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Inflation rains on Americans' summer travel plans

High inflation hampers summer travel plans
High inflation hampers summer travel plans 02:08

Inflation is coming for your summer travel plans. It is even deterring some Americans from taking trips during the so-called season of "revenge travel" to make up for postponed vacations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rising prices for domestic travel are making trips too costly for some consumers and are driving down the number of bookings, according to new data from Adobe Insights. The market research firm found ticket costs have jumped 47% since January alone. Airfares are also up 30% compared to May 2019, before the pandemic. Prices have remained above pre-pandemic levels for four months in a row. 

Consumers spent over $8 billion on domestic flights in May, up more than 6% compared to April despite an inflation-driven decrease in the number of bookings, which were down 2.3%, according to Adobe Insights.

"Bookings were surging past 2019 levels when we got into 2022, and there was a lot of enthusiasm about traveling," Vivek Pandya, Adobe Digital Insights lead analyst, told CBS MoneyWatch. "Now we're starting to see bookings falter a little bit relative to 2019, but the spending is still pretty high because of the price increases we're seeing."

Overall spending on domestic air travel remains elevated, however, up 11% compared to 2019 levels. 

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Some consumers are postponing their travel plans until the end of summer and even into the fall in hopes that prices will settle down. Others are shrugging off the soaring prices and moving forward.

"There are very few industries with prices up by 47% where you see demand still holding relatively well," Pandya said. "We're seeing demand being curbed because of price increases, but usually in other industries you would see demand come down in a much more dramatic fashion."

This highlights "the strength of [consumers'] desire to travel this season," Pandya added. 

Warm weather destinations are most popular among travelers, with cities in in California, Florida, Hawaii and Texas among the top 10 domestic destinations for summer travel.

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