March US Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Increase 82% Over February

2021 News Releases

March US Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Increase 82% Over February

March Net Sales Total Equals Largest Month-Over-Month Increase Since Summer 2020

ARLINGTON, Va. – April 15, 2021 Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing net sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies totaling $2.8 billion in March 2021, an 82% month-over-month increase compared to February’s net sales. This represents the third consecutive month of positive sales growth, and a 120% increase compared to March 2020.*

Month over month, March 2021 results showed:

  • Total passenger trips increased 54%;
  • U.S. domestic trips up 50%; and
  • International trips up 66%.

“Our data shows leisure and online travel agency segments continuing to fuel the growth in airline ticket purchases,” said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science and research at ARC. “Airlines are matching this demand by adding more leisure-focused routes while corporate travel remains suppressed.”

Total passenger trips settled by ARC in March 2021 increased 29% year over year, from 11,139,567 to 14,347,442. U.S. domestic trips were up 34% to 9.9 million, eclipsing February’s total passenger trips, while international trips were up 19% to 4.4 million YOY. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price increased from $377 in March 2020 to $382 in March 2021.

Year over year, EMD sales for March 2021 increased 43% to $5,794,680, while EMD transactions increased 127% to 125,280.

More detailed information is available on ARC’s website.

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending March 31, 2021, from 10,959 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