How Much Did a Seat on the First Commercial Flight Cost?

As you might imagine, a seat on a commercial flight was not as affordable in 1914 as it is today. So how much did a seat on the first-ever commercial flight cost, exactly? It was $400 -- which may not seem that exorbitant until we factor in inflation and the length of the flight. If we calculate $400 in today's currency, adding an annual inflation rate of 3.17%, it would be equivalent to a little over $9,000. And no frequent-flyer miles, either.

The first commercial flight took off in January 1914 and completed a 23-minute journey of 18.6 miles (30 km) between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida. The plane, a Benoist XIV, carried two people on board that day. The plane was piloted by Tony Jannus and the passenger was former St. Petersburg mayor Abram Pheil, who won the seat in a special auction for $400.

More about early flight:

  • The Wright brothers, who were originally from Dayton, Ohio, invented the first powered aircraft and completed their first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903.

  • The first flight around the world took place in 1924, a journey of around 25,000 miles (40,234 km) and more than 5 months, beginning and ending in Seattle, Washington.

  • The first supersonic flight was achieved by US Air Force Capt. Charles Yeager in 1947. Yeager's Bell X-1 reached a speed of 700 miles (1,127 km) per hour, exceeding the speed of sound.

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More Info: Business Insider

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