Americans are split fairly even with regard to whether they will fly again on 2020, according to recent research by ValuePenguin. In fact, 32 percent say they will “definitely” fly on an airplane, 35 percent say “maybe,” and the remaining 34 percent say they definitely will not.
Younger Americans are more likely to travel again, led by Millennials (with 39 percent saying they “definitely” will fly again in 2020). Gen Z followed with 36 percent onboard with flying in 2020 and Gen X was third with 33 percent saying so. Just 16 percent of Baby Boomers and 6 percent from the Silent Generation said they “definitely” would fly.
Those who are definitely planning on flying cited satisfaction with airlines’ measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (37 percent) and having a preplanned trip they couldn’t get refunded (33 percent) as the most common reasons for doing so. Nineteen percent of respondents said their reason for flying was that they were not too worried about the coronavirus (which, perhaps, explains why the younger generations were more willing to fly), while 5 percent said it was because they wanted to spend airline miles or points.
Within the segment that said they might fly before the end of 2020, the criteria were primarily health-related. Common responses were that COVID-19 cases would need to significantly decline (54 percent), health experts would need to say flying is safe (42 percent) and airlines would need to increase social distancing measures and enforce passenger to wear masks (both 38 percent). Needing a “compelling reason to travel” was the fifth most popular response (37 percent).
Among those who said they definitely will not fly, the top responses were being worried about getting the coronavirus (46 percent) and not having any reason to fly (41 percent).
Just as Americans are split on whether they will travel again, they are fairly evenly split in their opinion of whether airlines are doing enough to keep customers safe. Forty percent say airlines are doing enough, 29 percent say they are not and 32 percent are unsure.
When will people travel? September was the most common response (20 percent) but a combined 29 percent replied with either July or August. Eight percent have flown already since mid-March and seven percent are unsure when they will travel next. The vast majority (67 percent) of those who definitely plan to fly again in 2020 will stay within the country, but 16 percent will travel internationally and 17 percent will travel both domestically and internationally as they have multiple trips planned for 2020.
ValuePenguin commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,020 Americans; the survey was fielded June 12-15, 2020.