More people would fly if it weren’t such a hassle

The majority of air travelers said their flying experience is worse today than it was five years ago and are avoiding possibly three trips via plane every year.

The U.S. Travel Association’s (USTA) senior director of domestic policy Erik Hansen said more people are flying overall, but more people are also avoiding air travel.

“Americans avoided 32 million trips last year because of air travel hassles, costing the U.S. economy more than $24 billion in spending.”

He said when travel becomes a hassle and people don’t travel, it makes the economy less efficient and the country as a whole less productive.

“One in nine jobs in the United States depends on travel and tourism. It’s the lifeblood of the economy. It’s what keeps us moving, it’s what keeps us connected,” said Hansen.

He said we need to invest in our transportation infrastructure to make it easier to travel around the country, especially since the United States does not have a high speed train to cross it.

“In the next 10 years, the average congestion on major interstate highways, which equals Labor Day levels of congestion, on a weekly basis.

The USTA surveyed more than 2,000 adults last year and broke down what fliers say is getting worse:

* 60% cite airline fees

* 51% say overall cost had increased

* 47% blame “airport hassles”—long lines, crowded terminals, etc.

Business people are taking more conference calls and webinars instead of flying to places for meetings.

Business Travel Coalition surveyed 120 business travelers, asking corporate fliers if they are flying more or less than they did half a decade ago.

Five out of six reported they have cut back on airline travel in the last five years mainly because air travel is more difficult or stressful.

Among 120 respondents, 99 said they are taking fewer flights.

Automobiles, trains, boats and buses are what we’re left to use if we don’t want to fly.

Hansen said policy makers should make improving the travel industry a priority.

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