Survey: North Americans will Travel Despite Skyrocketing Costs, Flight Cancellations
The US travel market is holding strong for now despite skyrocketing costs, flight cancellations and growing recession concerns, according to OAG’s latest survey.
The report, conducted via OAG’s flight tracking app, Flightview in April and May of 2022, offers timely insights on over 1,400 North American travelers who are eager to fly again following two years of Covid lockdowns, protocols and restrictions.
Twenty-seven percent more people are traveling this summer compared to 2021. Of those traveling, 63 percent are booking international flights, and nearly 60 percent are planning to visit a destination they haven’t visited before.
Over 50 percent are booking 2-6 months in advance and 11 percent are booking with lead times of 6 months or more.
Despite rising inflation, respondents said 50- and 100-dollar ticket price increases aren’t likely to discourage them from booking, but they are extremely less likely to book with 200- and 300+ dollar increases (45 percent and 68 percent respectively).
And once at the airport, flight delays, cancellations and customer service issues rank among the biggest areas of impact for consumers (52 percent and 19 percent respectively).
US business travel on the rise
US business travel is also surging. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they have already traveled for business in 2022, up 51 percent from 2021.
Ninety percent report that their company plans to travel in the next 12 months, while 50 percent say their travel plans will return to pre-pandemic levels or above in the next year.
Other quick takeaways from OAG’s research include:
- Better data for booking options: The top improvements respondents want from online travel agencies (OTAs) and travel apps include better price predictability on when to book (59 percent) and real-time travel updates (53 percent).
- Biometric data: Fifty-nine percent of respondents are willing to share their biometric data (via facial recognition, fingerprint, retina scanning or otherwise) to get through security lines faster, including 56 percent who are willing to use biometrics to streamline customs and immigration.
- Sustainability: Sixty-two percent of travelers said sustainability does not impact their travel decision-making. Nearly half of travelers admitted that they wouldn’t be willing to pay extra for a more sustainable flight.
- Self-connecting flights: Although the majority (69 percent) said they have not booked a self-connecting flight within the last 6 months, 50 percent said they want OTAs and apps to offer more non-traditional connecting flight options at better prices.
OAG is a global travel data provider with headquarters in the UK. It is a leading provider of digital flight information, intelligence and analytics for airports, airlines and travel tech companies.