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May Sees Record-Breaking Air Ticket Sales Surpassing $9 Billion

A remarkable 7% YOY increase in U.S. travel agency air ticket sales for May 2023 - total $9 billion

May Sees Record-Breaking Air Ticket Sales Surpassing $9 Billion for U.S. Travel Agencies

In a recent report, Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) unveiled compelling statistics indicating a remarkable 7% year-over-year increase in U.S. travel agency air ticket sales for May 2023, soaring to an impressive total of $9 billion. * This achievement marks the second time this year that monthly sales have surpassed the $9 billion milestone, although it falls just short of the record-breaking $9.6 billion recorded in March.

Interestingly, the average price of a round-trip air travel ticket sold by U.S. travel agencies in May experienced a downward trend compared to the same period in the previous year. This marked the second consecutive month where the average ticket price saw a decline, registering a modest 2% increase compared to the preceding month. Notably, this pattern mirrors pre-pandemic trends observed between April and May.

The data highlights the resiliency and dynamism of the air travel industry, as well as the evolving pricing dynamics that continue to shape the market.

May 2023 Findings Revealed:

ARC Ticketing Metrics Overview

Total Sales: $9,039,970,807

  • Month-Over-Month Variance: +3%
  • Year-Over-Year Variance: +7%

Total Passenger Trips: 24,118,842

  • Month-Over-Month Variance: +3%
  • Year-Over-Year Variance: +6%

U.S. Domestic Trips: 14,771,993

  • Month-Over-Month Variance: +2%
  • Year-Over-Year Variance: +3%

International Trips: 9,346,849

  • Month-Over-Month Variance: +3%
  • Year-Over-Year Variance: +10%

Average Ticket Price: $562

  • Month-Over-Month Variance: +2%
  • Year-Over-Year Variance: -11%

There was significant year-over-year surge in Ancillary Sales reaching $26,637,478 which is an impressive 56% increase. Additionally, ancillary transactions witnessed a substantial 45% rise, tallying 355,575 over the same period.

Encompassing an array of services and products, ancillary sales include upgraded seats, checked bags, unaccompanied minor fees, pet-in-cabin charges, and more.

Steve Solomon, Chief Commercial Officer at ARC, said: “The record-setting Memorial Day travel weekend confirmed the continued strong demand for U.S. domestic and international air travel. Travelers will be relieved to see both lower airfare prices and increased seat capacity compared to last year as they book travel for what could be the busiest summer travel season ever for several popular destinations.”


* Ticket Sales: The findings presented here are derived from monthly sales data encompassing the period up to May 31, 2023. These figures are sourced from a comprehensive range of 10,460 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices, and online travel agencies. It is important to note that the results exclude ticket sales made directly from airlines.