US airline bookings fell 17% in April, flights became even more expensive

A Southwest Airlines plane taxis as an American Airlines plane lands at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, USA, January 24, 2022.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

U.S. airline bookings fell 17% last month since March, according to a report from Adobe released Thursday, one of the first signs of cooling demand for air travel as ticket prices surpass pre-pandemic levels.

Consumers spent $ 7.8 billion on domestic tickets in April, down 13% from the previous month, according to the report.

Air travel has been resilient in recent months despite higher inflation since the early 1980s. Prices of everything from gasoline to groceries to travel have risen and new data suggests consumers are starting to give up on buying tickets.

Despite the slowdown, demand for US domestic airline tickets remains above 2019 levels. In April, online ticket spending increased 23% compared to the same month in 2019 while bookings increased 5%. Prices were up 27 percent from 2019 and 8 percent more from March, Adobe said.

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