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March 2020 certainly came in like a lion, especially for travelers and travel companies. COVID-19 all but shuttered the travel industry this spring. While travel has loosened up a bit since then, we wondered, just how much have AwardWallet members been affected?
Tracking Your Trips with AwardWallet
In addition to tracking all of your points, Awardwallet can also help you stay on top of your travel reservations. To see your upcoming travel, just click “Trips” at the top of your account. The best (and easiest) way to make sure all your reservations get added is to connect the email where you receive travel confirmations. We will also add reservations automatically if we detect them in one of your connected loyalty accounts.
AwardWallet Travel Data
To find out how travel plans have been impacted by COVID-19, we took a look at how many trips users added to their timelines before and after the pandemic took hold. We thought it would be cool to share how travel has changed for our base of over 650,000 users worldwide, so we compiled aggregate data for flights, hotels, and car rentals.
The interactive chart below shows the number of reservations per 1,000 users. So when you see that there were 1,535 flights in December of 2019, this means that the average AwardWallet user had just over 1.5 flight reservations that month. You can look at the statistics “By Type” by clicking on the different boxes for Air Trips, Hotel Stays and Car Rentals. Also, AwardWallet Plus users can dig even deeper into the data to see how different travel providers are being affected during this tough time.
You are welcome to reference this data or share screenshots of the above chart. If you do so, please credit AwardWallet as the source and include a link to this page.
Not surprisingly, the data shows that air travel took a huge hit in April, May, and June. As you can see, there was only one flight reservation for every three AwardWallet members in the month of May. That's almost a 78% reduction in flight reservations from the 12-month high in December 2019. The number of travel reservations did pick up a bit with the start of the summer travel season. However, July 2020 data shows that reservations were still down over 70% from December 2019.
The statistics for hotel stays and car rentals mostly track what we saw for the airlines. Perhaps reflecting the flood of U.S. road trip photos I see on social media, hotel stays are increasing at a faster pace than the air trips. April was the lowest point (we hope) with an 80% decline from last August's high of 1450 reservations. The 603 hotel reservations tracked in July 2020 were more than double those held in April. Despite positive trends, we have a long way to go before travel returns to anything that looks like “normal”.
Car rentals are also down, but by a much smaller percentage than air and hotel. From a high of 419 reservations in August 2019, April 2020 showed a 79% decline in car rental reservations for AwardWallet members. Like we saw with hotel stays, car rentals have doubled in the past few months. We hope that health conditions across the U.S. can support the continued return to more normal travel activity.
Only AwardWallet Plus members will be able to dig into the data sorted by travel provider. However, we can give you a couple of quick insights! Airlines that primarily fly domestic routes, like Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue, have been less harshly affected. With so many international travel restrictions on Americans, it makes sense that carriers with lots of overseas routes are taking a bigger hit.
We also found that airlines that block middle seats (Southwest, Alaska, and Delta) don't seem to be doing much better than airlines that don't (like United and American). It will be interesting to see if that trend holds as travel picks up. If it does, we wouldn't be surprised to see changes to those middle seat policies.
We will continue to watch the data to see what AwardWallet members are planning in the coming months. We hope you will also explore the data as it is updated. Let us know in the comments which data points and trends jump out at you!
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