As much of the U.S. approaches some of the coldest weeks of the year, we were curious to see what Americans have planned for the upcoming Presidents’ Day weekend. Is Omicron keeping travelers at home, or is the need for some sunshine driving Americans to hit the road?
TripIt analyzed U.S. origin flight reservations made by our TripIt users for Presidents’ Day weekend and compared the findings to equivalent booking periods in 2021 and 2020.
We found that while airlines will be busier than they were last year (more than 3x as many travelers), the weekend doesn’t appear to be breaking records the way other recent holidays have.
Current Percentage of Reservations Compared to Years Prior
||2022 Flights (All)
||2022 Flights (Domestic)
||2022 Flights (Int'l)
|Compared to 2021
|Compared to 2020
When looking at flight volume for Presidents’ Day weekend 2022, and comparing it to volumes for the same weekend in 2020 (by all accounts, the last majorly traveled holiday weekend before we went into lockdown), flight bookings are about 40 percent of total 2020 volume.
A few factors explain why holiday weekend travel will not reach the same highs as others in the recent past.
“We know from our recent survey that more than half of all travelers (53 percent) had travel plans impacted by the Delta variant, resulting in canceled and changed plans, loss of money, and likely lots of disappointment,” said Jen Moyse, Sr. Director of Product for TripIt from Concur. “Given the sustained uncertainty around COVID—and the arrival of new variants, in particular—it’s possible that travelers decided that the risk was too great to plan or move forward with a trip in mid-February.”
In addition, Presidents’ Day and Valentine’s Day have fallen on the same weekend over the past several years—giving travel numbers a boost. But, this year, the holidays fall on separate weekends.
Thus, while volumes may be down compared to pre-pandemic levels, they are up compared to last year when we were in the thick of our first COVID winter and vaccine rollouts were just beginning.
Warm-weather destinations preside
The top 25 list is full of warm-weather destinations, which is no surprise to those in the throes of winter. Twenty percent of domestic flights are heading to Florida, 14% are heading to California, and 7% will touch down in Texas. However, there are certainly travelers who are eager to embrace winter weather too, with destinations like Denver, Salt Lake City, New York City, Chicago, and Seattle expecting plenty of inbound flights, as well.
Copyright 2022 Concur Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. From https://www.tripit.com.