Airlines are rebounding even as prices surge: Adobe

Consumers are not shying away from booking flights despite the fact that prices have largely returned to “pre-pandemic norms,” according to a new report from Adobe Analytics. 

In June, U.S. travelers spent a total of $6 billion on domestic flights as bookings increased and neared levels not seen since 2019, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.  

The multibillion-dollar figure in June marked a 17% increase from the $5.1 billion consumers spent booking online flights in May, according to the data. Overall, consumer spending on online flights in June was only 5% below what it was in 2019, according to Adobe. 

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Adobe Digital Insights lead analyst Vivek Pandya called it a “notable” increase, seeing as how ticket prices continue to grow as more travelers eagerly hit the skies. 

Airplane cabin during flight. (iStock)

In June, prices were only 1% lower than they were a year ago, while May prices were 8% lower, according to Adobe. In April, prices were 13% lower, while March and February prices were down significantly more compared to 2020 at 17% and 26%, respectively.  

However, “pent-up demand is materializing, with consumers eager to get back into an activity that was not possible during the pandemic,” Pandya said. 

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During a six-month span from January to June, consumers spent a total of $27.2 billion on domestic flights online, according to the data. 

And although it is down 30% compared to the same time period in 2019, it’s still an 8% increase over 2020 “when travel came to a standstill overnight,” according to the Adobe report.  

However, Pandya projects that “peak summer pricing, hamstrung business travel, and surges in the Delta variant will slow growth in July,” which would ultimately keep “domestic flight bookings from surging past pre-pandemic levels.”  

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