Air fare cuts escape California

Although the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 was intended to encourage competition among air carriers, leading to a reduction in fares, "this did not happen in California," the state Public Utilities Commission reports.

It notes that fares within the state have jumped to as much as twice the national average in two years. A los Angeles-San Francisco ticket now costs about $60, compared with $28 in 1978, the PUC points out. The state agency, which had been regulating airlines, says it kept rates lower by considering such factors as better weather in California creating fewer delays.

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