The U.S. Travel Association continues to call on the federal government to take action to improve the air travel system amid surging demand for spring break travel.
The organization shared new data on Monday highlighting the need for significant changes to the air travel experience nationwide. U.S. Travel points out that Airlines for America projects 2.6 million U.S. air passengers per day in March and April, signaling a 1 percent increase over 2019 levels.
Citing a recent poll from Ipsos, U.S. Travel adds that as many as 45 percent of American travelers currently rate the air travel experience as average or below average, often citing factors such as crowds and congestion, flight delays or cancellations, the airport security process and travel logistics as the main causes.
What's more, the same study found that more than one-third (36 percent) of leisure travelers would travel more in the next six months if the travel experience was not so much of a hassle.
"Periods of high demand-like spring break and holiday weekends-are a stress test that reveal the inadequacies of our current air travel system," U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman said in a statement. "Demand may be high now, but countless frustrating air travel experiences may cause passengers to choose other modes of transportation or simply stay home in the future."
According to U.S. Travel, Congress can address these issues in this year's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill by accelerating air traffic modernization, growing the aviation workforce and modernizing airport infrastructure.
The organization is also calling on officials to accelerate the use of biometric data to expedite the airport security process, pointing out that approximately half of Americans are comfortable sharing biometric data like fingerprints and facial recognition with TSA for a more seamless experience.
"The U.S. holds a major opportunity to grow the economy by operating a best-in-class air travel system that can handle long-term demand and generate significant revenue. Americans want to travel, but they want a reliable system that works," added Freeman. "Strong demand today means nothing if passengers aren't satisfied," added Freeman. "The federal government needs to make the critical investments now to ensure we still have passengers in the future."
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