In this week’s news, a new study found that while airlines’ passenger bookings continue to increase, the amount they’re spending on tickets is growing faster; airlines are delighted with the increase in reservations, but they’re worried about having the capacity to handle all those travelers in the face of continuing labor shortages, and some are cutting their spring/summer schedules; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended its airline mask mandate again, but not for long, as it faces greater pressure to end the mandate; Southwest plans to add more Bay Area flights for the summer, mostly from San Jose; Delta has started up a new Oakland route and Alaska will resume one from San Francisco International; Air New Zealand is back at SFO; American and Brazil’s GOL Intelligent Airlines win approval for their partnership; and SFO ranks among the nation’s worst airports for the amount of time passengers wait in line.
Another study released this week provides more evidence that U.S. consumers are booking a lot more airline trips — and paying more for them. According to the latest Adobe Digital Economy Index, which covers consumer online spending at six of the top 10 U.S. airlines, the dollar value of ticket purchases is rising considerably faster than the number of trips booked. “Inflation in ticket prices is now having a greater impact on consumer purchasing power,” Adobe said. “While online (domestic air travel) spend in March 2022 is up 28% from 2019 levels, actual bookings are up just 12%. On a month-over-month basis, online spend in March 2022 is up 32%, while bookings are up just 15%.”