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U.S. Travel Urges Government to Improve the Air Travel Experience

Are your meetings attendees deterred by the hassles of air travel? A new survey says yes. In fact, they find it as annoying as a trip to the DMV.

The U.S. Travel Association released new research this week that finds that people are avoiding travel because of airport irritations and flight delays.  

“On average, air travelers are avoiding two trips in the next year due to air travel hassles specifically. This equates to 27 million trips avoided and $71 billion in losses for the U.S. economy over the next year,” said U.S. Travel president and CEO Geoff Freeman during a Wednesday media briefing highlighting the survey findings and urging government action.

The U.S. Travel and Ipsos survey of 1,408 adults (about 25 percent of whom were business travelers) had a general distaste for the air-travel experience. “We know that passengers are not happy since two thirds [of recent travelers] view the experience as the same or worse than going to the DMV,” said Freeman.

The unpredictability of flight delays and cancellations, inefficient security systems, and wait times for Global Entry membership and passports are among the air travel hassles driving the dissatisfaction, said Freeman.

“The government must take responsibility for these inefficiencies,” he said, noting two main areas of focus: improving the strategy and funding of the Federal Aviation Administration and improving air travel best practices by embracing new technologies and learning from other country’s experiences.

To the latter point, Freeman announced that U.S. Travel is working with Euromonitor, a London-based market research company, “on a global competitive analysis, benchmarking the U.S. against 17 major competitors.”

“We will also launch a new commission in response to the competitive analysis that will focus on seamless and secure travel and specific recommendations to improve the travel experience the United States,” he said. The Euromonitor report is expect in late October.

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