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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Rising cost of air travel hits Brits

TripAdvisor survey reveals Brits are feeling the crunch but won’t give up on flying

The results of TripAdvisor’s third annual air travel survey* show Brits are more concerned than in previous years about the cost of air travel, with Air Passenger Duty (APD), high fare prices and add-on flight costs all taking their toll. 

APD takes a toll on holidays
With APD this year rising at more than twice the rate of inflation and Britain suffering the highest aviation tax in the world**, Brits are feeling the crunch:
·         Over two-thirds (68%) of Brits say the rising costs of APD will impact their travel plans, with 9% saying this impact will be “substantial”
·         Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Brits believe APD is unfair on travellers.  Just 11% say it’s fair, while the remaining 25% are unsure

Concerns over flight costs on the rise
The survey revealed Brits are becoming increasingly concerned with costs when choosing an airline, and are more price-sensitive than other European travellers:
·       This year 83% of Brits cited the price of a flight as a key factor when choosing an airline, compared to 71% in 2011
·         On average, 79% of Europeans said cost was a key factor in choosing an airline
·         The following, in order, are the key factors for Brits when choosing an airline:
1.    Price
2.    Convenience of departure/arrival time
3.    Convenience of departure/arrival airport
4.    Non-stop flight to desired destination
5.    Ample leg room

(Not So) Low-Cost Airlines
Despite their extraordinary popularity, low-cost airlines are not perceived to live up to their promise. The survey revealed 76% of Brits do not consider so-called low-cost airlines to indeed be low-cost once taxes and added fees are taken into account.

British Airways back in the good books
For the second consecutive year, BA has been named the UK’s favourite airline.  The number of travellers putting the airline in the top spot has steadily increased since 2010, when it lost to Virgin Atlantic, during BA’s renowned cabin crew dispute.  The following, in order, are British travellers’ favourite airlines:
1.    British Airways
2.    Virgin
3.    Emirates
4.    Singapore Airlines
5.    Thomson Airways

The news for Ryanair is less positive: the airline was voted both Britain’s and Europe’s least favourite airline by a wide margin. easyJet was voted the second least favourite airline.

Frequent flyers
Despite economic woes and cost concerns, Brits are resolute in their determination to travel:
·         84% of respondents intend to take at least one short-haul flight in 2012
·         67% intend to take at least one long-haul flight in 2012

“This year’s results reveal a general worry about the expense of flying, whether it’s APD, cynicism around ‘low-cost’ carriers or simply the significant price tag of a flight,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Yet while it’s clear that British travellers are feeling price-conscious as economic uncertainty continues, the vast majority will still be taking at least one flight this year.”
*Survey carried out on 5,555 respondents, including 1,116 from the UK, in March 2012