The snow from the polar vortex has melted, Americans are sitting on some much-need vacation time and, according to a new forecast from Airlines for America (A4A), they are ready to use it. This renowned industry organization and lobbying group expects a record number of of passengers will be flying to international destinations this summer. In fact, A4A states that 2014 will see the highest level of travel in six years, since personal incomes and airfare does not correspond with inflation.
"It's a great time to fly, as air travel remains one of the best consumer bargains in America, given its superior speed and affordability," John Heimlich, A4A vice president and chief economist, explained in a news release. "U.S. airlines are well prepared to accommodate the increased travel demand in the summer months by adding seats and continuing to make customer-focused investments in their product."
Based on the report, A4A projects approximately 210 million passengers (2.28 million per day) are expected to fly U.S. airlines from June 1 – August 31. More than 29 million international travelers are included in that demographic. Some of the top five nonstop are in Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Germany and Japan, so Americans are clearly heading out on vacation after a particularly harsh winter.
Improved Economy and Harsh Winter Means Travel Needs are High
These numbers are some of the highest the travel industry has seen since before the economic downturn in 2008. Based on the statistics, the economy is clearly improving. According to a recent J.D. Power report highlighted by Investor's Business Daily, overall online satisfaction is also at its highest since 2006.
Technological advancements within the travel industry have also played an important role in the rise of bookings. Now, travelers can show their boarding passes on smartphones, speed up their check-in process online and even book hotels and hail cabs with smartphone applications.
After the polar vortex that gripped much of the U.S. this past winter, airlines as well as passengers are ready and willing to cash in. Not only were many Americans forced indoors during the winter, several U.S. carriers lost millions of dollars due to delayed and cancelled flights during the snowstorms.
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