July 13 2020
Washington, DC PRGN member Xenophon Strategies has released their 2020 Frequent Flyer Survey on flying in the time of COVID-19. The research was conducted by the firm’s research arm, Xenophon Analytics by polling members of the company’s proprietary, opt-in, Frequent Flyer Database, which includes 200k+ passengers who are all verified to be members of at least one loyalty program of a major commercial air carrier.
The survey data for 2020 showed that 60% of flyers were planning a trip in the next six months, from July to January 2021. Of those, 63% planned to travel for personal reasons, while 10% were planning on a business trip. A full 27% were planning both personal and business flights.
“Large numbers of air passengers are ready to begin flying again, which is good news for the airline industry,” said Xenophon Strategies President David Fuscus. “Over the past four months, global aviation has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic with fewer flyers, job cuts, grounded airplanes, and deferred or cancelled aircraft orders.”
The coming return to the skies by frequent travelers comes with high expectations for public health. Virtually all travelers are expecting the use of face masks, social distancing, increased aircraft and airport disinfection, and other procedures.
There’s also increased interest in touchless technology–like facial recognition–for check in, security screening and boarding. In fact, 86% of flyers ranked contactless technology as important in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. Most wanted to see it used more broadly at check-in, baggage drop, security screening, and boarding the flight.
“Frequent flyers want and expect social distancing, disinfecting, face masks and empty middles seats,” said Fuscus. “But they also want contactless technology at airports’ check-in and security lines to help prevent the spread of the virus.”
The survey was conducted from May 28 through June 18, 2020, and has a margin of error of +/- 2%.
The full frequent flyer survey pollling data and analysis is available directly from Xenophon Strategies.