Airline bookings in the US fell 17% in April, airfare has become even more expensive

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

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

U.S. airline bookings fell 17% last month compared to March, according to an Adobe report released Thursday, one of the first signs of declining demand for air travel as ticket prices rise above pre-Covid 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 the highest inflation since the early 1980s. Prices for everything from gasoline to groceries to travel have skyrocketed. New data suggests that consumers are starting to abandon ticket purchases.

Despite the slowdown, U.S. domestic ticket demand remains above 2019 levels. In April, online ticket spending was up 23% compared to the same month in 2019, while bookings were up 5%. According to Adobe, prices are up 27% compared to 2019 and 8% higher than in March.

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