Adobe Digital Economy Index: Thanksgiving flight bookings exceeding 2019 levels
The Adobe Digital Economy Index continues to track the airline recovery, with the latest data on U.S. domestic flight bookings online. Adobe provides the most comprehensive report of its kind, measuring direct consumer transactions from 6 of the top 10 U.S. airlines and over 150 billion web visits, to report on online spend overall.
With the holiday season coming up, Thanksgiving flight bookings (trips landing between 11/20 and 11/25) are 78 percent higher than this point in 2020 (data through Nov 7), and 3.2 percent higher than this point in 2019. Historically, most Thanksgiving tickets (78 percent in 2019, and 84 percent in 2018) were booked by this point in time.
Despite the uptick in holiday travel, bookings and revenue remained blunted in the last two months. September 2021 drove $4.2 billion in online spend for domestic flights, 35 percent below the comparable period in 2019. This is due in part to heavier discounting, as bookings for the month fared better: 13 percent below 2019 levels. The month of October 2021 brought more encouraging signs, driving $4.8 billion in online spend. While this is 28 percent below the comparable period in 2019, bookings were just 10 percent below 2019 levels.
“After a year where many were unable to see their friends and families for Thanksgiving, we are expecting busy airports this month,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights. “The holiday uptick is also driving up prices online, and consumers should start thinking about Christmas travel pretty soon.”
Flight prices are ticking up after seeing sizable drops during the Covid-19 Delta variant surge. In October 2021, prices were just 7 percent below 2019 levels. Contrast this to September 2021, where prices were 13 percent below 2019 levels (and August 2021, where prices were 11 percent below).
Adobe continues to see Florida and Hawaii as top domestic travel destinations for the months of November and December. The top 10 include: Key West, Florida — Kailua-Kona, Hawaii — Lihue, Hawaii — Kahului, Hawaii — Palm Springs, California — Phoenix, Arizona — Fort Myers, Florida — Belgrade, Montana — Orlando, Florida — Honolulu, Hawaii.
Methodology: The Adobe Digital Economy Index offers the most comprehensive set of insights of its kind, based on analysis through Adobe Analytics that covers over 150 billion visits to travel, leisure and hospitality sites — measuring transactions from 6 of the top 10 U.S. airlines (more than any other technology company).