In this week’s roundup, a new study found that airline bookings slowed down last month as airfares recorded their highest-ever month-over-month increase; San Francisco International Airport warns travelers its parking garages will be full this summer; JD Power poll finds passenger satisfaction drops as flights fill up; several new flights are starting up at Bay Area airports next week; Delta drops an Oakland route and British Airways sets a June return to San Jose; United drops some long-haul routes during June; Delta’s newest jet comes to SFO; international code-sharing news from United and JetBlue; Southwest budgets $2 billion for passenger improvements, including Wi-Fi and power ports; Hawaiian Airlines invests in electric “seagliders” for inter-island trips; European Union drops its mask rule for airlines; Delta changes its new access rules for Sky Clubs.
Are soaring airfares starting to put a damper on enthusiasm for travel? Strong consumer demand combined with airline problems ramping up capacity have pushed airfares on a strong upward trend. And now new data finds passenger bookings are starting to slow down. According to Adobe Analytics, which tracks online consumer spending on six major US airlines, domestic flight bookings in April were down 17% from their March levels while prices rose 8% during the same period. But business is still booming compared with the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, Adobe noted: April 2022 bookings were up 5% over the same month of 2019 and online spending jumped 23%, while prices rose 27% over April 2019. The big gap between increased booking levels and online spending “shows that consumers have been paying considerably more for the same amount of service,” Adobe said.