updated 4/25/2007 5:11:19 PM ET 2007-04-25T21:11:19

In what is a boon for airlines but bad news for travelers, a new government report showed the price of plane tickets rose last year to their highest fourth-quarter level since 2000.

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The average price of a domestic round-trip plane ticket was nearly $380 in the fourth quarter, up 3.4 percent from about $367 in the same quarter of 2005.

It was the highest level since average fourth-quarter fares hit $407 in 2000, the Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Wednesday.

Among the top 100 airports measured by passenger traffic, the highest fares were found in Anchorage, Cincinnati, Honolulu, San Francisco and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The lowest were found at Dallas Love Field, Chicago Midway Airport, Houston's Hobby Airport, and the airports in Islip, N.Y. and Buffalo, N.Y.

Airline stocks fell in Wednesday afternoon trading, after United Airlines' parent reported a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss. Among the top percentage decliners was JetBlue Airways Corp., after Calyon Securities and Bear Stearns downgraded its stock.

Of gainers, AirTran Holdings edged up slightly after posting better-than-expected first-quarter profit.

JetBlue shares dropped 40 cents to close at $10.31 on the Nasdaq Stock Market; shares of United parent UAL Corp. fell 88 cents to $38.28.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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