Deep frustration among air travelers caused them to avoid an estimated 41 million trips over the past 12 months at a cost of more than $26 billion to the US economy, according to a Travel Industry Association (TIA) survey.
Moreover, air travelers express little optimism for positive change, with nearly 50% saying the air travel system is not likely to improve in the near future.
“The air travel crisis has hit a tipping point – more than 100,000 travelers each day are voting with their wallets by choosing to avoid trips,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of TIA.
Dow noted that the 41 million avoided trips cost airlines more than $9 billion in revenue, hotels nearly $6 billion, and restaurants more than $3 billion; also, federal, state and local governments lost more than $4 billion in tax revenue because of reduced spending by travelers, he said.
Among the key findings of the study:
“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,” said Dow.
About the study: The survey of 1,003 air travelers (adults who had taken at least one roundtrip by air in the last 12 months) was conducted between May 6 and May 13, 2008 by bipartisan polling firms Peter D. Hart Research Associates and The Winston Group.
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