Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Soar 7.1 Percent in 2018

Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) announced today that the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies in 2018 increased 7.1 percent as compared to 2017, totaling nearly $95 billion vs. $88.5 billion.* The average U.S. round-trip ticket price for was $490, up just $6 from 2017.

The total number of passenger trips settled by ARC for U.S. travel agencies increased just under 3 percent to 295,497,805 compared to 287,679,290 in 2017. U.S. domestic trips remained steady, increasing less than 1 percent while international passenger trips grew by 7.3 percent.

Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD)** sales in 2018 totaled $78 million, about a 2 percent increase compared to 2017. EMD transactions decreased by 1.5 percent.

Commenting on the health of the industry, Zane Kerby, president & CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) said, Travel advisors and agencieswhether online, brick-and-mortar or hybrid business models in betweenplay a critical role in our countrys commercial aviation system and the broader travel and tourism industry. ARCs valuable research data provides tangible evidence of trends weve been observing for several yearsthat consumers are increasingly coming back to our members for the comparison shopping, unbiased advice, destination expertise and personal support that only a trusted travel advisor can provide.


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ARC President and CEO Mike Premo said, ARC-accredited travel agencies and advisors are chosen millions of times year-in and year out by customers to support their air travel purchases. Were delighted to connect these travel professionals with ARCs 237 participating airlines and see them do a record amount of business together.

More detailed information is available on ARCs website.

About ARC:

An industry leader in air travel distribution and intelligence, ARC settled $94.8 billion in ticket transactions in 2018 between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 295 million passenger trips. ARC provides flexible distribution solutions, innovative technology and access to the worlds most comprehensive air ticket transaction data, helping the global air travel community connect, grow and thrive. For more information, please visit

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending December 31, 2018, from 12,100 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies. Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.
  • Average ticket price (in USD) for a round-trip ticket settled through ARC for an itinerary that included only U.S. domestic travel.
  • Passenger trips include the total number of passengers taking a trip from one airport to another using either direct or connecting flights. Newly-issued trips are added, and refunded trips are deducted to provide a net view of traveling passengers.
  • U.S. Domestic passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where the itinerary is wholly within the U.S. International passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where some or all of the travel occurs to airports outside the U.S. or originates outside the U.S.
  • Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

**Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD)

  • Includes fees for products and services such as upgraded seats, checked luggage, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.

2019 Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.

Hillary Smith
[email protected]