Year-over-Year US Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Up 569% in April

Total Sales and Passenger Trip Growth Highlights Air Travel Recovery

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing net sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies totaling $3 billion in April 2021, a 569% increase compared to April 2020, the first full month of the pandemic impacting air travel in the U.S., when total sales were negative due to an increase in refunds and reduced travel bookings.* The total represents an 8% month-over-month increase from March 2021.

Total passenger trips settled by ARC in April 2021 increased 579% year over year, from 2,175,790 to 14,762,919, fueled by U.S. domestic air travel. U.S. domestic trips were up 603% to 14.8 million, while international trips were up 528% to 4.5 million YOY. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price increased from $336 in April 2020 to $404 in April 2021. The total marks the third-consecutive month of average ticket price increases.

“Air travel bookings and sales bottomed out in April 2020, so we’re seeing the depth the industry has climbed back from in April 2021’s data,” said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science and research at ARC. “While the numbers are still down compared to 2019 levels, the consecutive months of sales and passenger trip growth is encouraging as the industry nears its normally busy summer months.”

Month over month, April 2021 results showed:

  • Total passenger trips increased 3%;
  • U.S. domestic trips up 4%; and
  • International trips up 1%.

Year over year, EMD sales for April 2021 increased 608% to $5,983,825, while EMD transactions increased 1,012% to 125,648.

More detailed information is available on ARC’s website.

About ARC:

As a leader in air travel intelligence and omnichannel retailing, ARC provides platforms, tools and insights that help the global travel community connect, grow and thrive. ARC enables the diverse retailing strategies of its customers by providing innovative technology, flexible settlement solutions and access to the world’s most comprehensive air transaction dataset. In 2019, ARC managed more than $97.4 billion in transactions between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 302 million passenger trips. For more information, please visit

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending April 30, 2021, from 10,973 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies. Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.
  • Average ticket price (in USD) for a round-trip ticket settled through ARC for an itinerary that included only U.S. domestic travel.
  • Passenger trips include the total number of passengers taking a trip from one airport to another using either direct or connecting flights. Newly issued trips are added, and refunded trips are deducted to provide a net view of traveling passengers.
  • U.S. Domestic passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where the itinerary is wholly within the U.S. International passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where some or all of the travel occurs to airports outside the U.S. or originates outside the U.S.
  • Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

**Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD)

  • Includes fees for products and services such as upgraded seats, checked luggage, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.

© Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.


Randy Spoon