From the Jan. 28, 1906 NYT is an advertisement for the Washington and Southern Railway:
MARDI GRAS – NEW YORK TO NEW ORLEANS AND RETURN – $37.75.
Tickets on sale February 21 to 27, good returning until March 3, 1906. Extension of limit March 16th can be had by depositing ticket and paying 50 cents at New Orleans.
I don’t know how long it would have taken to get from the Big Apple to the Big Easy on a train, but I would figure two days or so. The folks over at EH.net estimate the following 2004 values for the $37 round trip:
In 2004, $37.75 from 1906 is worth:
$789.69 using the Consumer Price Index
$628.95 using the GDP deflator
$3,459.73 using the unskilled wage
$4,577.43 using the GDP per capita
$14,789.21 using the relative share of GDP
Ouch. As a relative share of GDP, the train trip was extremely expensive. However, it wasn’t too cheap using the CPI adjusted figure. Today’s cost of flying from NYC Laguardia to New Orleans? Travelocity has reasonably timed flights for around $160. Travel time from NYC to NO is about 2.5 hours.
I’m not going to complain this week about higher prices to fly out of Dulles since Independence Air ceased operations.