COVID-19 has affected air travel unlike any other event in history. And while travelers stayed home (and made more batches of banana bread than they thought possible), we wanted to take a look at how consumer search trends are changing as we head into warmer months.
So, we dug into over a billion of our annual flight searches to create a data center that shows flight search trends from the pandemic’s onset to today.
And while the industry has a long road ahead to recovery after a near standstill in air travel, we’re seeing new consumer travel search trends emerge. That way, you can keep a pulse on how the world is warming up to getting out there and exploring again.
Here’s some of the data we’re featuring in our data center:
- Global flight search trends – a daily look at how COVID-19 impacted flight searches globally relative to the same day last year.
- Domestic versus international search trends – which shows more Americans looking towards domestic travel.
- Search trends by destination city – a spotlight on the five cities seeing the biggest spikes and declines in searches.
And to give you a better picture into what we’re seeing, here are some of the stories our data currently tells:
- The big drop. Flight searches reached their lowest point in early April and started trending upwards in May.
- Domestic travel rebounds first. Domestic travel searches in the US are growing at a faster rate than international travel searches.
- Travelers are turning away from urban hotspots. In the US, international cities like London, Tokyo and Paris are being replaced with searches for Anchorage, Miami and San Juan.
- News of easing restrictions is motivating travelers. Las Vegas saw the biggest spike in searches following the reopening of casinos and southern states like Georgia, Texas and Florida are seeing travel interest pick up as restrictions lift. The Caribbean is also starting to gain traction, following news of borders reopening to international travelers.
- This summer, Europeans may encounter very few American tourists. US searches to Europe are down 70% year over year.
Make sure to check back regularly as the data is updated daily and new search trends will continue to emerge. And as our world continues to shift under the pandemic, and travel continues to look different from what it was just a few months ago, we’ll make sure you have the information you need to make smart decisions about future trips. To help keep track of restrictions around the world, our Travel Restrictions Map provides an interactive look at which countries are closed vs. open to travel, as well as gives a deep-dive into state-by-state regulations.
About the Data
The data represents indexed flight search volume across KAYAK brands in the listed origin countries. The city, country, and region is determined by the airport location. Aggregate year over year calculations use the current day compared to the same day of the week in the previous year. City and country destination week over week and year over year calculations use the week average. For example, the average of Wednesday, April 29, 2020 to Tuesday, May 5, 2020 is compared to the average of Wednesday, May 1, 2019 to Tuesday, May 7, 2019.