NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. airlines carried 64.5 million passengers in March, the government said Thursday, a 1.4 percent increase from a year ago.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said domestic traffic improved by 1 percent, while it increased 4.2 percent overseas.
Flights were fuller than ever. Occupancy rates were 83 percent on average across all flights, and 84.5 percent domestically.
U.S. airlines carried 172.0 million total system passengers during the first three months of 2012, up 2.8 percent from the same period in 2011.
Fares grew at a much faster clip than traffic. United Airlines, the world's largest carrier, saw March passenger revenue rise as much as 5 percent, despite flight reductions and other problems caused by a big computer switchover.
Delta, at No. 2, reported a better-than-expected 13 percent increase in that metric in March on strong corporate demand and higher fares.