US travel demand remains strong

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US travel demand remains strong
Source: Miami International Airport
July 07, 2022

According to an OAG survey, 30% more passengers  than in 2021 will travel this summer

The US travel market remains strong for now despite skyrocketing costs, flight cancellations and growing recession concerns, according to the latest OAG survey. 

The report, conducted in April and May 2022 through OAG's flight tracking app, FlightView, provides timely insights into more than 1,400 North American travelers who are eager to fly again after two years of lockdowns, protocols and restrictions due to the COVID.

27% more people will travel this summer compared to 2021. Of those who travel, 63% book international flights and almost 60% plan to visit a destination they have not visited before. More than 50% reserve with 2 to 6 months in advance and 11% reserve with delivery terms of 6 months or more.

Despite rising inflation, respondents said ticket price increases of $50 and $100 probably won't deter them from booking, but are extremely less likely to book with increases of $200 and $300 or more (45% and 68% respectively). And once at the airport, flight delays, cancellations and customer service issues are among the areas of greatest impact for consumers (52% and 19%, respectively).

US business travel is also on the rise. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they had already traveled for business in 2022, up 51% from 2021. Ninety percent report that their business plans to travel in the next 12 months, while 50% say they your travel plans will go back to pre-pandemic. levels or higher in the coming year.

“After lockdowns and restrictions, travelers just want to enjoy their long-awaited vacations, even if that means higher fares, crowded airports and service inconveniences due to staff shortages,” said John Grant, chief analyst at OAG. "While inflation and recession concerns could weigh on the recovery in the second half of the year, market demand and scheduled capacity for the next three months are at their highest since 2019."

Other quick takeaways from the OAG investigation include:

  • Better data for booking options: The top improvements respondents want from online travel agencies (OTAs) and travel apps include better price predictability of when to book (59%) and real-time travel updates (53%).
  • Biometrics: 59% of respondents are willing to share their biometrics (via facial recognition, fingerprints, retina scans or others) to get through security lines faster, including 56% who are willing to use biometric data to simplify customs and immigration.
  • Sustainability: Sixty-two percent of travelers said that sustainability does not affect their travel decision-making. Almost half of travelers admitted that they would not be willing to pay more for a more sustainable flight.
  • Self-connecting flights: While the majority (69%) said they haven't booked a self-connecting flight in the past 6 months, 50% said they want OTAs and apps to offer more non-traditional connecting flight options to best prices.

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