Airfares jumped by 10 percent in the final quarter of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010, as airlines raised ticket prices to pay for rising fuel costs, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported Monday.

Atlantic City International Airport had the lowest average fare, at $189 per round trip, while Cincinnati's had the highest, at $502, according to the department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Philadelphia was slightly more expensive than average, ranked 38th among the top 100 U.S. airports with an average fare of $382, up 11 percent from the final three months of 2010.

The national average fare was $368. The calculations did not include airports in Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico.

Fares were based on the total ticket value, including taxes and fees at time of purchase, but did not include other fees, such as baggage fees, paid at the airport or aboard the plane.

The five airports with the highest average fares in the fourth quarter of 2011 were Cincinnati, Houston-Bush, Memphis, Washington-Dulles, and Newark.

Airports with the lowest fares were dominated by leisure destinations: Atlantic City; Long Beach, Calif.; Las Vegas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Bellingham, Wash.

Atlantic City currently is served by only one scheduled carrier, Spirit Airlines, of Miramar, Fla., which bills itself as an "ultra low-cost" airline. More than half of its flights are to destinations in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or