U.S. air travelers are deeply frustrated and avoiding flying, says a new survey by the Travel Industry Association. They’re so fed up that they avoided an estimated 41 million trips over the last year, estimated the TIA, costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars.
“The air travel crisis has hit a tipping point,” said Roger Dow, the TIA’s president and CEO.
“With rising fuel prices already weighing heavily on American pocketbooks, we need to find ways to encourage Americans to continue their business and leisure travel. Unfortunately, just the opposite appears to be happening,” Dow said in a statement issued Thursday.
The 41 million avoided trips during the last 12 months rippled outward across the entire travel/tourism industry, said the TIA, estimating it cost the airlines more than $9 billion in lost revenue; hotels nearly $6 billion; and restaurants more than $3 billion. Among the survey’s findings:
• Travelers’ top concerns are delays, cancellations and inefficient security screening.
• More than 60 percent of travelers believe the air travel system is deteriorating.
• One-third of all air travelers are dissatisfied with the air travel system, with 48 percent of all frequent air travelers (5 or more trips per year) dissatisfied.
The survey of 1,003 air travelers (adults who had taken at least one round-trip by air in the last 12 months) was conducted between May 6 and May 13 by the polling firms of Peter D. Hart Research Associates and The Winston Group.
Get more information on the survey at www.tia.org