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This Just In

Thanksgiving Weekend Travel and Spending Report Shows Economic Resilience

MADDY RYLEY, MANAGING EDITOR
Thanksgiving Weekend Spurs Busiest Travel Day for U.S. and Holiday Spending

CHICAGO — The 2023 holiday season had a strong kickoff over Thanksgiving weekend with not only the busiest air travel day recorded by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), but also increased online spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday compared to last year, showing the U.S. economy’s resilience.

U.S. airports reported the 2023 Thanksgiving weekend as some the busiest travel days yet, notably with the Sunday after Thanksgiving breaking TSA’s record with more than 2.9 million passengers screened for flights.

Less than 0.5% of the more than 51,000 scheduled flights on Sunday were cancelled, according to Flight Radar 24 and Forbes, which is a reassuring sign that air travel during the end of 2023 may be smoother than the 2022 holiday season, which saw airlines experiencing significant delays, cancellations and technology failures as poor weather amplified travel disruptions.

Travelers also took to the road in high numbers, with approximately 49.1 million people driving 50 miles or more throughout the weekend, according to AAA. The number of travelers on the road is the third highest since 2000 and a 1.7% increase from 2022. AAA also reported that the number of people traveling by cruise, bus and train over the weekend was estimated to be about 11% more than the number in 2022.

Online Spending Increases

The National Retail Federation estimated about 182 million people would be shopping in-stores and online on Black Friday, which marks the first day of the traditional Christmas shopping season. Consumers spent $9.8 billion throughout the day online, according to Adobe Analytics, with more than half of those sales being made by mobile users. This year’s online sales jumped 7.5% from 2022’s Black Friday.

Cyber Monday also elicited big spending from consumers, with shoppers spending a total of $12.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics, which is a 9.6% increase compared to 2022. During the peak hour on Monday, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., shoppers spent $15.7 million every minute.

The option to buy now, pay later (BNPL) was used more this Cyber Monday than last year, with Adobe Analytics reporting that shoppers used BNPL for $940 million worth of purchases online, a 42.5% increase over 2022.

Outside of the popular Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, consumers spent $5.6 billion on Thanksgiving, and Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 saw consumers shell out $10.3 billion online in the U.S, according to Digital Commerce 360. Overall, U.S. consumers spent more money each day online this year throughout the Thanksgiving weekend than in 2022.

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