Survey: Americans Have Little Trust in Low-Cost Spirit, Allegiant Airlines During Pandemic

Survey Also Showed 50% Would Pay More To Keep Middle Seats Empty

May 26, 2020
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Who's ready to fly? Turns out a lot of you are, but many aren't: A new survey from the travel site TheVacationer.com finds nearly 35% saying they will wait for a cure or a vaccine to COVID-19 before they travel. But, of those who said yes to traveling now... almost 17% say they would if everyone on board had to wear a mask. Just over 34% percent say they would fly with mandatory masks and no one in the middle seat.

 As for that middle seat... would you pay extra to keep it empty?

 Almost 50% say "yes," in order to keep fellow travelers at a distance.

While they're on the plane, people have varying levels of trust in different airlines. The survey showed only 12.35% of people trust low-cost carriers the most to keep them safe from COVID-19. This includes the 1.89% who trust Allegiant Air the most. After that, 1.89% said they trust Frontier Airlines, 7.03% JetBlue and 1.54%, Spirit Airlines.

Also, when it comes to a place to stay once they land ... almost 62% say they would choose a chain hotel over any other form of accommodation, including AirBnB.

 The online survey of 583 Americans was conducted on May 17th. 

The survey included 583 American adults over the age of 18 with the purpose of analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on traveling and event comfort in 2020, vacation plans, financial stability to travel and consumer risk assessment. 

 Here are a few of the more interesting questions and answers:

 1. Other than increased cleaning, under which conditions would you feel comfortable flying again

  • I would fly right now with no special conditions — 13.72%
  • Mandatory masks for all employees and customers — 16.81%
  • Mandatory masks for all employees and customers plus no people seated in middle seats — 34.48%
  • COVID-19 vaccine or cure — 34.99%

 Key Takeaway — Nearly 35% of people do not feel comfortable flying again until there is a cure or vaccine for COVID-19.

 2. Would you pay extra to avoid having someone in a middle seat next to you when flying

  •  Yes, up to 25% of my ticket cost — 26.42%
  • Yes, up to 50% of my ticket cost — 11.66%
  • Yes, up to 75% of my ticket cost — 5.32%
  • Yes, I’d pay for two tickets for myself — 3.95%
  • No — 52.66%

 Key takeaway — Almost 50% of people would pay extra for an empty middle seat.

3. Which airline do you trust most to keep you safe from COVID-19?

  •  Alaska Airlines — 7.38%
  • Allegiant Air — 1.89%
  • American Airlines — 15.78%
  • Delta Airlines — 20.24%
  • Frontier Airlines — 1.89%
  • Hawaiian Airlines — 3.60%
  • JetBlue — 7.03%
  • Southwest Airlines — 23.16%
  • Spirit Airlines — 1.54%
  • United Airlines — 17.50%

 Key Takeaway — Only 12.35% of people trust low-cost carriers the most to keep them safe from COVID-19. This includes the 1.89% that trust Allegiant Air the most. After that, the 1.89% for Frontier Airlines, the 7.03% for JetBlue and the 1.54% for Spirit Airlines are also included.

4. Which accommodation would you feel safest staying in right now?

  • Airbnb — 23.16%
  • Chain Hotel (Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, etc.) — 62.78%
  • Independent Hotel — 11.66%
  • Hostel — 2.40%

 Key Takeaway — An overwhelming 62.78% of people feel safest staying in a chain hotel such as a Marriott or Hilton over any other accommodation.

 5. Which accommodations would you normally consider but won’t while the COVID-19 pandemic persists? (Check All That Apply)

  • Airbnb — 39.62%
  • Chain Hotel (Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, etc.) — 46.66%
  • Independent Hotel — 42.37%
  • Hostel — 28.30%

 Key Takeaway — 39.62% of people will not consider staying in an Airbnb while the pandemic still persists.

You can view the entire survey here: https://thevacationer.com/survey-traveling-and-entertainment-in-2020-amid-covid-19-part-ii/

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