Travelers stepped up their purchasing activity in November, pushing up the number of airline tickets processed by the Airlines Reporting Corp. by nearly 14%.
The surge likely had several drivers, including the end of what seemed like the longest election cycle in the history of the U.S. (elections tend to dampen the desire to travel) and the realization that the holiday season is upon us. However, one driver was probably not fare levels, as the airlines reversed a trend of declining fares that lasted almost the entire year.
The higher fares also reversed the corresponding decline in total sales, which were up 7.54%, to $6.4 billion. It was the first increase in total sales since August, when they rose by a lackluster 1.83%.
Domestic fares were up 5.51%, to $2.69 billion; international fares increased 9.62%, to $2.4 billion. For the year to date, total agency sales were down 3.3%, to $80 billion, compared to $83 billion for the same period in 2015.
Sales of Electronic Miscellaneous Documents, used to track and reconcile ancillary products and services, continue to grow at a nice clip.
For November, EMD sales were up 173.72% and for the year to date they were up 165.65%. EMD transactions were up 186.53% in November and up 274.17% for the year to date.