Stats: Domestic Flight Spend Up 28% Over Pre-Pandemic Levels

Domestic flight bookings in March 2022 drove $8.8 billion in online spend, a 28 percent increase over March 2019 spend—a year before the pandemic. This is according to The Adobe Digital Economy Index, which measures direct consumer transactions from six of the top 10 U.S. airlines and over 150 billion web visits, to report on online spend, booking growth, pricing trends, and top destinations domestically. 

The $8.8 billion spent also represents a 32 percent increase from last month, which totaled $6.6 billion in spend (equating to 6 percent above 2019 levels). In the first three months of 2022, consumers have spent a total of $21 billion on domestic flights online. For reference: In all of 2021, $56 billion was spent. 

As demand picks up, prices have spiked. In March 2022, prices were 20 percent higher compared to 2019 levels (and 15 percent higher month-over-month). Contrast this with February 2022, where prices were 5 percent higher than 2019 levels. In January 2022, prices were 3 percent lower than 2019 levels. This means that inflation in ticket prices is now having a greater impact on consumer purchasing power. While online spend in March 2022 is up 28 percent versus 2019 levels, as cited above, actual bookings are up just 12 percent. On a month-over-month basis, online spend in March 2022 is up 32 percent, while bookings are up just 15 percent.  

Based on arrival sites, the top 10 domestic destinations for those traveling from April to May 2022 include: Palm Springs, CA; Orlando, FL; Pensacola, FL; Fort Myers, FL; Kailua-Kona, HI; Savannah, GA; Lihue, HI; Tampa, FL; North Charleston, SC; Austin, TX. (Note: The top 10 destinations are based on lift and not volume.)

Looking farther out, domestic bookings for summer travel (June to August) are picking up: Online spend is up 8 percent compared to the comparable period in 2019, while bookings are up by 3 percent. Memorial Day Weekend is not seeing the same uptick: Online spend is down 6 percent over 2019, while bookings are down by 12 percent. 

Source: Adobe Digital Economy Index

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