Periodically, aerospace industry publications report dollars-and-cents results of current airline operations. These values are extracted directly from CAB Form 41 reports. Many people tend to seize upon the direct operating cost figures as reported and disregard many other statistics that really carry the message regarding cost influences. The intent of this paper is to examine these influences and show why all reported costs must be examined in detail before definitive comparisons or conclusions can be drawn. Before using any number quoted from any source as a direct operating cost for any aircraft: Use caution. There is a big question involved; is the value really fact or fiction?