Amex Sees Rise In Airfares

While third-quarter international and domestic airfares were still down significantly year over year at 18.5 percent and 15 percent respectively, fares turned upward from second-quarter levels, marking the first such increase since early 2008, according to the third-quarter American Express Business Travel Monitor, which the travel management company released yesterday.

International one-way airfares increased 2 percent from the second quarter of 2009 to an average of $1,638 per trip. Domestic one-way tickets also rose 2 percent to an average of $215. In October, fares continued the move north with the international average at $1,730 and the domestic average ticket price growing to $219.

Amex's average airfare data include published and purchased airfares on hundreds of routes for various fare categories and classes of service

Hotel rates, excluding taxes, continued their fall in the third quarter. International booked hotel rates decreased 10 percent year over year to $239, and domestic daily rates fell 2 percent to $144. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the pace of the decreases has slowed substantially, with international ADRs dropping just $2 and domestic ADRs falling $6.

In October, the average domestic daily rate grew to $156, the first monthly growth since the fourth quarter of 2008. International rates fell 3.8 percent to $230 in the month. The strongest rebound in hotel pricing is coming from midprice, economy and budget tiers, which increased from the second quarter rates by 2 percent, 1 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

Daily car rental rates, including mileage, gas, tax and insurance, remained relatively stable in the $70-plus range. In the third quarter, the average daily rate paid was $74, a 4 percent increase from the second quarter.

—Nielsen Business Media