The Miracle of Flight Has Never Been Cheaper
There's been a lot of complaints lately about air travel because of crowded planes, fees for checked luggage, security lines, etc., and there's a lot of nostalgia for the good old days of free food, no extra fees for baggage or anything else, half-empty planes where you could often get 2 or 3 seats to yourself, no security issues, etc. But I don't think anybody is too nostalgic for the airfares of yesteryear, which were 66% higher in 1993 at an average ticket price of $541 (in 2010 dollars) compared to today's average air fare of only $326. That's an average savings today of $215 per flight compared to the average airfare in 1993, and an average savings of more than $100 per flight compared to the average airfare in the 1990s (1993-1999, data here and here).
I couldn't find average airfare data before 1993, but it's probably safe to say that the average, inflation-adjusted airfares of 2009-2010 are the cheapest in history, in case that's any consolation for your recent inconveniences while travelling by air.
And any time you're really depressed about your air travel experience, watch Louis C.K.'s video "Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy," which you can now watch on your laptop while flying on an airplane that has Internet access, and be thankful that you're sitting in a chair flying through the air in the sky, because of the "miracle of human flight."
Update: According to this source (thanks to Jet Beagle), "The average airfare dropped by more than one-third between 1977 and 1992 (adjusting for inflation). That would mean that the average airfare in the late 1970s was around $800 (in today's dollars).