Travelers walk through Terminal A at Orlando International Airport on Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25, 2021.
Stephen M. Doyle | Orlando Sentinel | Getty Images
U.S. airline bookings fell 2.3% in May from the previous month, the second consecutive monthly decline this year, while prices were above 2019 levels, according to an Adobe report published Tuesday.
Customers spent $8.3 billion on domestic tickets last month, up 6.2% from April.
So far this year, consumers have spent more than $37 billion on domestic flights, double what they spent in the first five months of last year, when Covid-19 vaccines were widely available.
“While some consumers have been able to afford the higher prices, especially for those who have delayed travel plans during the pandemic, the drop in bookings shows that some are rethinking their appetite for boarding,” says Vivek Pandya, chief analyst at Adobe Digital. in the report.
Flight prices have soared thanks to higher fuel prices, labor shortages and increased travel demand two years into the pandemic, representing one of the most dramatic examples of rising inflation this year.
Bookings have been mostly resilient, although it is unclear whether demand will continue beyond the peak travel season in spring and summer, when airlines generate the bulk of their annual revenue.
“We haven’t yet seen any cracks in airline bookings, and investors remain concerned about a potential slowdown after the peak summer travel,” Andrew DeDora, an airline analyst at Bank of America wrote in a note on Monday.
Airlines welcomed the Biden administration’s decision last week to lift the requirement for Covid-19 testing for incoming international travelers. This shift could fuel international bookings, Didora said.
United Airlines said Monday that searches for international flights have risen 7% in the 72 hours since the White House announced it would cancel international testing requirements, noting that “the majority of searches by US travelers were for near-term travel this summer to destinations in Europe. Mexico and the Caribbean.”