U.S. air travelers experienced immense frustration over the past 12 months causing air travelers to make about 41 million fewer trips and has cost the national economy $26 billion, according to a survey from the Travel Industry Association.
The TIA surveyed more than 1,000 Americans who have flown at least once in the past 12 months and revealed that travelers are deeply frustrated with the air travel process, which includes cancellations, delays and inefficient security screening.
The study conducted by polling firms Peter D. Hart Research Associates and the Winston Group, said the lack of air travel cost airlines more than $9 billion in revenue, hotels nearly $6 billion and restaurants more than $3 billion.
Federal, state and local governments also lost more than $4 billion in tax revenue because of reduced spending by travelers.
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.
Air Travelers are also reluctant to dip into their wallets, which are already weighed down by rising fuel prices.
The study also showed that:
- One-third of all travelers are dissatisfied with the air travel system. Two-thirds are satisfied.
- Out of the aspects that air travels that most needs to be improve: 53 percent said flight delays and cancellations; 36 percent said security screening.
- Travelers who had at least one of their flights canceled: 29 percent.
- Travelers who had a flight delay of at least an hour: 60 percent.
- Travelers who sat on a tarmac for at least 30 minutes waiting for takeoff: 46 percent.
- Sixty-two percent of fliers thought air travel was getting worse, 26 percent thought it was getting better.
- Travelers who avoided trips in last year because frustration with flying: 28 percent.
- Will air travel problems ever be fixed? Half said it's likely, 47 percent said it's unlikely.
TIA is a nonprofit that represents the travel industry and promotes increased travel to and within the U.S.
The airline industry have struggle due to soaring jet fuel prices as crude oil lingers around $130 a barrel. As a result, US Airways and United Airlines have been among the few airlines who have embraced the idea of consolidation. However, the airlines announced today they cancelled talks, while United will continue to discuss a potential alliance with Continental Airlines.