Survey Reveals Travelers' "Tipping Point" on Cost of Airfare

What's the tipping point for air travelers? For 81.5 percent of consumers polled nationwide, their tipping point for a domestic airline ticket is somewhere between $200 and $500; and for 42.9 percent of those polled, their tipping point for an international ticket is between $1,000 and $1,500 dollars.


Also, 83.1 percent indicate that they will spend the same or more on leisure trips in 2012 as compared to last year. The survey was conducted by Travel Leaders Group from April 4 to May 16, 2012, and includes responses from 855 consumers throughout the U.S.

“The fact that nearly 94 percent of consumers polled nationwide indicate they will be taking at least one leisure trip this year – up from 89 percent last year – is very positive news for the American economy. We also find their responses related to the amount they expect to spend encouraging,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben


“Consumers taking our survey were very willing to share their ‘tipping point’ on airfare, which is a reminder that everyone in the travel industry needs to clearly define the value in each and every aspect of a traveler’s itinerary. Consumers will readily pay if their needs are exceeded and they see great value in what they are purchasing. However, most will not indiscriminately spend," Liben said.

Key Statistics and Findings from the survey:


Domestic and International Airfare Tipping Points:


    •    When asked “the maximum you’re willing to pay to fly to your domestic destination” the top two individual responses were: “Up to $400”per ticket (33.1 percent) and “Up to $500” (24.2 percent). When looking at combined responses, 81.5 percent of consumers polled nationwide say their domestic airfare tipping point is between $200 and $500, while 18.5 percent of those polled indicate their tipping point is up to $600 or more.


    •    When asked “What could potentially change that?” with regard to domestic airfare, the top responses were: Funeral (65.5 percent), Medical needs (44.6 percent), and Wedding (33.2 percent).


    •    When asked “the maximum you’re willing to pay to fly to your international destination” the top two individual responses were: “Up to $1,000” (16.3 percent) and “Up to $1,200” (10.4 percent).  When looking at aggregated responses, 42.9 percent would pay between $1,000 and 1,500, while 8 percent of those polled indicate that they would pay up to $2,000 or more for an international airline ticket.


Leisure Travel in 2012:


    •    An overwhelming majority (93.6 percent) of those polled say they will take at least one leisure trip in 2012. In fact, of that group, over 71 percent have already taken one leisure trip this year and nearly 28 percent have taken two or more trips so far this year.


    •    When asked “Is the total number of leisure trips you anticipate taking in 2012 more, the same or less than last year?” over 92 percent of those polled indicate they will take the same or more trips this year as in 2011.  Only 8 percent indicate they will take fewer trips.


    •    When asked how much they will spend on leisure travel this year, 83.1 percent of those polled say they will spend the same or more on leisure travel in 2012 than they did last year.  Only 17 percent indicate they will spend less on leisure travel this year.


Traveling Away from Home:

Travel Leaders Group asked, “For your leisure trip(s) did you or will you ...” (Participants could choose all that apply, so total will not equal 100 percent.)  Travel within the U.S. and farther than a bordering state, 72.5 percent; Travel internationally (Canada, Mexico and/or Caribbean), 44.6 percent; Travel within your home state, 32.1 percent; Travel internationally (other than Canada, Mexico and Caribbean), 31.4; Travel to a bordering state 30.5 percent.


Land or Cruise

When asked whether participants’ leisure trips were land-based, cruise-only or a combination of both, the results indicate: Land-based only, 63.5 percent; Cruise only, 2.3 percent; Both land-based and cruise vacations, 34.3 percent.


This is the fourth consecutive year this consumer travel survey has been conducted. American consumers were engaged predominantly through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for the following Travel Leaders Group companies: Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and



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