As we all know, the travel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. And while it market remains challenging and consumer confidence unpredictable, there is, nevertheless, growing optimism about traveling again as lockdown restrictions begin to ease in the UK, Europe and more globally.

Here at Melt we’ve been closely monitoring Google Trends data throughout the pandemic to assess the levels of search interest across key travel segments, including flights, hotels, holidays, cruises and car hire. We’re keen to anticipate which areas will return to so-called normal levels first, and also identify what trends might emerge in this new and unknown landscape to better assist our clients.

But why stop there? We will now be sharing some of these insights monthly to help digital marketers and travel businesses be better prepared for the inevitable return of travel demand, which you’ll be pleased to hear is already underway.

One final note before we delve in. It’s important to remember that Google Trends data is very much a guide and that any trend should be validated with other qualitative and quantitative metrics before taking action. That said, it’s hoped that the following data will give you a steer on where to investigate next.


  • Defined an initial list of searches for each category
  • Used Google Trends API to pull “interest over time” and “related queries” data at scale for against the travel category (67)
  • Visualised summed averaged for each category by week in the “interest over time” graphs
  • Analysed rising queries within “related queries” tables from the last 30 days

How to read the graphs

  • The graphs represent the average trend score for the set of keywords defined in that category for the last three years split by week
  • The pink shaded area represents 2020 to date. The other colours represent previous years
  • Google trends is scored out of 100, which indicates its peak. The closer the data point is to 100, the more frequently people are searching


Interest over time (YOY)

The flights category covers a variety of queries, featuring keywords such as domestic, international, last-minute and cheap, as well as searches that  feature names of specific airlines.

As you can see below, flight searches have been on the rise since week 17 of 2020. They are, however, still down on what they have been for the past two years.

Rising queries: “Flights” (Last 30 Days)

The following table presents the rising related queries in order of value that Google Trends associates to the keyword “flights” during the past 30 days:


Rising Value

benidorm flights


easyjet flight release


flights to newquay


easyjet flight release dates


easyjet change flight


turkish airlines flights


flights to benidorm


flights to alicante from london


when will international flights resume uk


last flight to abuja


ba flight status


flights to vienna


ryanair flight status

flights from edinburgh


flights to malaga


ryanair flights to spain


flights to murcia


flights to cancun


tui flight extras


flight aware


international flights to india


flights to marbella


flights to tunisia


cheap flights to new york


flights to paris

flights to tenerife


babcock flights


flights to usa from uk


flights to turkey


flight radar app


loganair flights


flights to faro

flights to malta


flights to ibiza


flight tracker 24


easyjet flight tracker


flight centre


Melt takeaways

Most searches on the rise seem to be “flights to [destination of choice]”, such as “flights to marbella” or “flights to tenerife”, suggesting that people already have a destination in mind. And although “when will international flights resume uk” is still rising, there are less variations of this query compared to May when this was less clear.

Drilling into specific destinations, Benidorm and Alicante appear prominently, revealing that searches for these popular Spanish holiday destinations are gaining traction again. Further validation is required to determine if people are just browsing or actually booking, but signs are nevertheless encouraging.

This is reflected in Google search results where although the Covid-19 alert is still present, Google Flights is now more visible than news snippets:

Another area of growing interest is related to EasyJet, specifically around its flight release schedule for 2021, as this was released in June. This would indicate that even among more hesitant travellers there’s still some indicator of intent to travel over the long-term, when hopefully some sort of holidaying normality has returned.

We’ve also been tracking specific airlines. Although most appear to be trending in the same direction, it’s interesting to see that Jet2 and EasyJet have a slightly higher search growth curve than their competitors. Again, this needs to be further validated with booking and survey data to see if this trend holds true.

We hope you’ve found these flight travel trends and insights useful. If so, check back in next month for more of the same. If you’d like us to monitor any particular trends for you travel or non-travel get in touch here.