2018 Top Holiday Destinations

2018 News Releases

Mexico and New York Are Top Holiday Destinations for Air Travelers

ARC Data Also Shows Travel Increased to Many European Destinations

ARLINGTON, Va. – December 17, 2018 Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) reported today that air ticket sales are up for many popular European destinations this Christmas-New Year’s season compared to 2017. The number of air tickets sold for travel to the United Kingdom is up 20 percent compared with the same period last year. Italy is up 21 percent while France and Spain are up 12 percent.

Domestic air travel for the Christmas-New Year’s season decreased in 2018 compared to last year. Holiday air travel is down 14 percent for flights to Washington, D.C., 12 percent for San Francisco, 8 percent for Los Angeles, 6 percent for Boston and 5 percent for New York.

Overall, holiday travel round-trip ticket prices are on par with 2017. The average ticket price changed less than 1 percent year-over-year.

The top 10 international Christmas-New Year’s seasonal flight destinations in 2018 are:

  1. Mexico
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Dominican Republic
  4. Jamaica
  5. Puerto Rico
  6. Italy
  7. France
  8. Spain and Canary Islands
  9. Bahamas
  10. Germany

The top 10 city Christmas-New Year’s seasonal flight destinations in 2018 are:

  1. New York
  2. Los Angeles
  3. San Francisco
  4. Seattle
  5. Chicago
  6. Orlando
  7. Denver
  8. Boston
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Cancun

Hillary Smith

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Christmas and New Year’s Eve travel occurred from December 23, 2018, to January 1, 2019.
  • Average ticket price is for round-trip ticket only and includes all taxes and fees.
  • Airport destinations include the United States, Mexico, Caribbean and Europe with flights originating within the U.S. with flights originating within the U.S.
  • Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.


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 arccorp.com.