Market Overview

Lower Airfares in 2016 Help Drive Down Dollar Sales of U.S. Travel Agencies


Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), the premier driver of air travel intelligence and commerce in the travel industry, reported today that the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies decreased 3 percent* in 2016 compared to 2015, totaling $86 billion vs. $88 billion. This decrease can be partly attributed to airfare decreases throughout 2016. December 2016 ticket sales were up one percent at $5.3 billion against the same month last year.

Total transactions increased 5.8 percent in 2016 with a strong increase in cash transactions (13.6%). Cash sales also increased 6.5 percent with travelers paying a total of $9.4 billion in cash.

Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD)** sales and transactions also continue to increase over time. EMD sales comprised nearly $50 million of the year-to-date sales vs. $19.5 million in 2015. EMD transactions increased 250 percent to 825,250 in 2016 vs. about 236,000 in 2015.

More detailed information is available at

About ARC:

The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is the premier driver of air travel intelligence and commerce in the travel industry with leading business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools and high-quality data. In 2016, ARC settled $86 billion worth of carrier ticket transactions for more than 9,400 travel agencies with 12,000 points of sale. Established in 1984, ARC is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Louisville, Kentucky, Tampa, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit and

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending December 31, 2016, from 12,632 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies.
  • Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.
  • Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

**Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD)

  • Includes fees for products and services such as upgraded seats, checked luggage, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.

©2017 Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.

Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC)
Hillary Smith, 703-341-1207

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