(PresidentialWire.com)- Not that this is at all surprising, what with COVID hysteria, but recent analysis from Adobe Digital Insights reveals that people aren’t flying that much right now.
During August and September, flight bookings took a nosedive (which is probably not the best word to use when describing air travel).
Online customers spent $4 billion on flights within the US during the month of August which is down 24 percent compared to July. It is also 35 percent lower than August 2019 before the COVID pandemic.
September isn’t shaping up to be much better. For the first ten days of the month, flight bookings were down 39 percent compared to the same period of time in 2019.
Reservations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday are lagging behind as well. Thanksgiving flight bookings are 18 percent lower than this time in 2019.
According to figures compiled by the TSA, on Friday, September 17, the agency screened approximately 1.9 million air travelers. This is down from about 2.6 million for the same day in 2019.
According to Vivek Pandya, the lead analyst for Adobe Digital Insights, when it comes to domestic flight bookings, July and August typically have similar consumer spending levels. So a $1.2 billion drop from July to August “shows how much the delta variant has shaped what consumers feel about air travel.”
But it isn’t COVID itself that is causing this significant drop in air travel. It is the response to COVID that is the culprit here.
Eighteen months of endless fearmongering, dictatorial mask mandates, viral videos showing people getting tossed off flights for masking violations, pitting the vaccinated against the unvaccinated – all of this is no doubt putting Americans off of air travel.
Regardless of whether it’s solely air travelers’ fear of catching COVID or their unwillingness to deal with the airlines’ stringent, dictatorial rules, the bottom line is the same — fewer people are flying. So much so that carriers who, after the summer’s strong boost in travelers, thought the worst was behind them, are now being forced to lower their expectations for the remainder of the year.