Travelers are using their airline miles to save money and have saved more than $2,000 a year on travel since 2011, according to a new report by Travelocity, a travel-tracking company.
The airlines spend about half of their annual revenue on ticket prices, but that’s expected to rise to about 50 percent over the next decade as the market expands, according a report released Monday.
The companies said the surge in frequent flyer miles earned by passengers who use frequent-flier miles as a way to save time and fuel has helped drive the airline industry’s growth over the past two decades.
The report said frequent flyer points earned by frequent fliers in 2014 were up more than 50 percent from 2013 to 2018.
In the United States, frequent flyer point sales have increased about 26 percent in the past five years, and the company said it expects that growth to accelerate in the coming years.
“As the economy continues to grow and travel remains a major driver of economic growth, our data indicates that frequent flyer travel is a critical part of American consumer spending,” said Chris Dolan, Travelocity’s CEO and co-founder.
“This is an area that has proven to be profitable for airlines and airlines are seeing significant savings from this new business model.”
Airlines are also trying to help the economy.
The airline industry has been struggling with a decline in travelers, a rising number of cancellations and increased competition from ride-hailing services like Uber.
As part of a pilot program announced in September, all of American’s airlines will allow passengers to book seats for the night in the front row and reserve them on the aircraft.
And in March, Delta and United Airlines announced plans to reduce fares for the first time in five years.
Read more: Flexibility has long been a perk for frequent flier travel, but airlines have long struggled with the need to make money.
Airlines have been using frequent flyer programs to make sure that the economy can continue growing and people can still make the trips they love, and frequent fllier miles are a great way to help keep costs down.
Last year, for example, American’s frequent flyer program was worth about $100 million, while Southwest Airlines had a $70 million program.
Thats about one-third of the total revenue American airlines earned from frequent flyer accounts in 2017.
But frequent flyer spending was also up dramatically in 2017, the year in which frequent flyer Miles were first introduced, the travel-research company said.
American Airlines said that it was the first airline to add frequent flyer mileage and has added frequent flyer-only seats to more than 3 million flights.
Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, added a new frequent flyer option for the airline in September that allows passengers to reserve seats in the rear row for up to three nights, but only if they can get there in time for the scheduled departure.
The airline also announced it is rolling out a $1 fee for frequent flyer fares in 2018 and a $2 fee for non-Flexible tickets in 2019.
American Airlines also announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with Expedia, a company that offers online travel to more people in the United Kingdom and Australia, to provide the first free hotel stay in Australia for its frequent flyer members.
The free hotel stays will start this summer.
More from Morning Mix: In response to the controversy over the Confederate flag at the University of Texas, a new law will allow schools to display the flag in classrooms, including the Texas Capitol building, where it will be prohibited.
Here’s what you need to know about the Texas state budget.
This post was updated at 11:16 a.m.
ET on May 10, 2018, to include the latest on the Confederate Flag ban.