Spending on US air travel drops $1B in April as prices rise

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Consumers are becoming increasingly more hesitant to purchase airline tickets as spending dropped by more than a billion dollars in April. 

Last month, online spending for domestic flight bookings totaled $7.8 billion, a 13% decline from the $8.8 billion spent in March, according to new data from Adobe. 

NO MORE CHEAP FLIGHTS: DOMESTIC TRAVEL PRICES UP OVER 20% FROM PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS, REPORT SAYS

Overall, bookings declined by 17%, according to Adobe. 

Online spending was still 23% higher compared with April 2019, however, bookings were only up 5%. The wide gap, according to Adobe, underscores how consumers have been shelling out "considerably more for the same amount of service." 

From March to April, prices alone increased 8%. 

Passengers walk through Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Oct. 27, 2020.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer / AP Newsroom)

April's prices were also 27% higher compared with the same time in 2019, marking the third consecutive month when prices have risen over pre-pandemic levels, according to Adobe. 

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Prices in March were up 20% compared with 2019, and prices in February were up 5%. 

"An uncertain economic environment is pushing some consumers to reorient their travel plans," Adobe Digital Insights lead analyst Vivek Pandya said in a statement. 

There are some indications though "that some have chosen to delay their travel plans rather than to cancel them outright," Pandya added. 

For instance, Memorial Day weekend bookings declined 13% compared to this point in 2019. However, bookings for the summer, between June and August, are already up 2% compared with 2019. 

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