Amex: Q1 Corporate Airfares Up, Hotel Rates Down

Corporate travel airfare was up year over year during the first quarter of 2010 while hotel rates continued to drop, according to data released Monday by American Express Business Travel.

The firm's Q1 Business Travel Monitor, which tracks pricing paid for by corporate travelers, showed that average domestic airfare increased by 6 percent to $225 from the first quarter of 2009, and average international airfare increased by 3 percent to $1,726. Preliminary data from April bookings showed that airfare was more expensive that month, as well.

The data also showed a slight comeback for premium class business travel. International business travel accounted for 41 percent of bookings during the quarter, compared with 39 percent of bookings in 2009. The levels still remain well below the 51 percent level reported in the first quarter of 2008, however.

At hotels, international rates remained fairly steady at $228, while domestic rates decreased by 5 percent to $146, according to American Express. The firm said hotels stand to gain pricing power when they achieve higher occupancy levels as the economic recovery picks up speed.

— Northstar Travel Media