We are now in the throes of the summer travel season and aviation leaders have been bracing themselves for the busiest summer yet. According to recent data from Airlines for America (A4A), there’s a record 257.4 million passengers — an average of 2.8 million per day — expected to travel on U.S. airlines between June 1 and August 31, 2019. While a typical boost in travel occurs during the summer months, the number of passengers continues to grow year over year. 

“Airlines are adding 111,000 seats per day to accommodate the additional 93,000 daily passengers expected during the summer travel period. This will be the 10th consecutive summer to see an increase in the number of U.S. airline passengers,” according to their press release on the data.

This marked passenger growth is in tandem with inflation adjusted air fares, which are on the decline for the fourth year in a row as of 2018. “With airlines offering low fares and reinvesting billions of dollars in their product, there’s never been a better time to fly. This summer, U.S. airlines expect travelers to take to the skies in record numbers,” said A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. “Air travel is the nation’s safest form of transportation, and it is now more affordable than ever before. U.S. carriers are making airline flights more and more accessible, so it’s no surprise that more and more Americans are flying.”

“Summer travel has always been an especially busy and exciting time for the aviation industry,” noted Nancy Welsh, Director, IMS Marketing, Collins Aerospace. “We’re excited to see rising sentiment scores among passengers in this year’s data from A4A. This tells us that our technology is helping airports make the passenger journey as seamless as possible and the passenger experiences more streamlined during this hectic season.”

Summer Travel

Here are a few other key considerations that A4A shared in their briefing to streamline summer travel in 2019, and future travel in general, as much as possible:

  • A4A Encourages travelers to enroll in TSA Precheck or Global Entry – A4A’s data shows that in April 2019, 93 percent of Precheck passengers waited less than five minutes in line at TSA.
  • REAL IDs will be required of every passenger over the age of 18 starting October 1, 2020 – A4A’s briefing reminds passengers to keep this in mind as they plan travel in upcoming months.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) clears more than 10,000 international passengers per day at 10 airports – A4A encourages passengers to consider the Global Entry or Mobile Passport Control programs to help alleviate long wait times at Federal Inspection Stations (FIS). Connected Aviation Today is also interested in seeing how forward-looking biometrics programs will factor into this challenge in the future.

You can read the full briefing from A4A here.

Chelsea Barone

About Chelsea Barone

Chelsea is an editor for Connected Aviation Today, managing the day-to-day editorial activities. Chelsea writes for other federal government and technology industry publications. Her background lies in B2B and enterprise technology, specifically cloud computing, SaaS, travel IT, and mobile devices.