Today’s skies are more affordable and accessible to all

This truly is the golden age of flying. New and refurbished aircraft, larger overhead bin space, in-flight Wi-Fi and competitive prices are just a few examples of how airlines are investing more than $1.4 billion a month to improve the flying experience for our customers. 

But rather than hear about it from us, we wanted to get your opinion on today’s flying experience. That’s why Airlines for America commissioned Ipsos Public Affairs to conduct a survey of more than 3,000 people representative of the general public to learn as much as we could about today’s flyer and what’s important to them.

The results may surprise you.

CHECK THEM OUT

Affordable airfares enable more Americans to fly than ever before

Flying is no longer for the elite, it’s for everyone. The low cost of airfare means more Americans can fly than ever before. In fact, the percentage of Americans who have ever flown has increased from 49% in 1971, to 81% in 2015.

Affordable airfares have enabled this trend. In fact, just within the past year, airfares were down 5.1 percent system wide.

The number of passengers has climbed for the sixth consecutive year, and consumers told us in the survey that we should expect the trend to continue. Almost a third (29 percent) of all Americans say they will take more flights in 2016.

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4 out of 5 American flyers are satisfied with their experience in the air

Overall, 80% of Americans surveyed were satisfied or greatly satisfied with their flying experience in 2015. Price, convenience and reliability were the main reasons people chose to fly, and the majority felt that the airlines met or exceeded their expectations.

During the inflight experience, 91% of travelers told us legroom is their top priority on the plane, followed by 77% who want space for a carry-on. Airlines have been listening to these requests and investing in bigger planes or refurbishing existing planes to provide more leg room and overhead space for carry-ons!

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The freedom to choose means more affordable tickets, and consumers like that

Most Americans (81%) and 86% of those who flew last year, told us that the total travel price is the most important factor when deciding to fly.

Price is particularly important to older Americans (83%), women (85%) and people who flew for personal reasons in 2015 (88%).

As more people fly for personal reasons, they increasingly value pricing options. Two-thirds of Americans (67%) prefer à la carte tickets, where they are able to pay only for the items and services they want “so my ticket ends up being less expensive."

Two-thirds of Americans agree with the green statement.
What would you choose?

A la carte tickets are more preferred by less affluent households (HH income  less than $50,000; 70%) and retirees (70%).

WANT MORE?

So who’s traveling?

MILLENNIALS

Millennials are the emerging generation of “regular” flyers. They are a multi-ethnic group who are value-conscious (remember most are just starting out in their careers) and in a hurry to get to where they are going. While they expect to have access to their technology while flying from point A to B, they do not have any “make or break” demands.

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ROAD WARRIORS

Family travelers move in packs. As such, they are looking for the least stressful options getting to and onboard the airplane. Price, while important, is not the paramount virtue for family travelers. Safety and convenience are also important when you are shepherding the flock.

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FAMILIES

Family travelers move in packs. As such, they are looking for the least stressful options getting to and onboard the airplane. Price, while important, is not the paramount virtue for family travelers. Safety and convenience are also important when you are shepherding the flock.

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RETIRED FLYERS

Retired flyers are people discovering their love of travel in their hard-earned retirement. They are very price-conscious – watching every penny they’ve saved – and most want a relatively stress-free experience getting to the plane and comfortable experience while in the air.

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