Why a major airline waived fees just for Taylor Swift fans


Fear not, Swifties. South America’s largest airline has your back—and hopes that in return you’ll spend, spend, spend.
When Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour came to Mexico City, it injected $59.1 million into the economy in four days. (Photo by Hector Vivas) GETTY IMAGES FOR TAS RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

Taylor Swift kicked off her South American tour with three sellout crowds at Buenos Aires’ Monumental Stadium, the home venue of Club Atlético River Plate and the Argentinian national soccer teams.

The Argentina concerts are the latest indicator of how closely the travel industry is paying attention to “Swiftonomics” as the Eras Tour leaves North America. Over the next 10 months, Swift will perform in 25 cities across South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

On Thursday, the mega-popstar posted on the social media platform X that she was postponing her Friday show until Sunday in the Argentinian capital “due to the weather being so truly chaotic it would be unsafe to try and put on this concert. Good news is I get to stay in Argentina longer!!”

In an unusual move, LATAM, South America’s largest airline, offered Swifties a lifeline when it announced it wouldn’t charge customers change fees or differences in fare if they rebooked their return flights from Buenos Aires.

The carrier used the hashtag “Attention Swifties” to respond on X. “We know that your plans have changed, so starting today we’ve updated our flexibility policy for those who had a flight scheduled from Buenos Aires on November 11 and 12.”

Customers were told they could rebook their return flights through November 17, and the airline would waive ticket-change fees and fare differences.

Make no mistake, LATAM’s gesture could inject tens of millions of dollars into the Argentinian economy if enough fans spend a few extra days in Buenos Aires.

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour has been creating economic shockwaves since last year, when ticket demand overwhelmed Ticketmaster. This year, the hospitality industry has sat up and taken notice.

In May, Nashville raked in a whopping $28 million in hotel revenue during just two nights of Swift’s three-day Eras Tour series at Nissan Stadium. In June, Chicago reported record-breaking hotel occupancy over the weekend the Eras Tour came to the city.

When the Federal Reserve Bank released its Beige Book in July, Philadelphia officials reported that the strongest post-Covid month for hotel revenue was “in large part due to an influx of guests for the Taylor Swift concerts in the city.”

According to STR and Visit Philadelphia, 95% of the 14,112 downtown hotel rooms were booked for the three-night tour stop, with nightly rates averaging a hefty $447.

More recently, analysts at Bernstein wrote in a note to investors that U.S. states where Taylor Swift concerts have taken place this year have seen their monthly hotel sales rise 7% on average year over year.

All told, the U.S. Travel Association estimates that the Eras Tour injected $5 billion into the national economy in just five months.

Now international destinations are hoping for similarly massive economic boosts. In August, some 180,000 people attended Swift’s concerts in Mexico City, producing a $59.1 million economic impact in just four nights, according to the local chamber of commerce.

It’s music to the ears of officials in Brazil, the next stop on the Eras Tour. When tickets went on sale in June, over 1 million fans joined the online queue for shows in Rio de Janeiro (November 17-19) and Sao Paulo (November 24-26).

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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