US Airlines Attempting To Cope As Consumer Habits Alter During The Pandemic

Travel patterns in a post-pandemic world are forcing airlines to adjust by cutting flights, revamping networks and packing even more passengers into planes. No-show rates have increased as customers change their travel plans more frequently than before. Travel demand has softened on days in the middle of the week, but has strengthened on peak days. Frontier Airlines has decided to slash flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by about 20%, citing weak demand. The Denver-based carrier attributed the change to flexible work arrangements, where more people are spending two to three days a week working in the office.


Frontier has eliminated an unspecified number of routes as part of its network restructuring. The Pandemic has caused a shift in travel patterns, affecting United Airlines, which has a small presence in the Caribbean and Florida. This has caused revenue to suffer in the last quarter, and airlines are seeing a change in ticket sales. Passengers are booking flights earlier than they did during the pandemic, with bookings for trips within 21 days weaker than those beyond 21 days. Delta Airlines reported that bookings for trips inside 30 days were declining, while those outside 30 days were stronger.


Southwest Airlines Co said bookings for trips closer to the departure date have weakened compared to last summer. Delta Air Lines Inc CEO Ed Bastian attributed the cooling effect on domestic airfares to an attempt by customers to lock in the opportunity to travel sooner and the elimination of flight change fees by many airlines. Data from online travel agency Hopper showed average domestic round-trip airfare declined 15% to $285 in April from last year, while overall travel spending has increased. The waving of change fees is encouraging people to revise plans at the last minute, affecting the proportion of seats sold, known as passenger load factor. Delta has said it now plans to overbook flights even more, but the move runs the risk of bumping more passengers off flights. Delta President Glen Hauenstein said the company is adjusting into a new normal.

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