Stats: Domestic Air Travel Down 1%

Domestic travel prices are down, but international travel prices are up, according to new data from Travel Leaders Corporate

In an analysis of its customers’ aggregate third-quarter data, Travel Leaders Corporate found domestic air travel, hotel and car rental costs are lower from the year-earlier period. More business travelers are booking their flights greater than 21 days in advance, helping to reduce this expense.

“Overall, it is still an excellent pricing environment for business travel,” said Gabe Rizzi, president of Travel Leaders Corporate, in a written release. “Companies will find it easy to stay within budget for travel around the U.S.  International business travel is more expensive, but we still see robust demand as the economy continues to grow.”

Travel Leaders Corporate’s data shows that in the third quarter of 2019, the total cost of a hotel stay in the United States remained flat. Internationally, the total trip cost increased 2.74 percent as the average hotel stay increased slightly from 3.1 to 3.18 nights. 

The average total cost for a domestic car rental in Q3 dropped 10 percent to $128 from the same period in 2018; and yet, it’s up 16 percent from Q2. Internationally, car rentals rose to $264, an 8 percent increase from the third quarter a year ago and a 16 percent increase from Q2.

Airline pricing remains stable. During this period, the cost of a domestic airline ticket inched down 1 percent to $414, and it fell 3 percent from Q2. Conversely, the Q3 average international ticket price rose about 4 percent from the year earlier to $1,684, although it fell 5 percent from Q2.

Lower air costs paid by Travel Leaders Corporate customers are partly due to more corporate travelers booking their flights well ahead of their trip, according to the report. In a steady march upward, 32 percent of customers’ tickets are now booked at least 21 days in advance, up from 30 percent during the third quarter of 2018 and 28 percent during the same period in both 2017 and 2016. Compared to booking zero to six days out before their trips, the longer advance booking period saved Travel Leaders’ customers an average $125 per ticket during the third quarter of this year. Another important contributing factor driving corporate customer pricing is a return to a more aggressive discounting strategy by many of the larger carriers.

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