Monthly US Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Nearly Double in August

2020 News Releases

Monthly US Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Nearly Double in August

Net Sales Increase 94% as Passenger Trips Rise

ARLINGTON, Va. – September 17, 2020 Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing that net sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies nearly doubled month over month, increasing 94% from $387 million in July to $751 million in August 2020.* These results represent a 90% decrease in total dollar volume from August 2019, when sales totaled $7.8 billion.

Month over month, August 2020 results show:

  • A 19% increase in the total number of passenger trips;
  • U.S. domestic trips up 22%; and
  • International trips up 10%.

While passenger trips are steadily increasing, the sharp increase in August net sales is largely attributable to a few factors, including an increase in international fares paid, which rose from $18 million in July to $169 million in August, slowing refunds and accelerating travel agency sales.

“ARC is continuing to see gradual improvements in air travel demand over the past month. In addition to passenger trip growth, we are also seeing dramatic improvements in month-over-month net sales for both cash and credit forms of payment, especially for international fares,” said Chuck Thackston, ARC’s managing director of data science. “It’s important to note, however, that this reflects a calming of the high volume of refund transactions that were seen in the early summer.

“Given airlines’ recent announcements to remove change fees, as well as their efforts to stimulate demand through enhanced safety measures, we will continue to closely monitor these improving trends in travel demand,” Thackston added.

The total number of passenger trips settled by ARC in August was down 76% year over year for August, from 24,817,409 to 6,065,463. U.S. domestic trips decreased 72% YOY to 4.4 million, while international trips numbered 1.6 million, an 82% decrease YOY. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price decreased from $483 in August 2019 to $321 in August 2020.

Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD)** sales decreased YOY by 73% to $1,822,500, while EMD transactions decreased by 70% YOY in August, totaling 35,508.

More detailed information is available on ARC’s website.

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending August 31, 2020, from 11,537 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.


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