Air Travel is Back and One Airline is Leading the Pack

March 27, 2021

Wheels Up!

The travel industry is showing signs of life...finally.

TSA checkpoint data supports an uptick in U.S. travelers taking to the skies.

Business travel, on the other hand, is not exhibiting the same level of growth.

Flying for business mentions have increased +9% QoQ in the same time frame. Some recovery, but business trips are certainly not the driver of resurging booking mentions.

Warm, Domestic Locations are Hot Spots

Where are consumers traveling for fun?

According to qualitative analysis of ~7,000 leisure travel tweets since January, the top spots (in order) are: Florida, Hawaii, "The Beach", Miami, and Vegas.

Tweets like this:

Additional LikeFolio macro trends support this prevalence of domestic travel: while overall mentions of booking a flight have increased +17% QoQ, International Travel mentions remain -9% lower.

These themes make sense when you look at which airlines are receiving the highest resurgence in booking mentions on a QoQ basis.

Southwest (LUV) Leads QoQ Booking Mentions

Check out mentions of flying with or booking a flight with four of the major airlines in our coverage universe:

*this chart plots the QoQ change of the 30-day Moving Average of Purchase Intent

Southwest and American Airlines appear to be more effectively capturing the leisure traveler. (External reports support this).

Moral of the story: By examining consumer demand mentions in the last month and how these mentions have shifted over time, you can see easily spot outperformers and underperformers.

This is a great gauge for momentum and a solid lens to track moving forward, especially as we enter peak travel season.

Data from a mobile booking app shows an increase in summer travel planning. Searches for mid-summer travel increased +100% in early February.

We'll definitely be watching...

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