A4A survey finds increases in 2016 frequency of, satisfaction with air travel

In its latest commissioned survey, the Status of Air Travel in the United States, Airlines for America (A4A) found that nearly half (49%) of respondents said they flew commercially at least once in 2016, up from 45% in 2015 and more than double what it was in 1971 (21%), the company said.

Satisfaction with overall air travel experience also increased. According to the survey, 85% of 2016 passengers said they were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied,” up from 80% of 2015 fliers. This includes the 43% of passengers who specifically stated they were “very satisfied,” up from 35% in 2015. Of the remainder, 10% were “neutral,” and only 6% were either “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied,” unchanged from 2015.

The survey, conducted in January 2017 by Ipsos Public Affairs, looked at who was traveling by air, why, where, and how often. Travelers were asked to rate their air travel experience, to indicate what factors were considered when purchasing flights and surveyed about their upcoming travel plans.

According to the survey, customer satisfaction rises markedly with enrollment in expedited screening programs. Of the 2016 fliers enrolled in Global Entry, 68% said they were “very satisfied” with their overall air travel experience, while 50% of TSA Pre✓ enrollees say they were “very satisfied.” Overall satisfaction for enrollees in those programs was 92% and 88%, respectively.

Passengers were most satisfied with the process of checking in for their flights, followed by shopping for/booking flights, boarding the aircraft, reliability of on-time departure and arrival, awaiting checked baggage upon arrival at destination, and getting through security.

The Status of Air Travel in the United States survey was conducted Jan. 6-13, 2017 as an online survey of 5,047 members of the American general public, age 18+ by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Airlines for America.

Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service, and environmental responsibility. A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups, Congress, and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.