U.S. Airfare Prices Pass Pre-Pandemic Highs

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Hello from Skift. Today is Tuesday, April 18 in New York. Here’s what you need to know about the travel industry today.

Rashaad Jordan

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast explains why prices are so high in the US, what Qatar’s tourism boss expects from the World Cup, and some hotels are pushing camping.

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Episode Notes

Airline executives have been predicting summer airfare increases this year for months, but flying in the United States is already on average more expensive than it was before the pandemic. Rising travel demand and fewer flights are causing fares to rise, writes airline journalist Edward Russell.

The domestic price of the three largest US carriers – American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines – was $384 during the week of April 11, according to a survey by analysts at banking firm Cowen and Company. That’s a 3% jump from 2019 figures. Although the data doesn’t measure summer airfares, this increase – which occurred during the peak U.S. spring break period – is a sign of what airline executives expect to see this summer.

Travel demand, as measured by US Transportation Security Administration checks, is around 90% of 2019 levels. However, Russell writes that there are fewer domestic flights than three years ago. Flight departures have recovered to just 87% of pre-pandemic figures, according to airline industry data firm Cirium.

We then go to Qatar, which will host the FIFA World Cup in November and December. The country expects to attract 1.5 million foreign visitors for the tournament. But Berthold Trenkel, COO of Qatar Tourism, believes the biggest gain from the event will be putting the Gulf state on the map as a major tourist destination in years to come, Peden Doma Bhutia reports. , Asia Editor.

Trenkel said in an exclusive interview with Skift that Qatar’s infrastructure improvements for the 2022 World Cup will help the country achieve future tourism goals, such as becoming a venue for major meetings, conferences and exhibitions. Trenkel added that new attractions such as the Quest theme park, home to the world’s tallest indoor roller coaster, will become popular tourist destinations in the country.

Finally, as glamping has grown in popularity since the start of the pandemic, hotels are looking to attract the growing number of travelers looking to spend time in nature. But how do they do it? Contributor Carley Thornell writes that hotel companies design cabins to contain features from the outdoors.

One property Thornell cites is the Eastwind Hotel & Bar in the Catskills in upstate New York. The 26-room Eastwind includes secluded glamping cabins and new suites that have their own terraces and unobstructed views of the mountains and meadows. The Eastwind also has no televisions on its property, which a company executive says is meant to encourage guests to disconnect from the outside world.

Thornell adds that incorporating elements from the outside into cabin design is expensive, as Rob Blood, founder and president of Lark Hotels, said features such as larger windows increase construction and maintenance costs. exploitation. But Blood thinks such expensive extra work is definitely worth it, citing a former Lark property in Nantucket that was able to charge an extra $200 per night after expansion renovations.