Airline Ticket Sales Trends

Increased Passenger Trips in 2017 Spur 3.4 Percent Sales Increase

- ARC EMD Processing for Ancillaries Increased 58 Percent

Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) reported today that the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies increased 3.4 percent* in 2017 compared to 2016, totaling $88.5 billion vs. $85.6 billion. December 2017 ticket sales were up nearly one percent at $5.4 billion compared to $5.3 billion in December 2016.

The sales increase can be partly attributed to the decrease in the average ticket price, increase in passenger trips and strong economic conditions throughout 2017. Overall, in 2017 the average price to fly a domestic roundtrip itinerary dropped about one percent to $483 compared to 2016, continuing the trend of decreasing average ticket prices since 2015. The number of passenger trips settled by ARC for U.S. travel agencies also increased 3.5 percent to 268,906,109, up from 259,717,133 in 2016.

Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD)** sales and transactions also continue to increase over time. EMD sales comprised nearly $77 million of the year-to-date sales vs. $50 million in 2016. EMD transactions increased 58 percent to 1.3 million in 2017 vs. about 825,250 in 2016.

More detailed information is available on ARC’s website.

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending December 31, 2017, from 12,087 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies. Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.
  • Average ticket price (in USD) for a roundtrip ticket settled through ARC for an itinerary that included only U.S. domestic travel.
  • Passenger trips include the total number of passengers taking a trip from one airport to another using either direct or connecting flights. Newly issued trips are added and refunded trips are deducted to provide a net view of traveling passengers.
  • Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

**Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD)

  • Includes fees for products and services such as upgraded seats, checked luggage, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.

 

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