Demand for May air travel increases despite elevated prices: report

Consumers spent a total of $4 billion online for domestic flights in the first two weeks of May

Despite elevated ticket prices, the demand for domestic flights modestly increased at the beginning of May, underscoring the "strong appetite" consumers still have for air travel, according to new Adobe Analytics data. 

During the first 15 days of the month, bookings increased 2%, according to Adobe, which measures consumer transactions from six of the top 10 U.S. airlines and over 150 billion web visits. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 13.89 +0.01 +0.07%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 29.53 -0.29 -0.97%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC. 36.66 -0.31 -0.84%
JBLU JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP. 8.31 -0.26 -3.03%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 36.31 -0.20 -0.55%

SPENDING ON US AIR TRAVEL DROPS $1B IN APRIL AS PRICES RISE

During that time frame, consumers spent $4 billion online for domestic flights, up 5% from the same time frame in April, according to Adobe. 

Through the first 15 days of May, spending is up 24% compared to 2019 while bookings are only up 3%. This gap between actual spending and bookings "highlights the effects of persistently high prices," according to Adobe. 

Flights Reagan national airport

A family looks at flight information at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., Dec. 24, 2021.  (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"In the first half of May, we see a modest uptick in demand for domestic flights as consumers shift some of their spending from goods to services," Adobe Digital Insights lead analyst Vivek Pandya said in a statement.  

Pandya noted that since prices are still elevated, the data underscores "how strong the appetite has been for air travel."

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JFK Airpot

Travelers walk through Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York Sept. 27, 2021.  (Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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In fact, demand for travel over the summer still remains strong. Flight bookings for travel across the nation between June and August are up 1% compared to this same point during 2019 while spending is up 9%. 

Bozeman, Montana, which is 90 minutes from Yellowstone, is a top summer destination, followed by Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; Orlando, Florida; Lihue, Hawaii; and Kahului, Hawaii.