Air Ticket Sales by US Travel Agencies Fall 12% in February

2020 News Releases

Air Ticket Sales by US Travel Agencies Fall 12% in February

Domestic Trips Rise 1%; International Trips Down 12% as Coronavirus Unfurls

ARLINGTON, Va. – March 17, 2020 Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing that ARC-accredited travel agencies experienced a $1 billion year-over-year decrease in air ticket sales for the month of February. The consolidated dollar value of tickets sold by agencies last month totaled $7.2 billion, a 12.4% decrease when compared to February 2019.*

The total number of passenger trips settled by ARC for its agency customers decreased 3.9% to 24,859,327 compared to 25,868,150 in February 2019. U.S. domestic trips increased by 1.3% YOY, but due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak outside of the U.S., international passenger trips fell 12% YOY. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price last month was $488, a $2 increase over February 2019.

Despite the drop in overall ticket sales and passenger trips, Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD)** sales in February rose 24% to $7.9 million YOY. EMD transaction volume increased by 38.6% over February 2019.

More detailed information is available on ARC’s website.

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending February 29, 2020, from 11,800 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.

©2020 Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.


ARC accelerates the growth of global air travel by delivering forward-looking travel data, flexible distribution services and other innovative industry solutions. We are a leading travel intelligence company that possesses the world’s largest, most comprehensive global airline ticket dataset, including more than 15 billion passenger flights representing 490 airlines and 230 countries and territories. Our solutions and expertise strengthen economies and enrich lives by connecting stakeholders across the travel ecosystem. For more information, visit

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Randy Spoon