price break.
The average domestic fare at RDU was $271 during the first three months of the year, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported last week.
That was down 10 percent from the same quarter last year. And it was well below the national average of $315. The national average dropped 6 percent from last year.
RDU benefits from healthy competition, especially from low-fare carriers such as Southwest Airlines, which tends to keep prices down.
While fares tend to rise during the busy summer season, experts say fares also have been held down this year by weaker demand during the recession.
The airport's track record looks even better over a longer time period.
From 1995 to the first quarter of 2009, average fares at RDU dropped nearly 28 percent, reports the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
That put RDU at No. 5 for average fare decreases among the country's largest airports.