May 19, 2024


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Stats: U.S. Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Show Month-Over-Month Growth

Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) has released data showing net sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies totaling $1.3 billion in January 2021, which is up 21 percent compared to December 2020. The increase reflects positive trends for travel later in the year based on purchase trends. The January total represents an 86 percent drop year over year compared to January 2020, when net sales totaled $8.8. billion.

Month over month, January 2021 results showed: Total passenger trips increased 23 percent; U.S. domestic trips were up 31 percent; and international trips up 8 percent. Results are based on monthly sales data ending January 31, 2021, from 11,089 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies. Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines. U.S. Domestic passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where the itinerary is wholly within the U.S. International passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where some or all of the travel occurs to airports outside the U.S. or originates outside the U.S.

“January 2020 was the last month before COVID-19 started to impact the air travel industry, so the year-over-year decrease isn’t surprising given continued travel restrictions and vaccine availability,” said Chuck Thackston, ARC’s managing director of data science and research, in a press announcement. “Our current data shows both leisure and corporate travel recovering substantially in the fall of 2021.”

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Total passenger trips settled by ARC in January were down 72 percent year over year, from 28.3 million to 8 million. U.S. domestic trips were down 69 percent to 5.5 million and international trips down 77 percent to 2.4 million year-over-year. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price decreased from $478 in January 2020 to $335 in January 2021. Passenger trips include the total number of passengers taking a trip from one airport to another using either direct or connecting flights. Newly issued trips are added, and refunded trips are deducted to provide a net view of traveling passengers.

Year over year, EMD sales (Electronic Miscellaneous Documents, which includes fees for products and services, such as upgraded seats, checked luggage, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.) for January decreased by 71 percent to $2.5 million, while EMD transactions were down 66 percent to 50,298.

The average daily sales for the 11,000-plus retail locations were $3,260. Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

Source: Airlines Reporting Corp.

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