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Brooke Sutherland and Andrea Felsted

Travel Defies Inflation-Fueled Spending Squeeze

Despite rising air fares and lodging costs, consumers are intent on hitting the road.

Spending on travel is increasing despite rising costs.

Spending on travel is increasing despite rising costs.

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

After two long years of pandemic restrictions, travel is likely to offer a relative refuge from concerns about an inflation-fueled slowdown in consumer spending. 

Airline fares are on the rise. Michael O’Leary, chief executive officer of European low-cost carrier Ryanair Holdings Plc, expects average prices to rise 5% to 10% from 2019 levels during this summer’s peak season, the Irish Independent reported. The cost of lodging at hotels and motels in the U.S., meanwhile, has already surpassed pre-pandemic benchmarks, according to February data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And yet all travel industry executives can talk about is how red hot demand is for their services.