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Crowded Skies: U.S. sets air passenger record

Nearly 850 airline passengers for 2014! To be exact, 848.1 million passengers (obviously some repeaters!) flew on domestic airlines last year, or on foreign airline flights to and from the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The totals broke the previous record sent in 2007.


Of the total, 185.8 million represents flights into or out of the U.S., also a record; the previous high was last year.


One interesting note: U.S. airlines carried 2.4% more passengers on international flights, while foreign carriers carried 2.3% less. To listen to the Open Skies debate, you'd think U.S. carriers were losing share, not gaining!


If you've an appetite for a whole LOT more numbers, DOT has a lot more for you HERE.


The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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The dip turns out to not be as huge as some of us imagined. At the end of 2003, DOT estimated the loss at 7.1%, and by the end of 2004 the figure was higher than before 9/11.


I've gone back to DOT figures for emplanements (which means a passenger getting on a plane) and extracted these numbers from the month-by-month numbers for international and domestic passengers.


Note that the numbers in this table are a bit lower than the figures cited above, for one reason: This is a count of people getting on planes in the U.S. The figures above also include the number of people from overseas getting OFF the plane here. So the number in this table for 2003 is actually consistent with the "a little over 700,000" figure in the table above.



The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

After 9-11 reports in the news claimed that demand for flights to the US from the UK had dropped dramatically.

In March the following year I needed to be in Maryland.

I tried to book a direct flight to any airport in the American north east.

Any time - any date - any week before Mid- March

The earliest time I could book 2 seats to fly over was in June !

Many flights had been cancelled and prices - for those still operating - had risen suddenly.

After contacting many UK travel agents for help I was one of thousands waiting to travel to the US.

Eventually I travelled from Heathrow - Paris - Miami - Philadelphia.

In March - and just 48 hours before my son's wedding.

The word on TV News about fall in demand was just not true.




Last edited by GarryRF

I believe...but haven't time for full research just now...that there was a greater drop in capacity than in demand. That results in low availability and high prices. And if you look at the numbers above, you'll note that the drop in numbers for international is much less sharp, proportionally, than in the domestic...hence Garry's experience.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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