Consumers exposed to Black Friday-type promotions are traveling more

Annual figures showed that American air travelers in 2017 flew 3 percent more miles in March compared with the same month in 2016. Many have attributed this hike in travel to the prospect of jet-setting retail deals on Black Friday.

The hype surrounding Black Friday sales is less of a shocker now, according to David Schulz, director of global business intelligence for travel tech provider Skyscanner.

The start of the Black Friday shopping frenzy “is only a phenomenon now,” said Mr. Schulz. “Ten years ago, the mid-December announcement about the [American Airlines] fare sale and discounts only affected the leisure travel market.” The fact that Black Friday and Cyber Monday accounts for about 10 percent of Black Friday’s sales activity reveals that the holiday is now “already as big as the Christmas season,” he added.

These days, “the holiday is not just about retail — the travel market is also taking advantage of the Black Friday discounts.” Airlines are likely “using this opportunity as a way to attract new passengers,” he said. So even if a given airline’s Black Friday fare announcement doesn’t cause travel to surge on the day itself, such sales are likely to encourage more flights to be offered on Jan. 1, in order to generate significant amount of extra revenue.

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