New Survey: Many Americans Willing To Pay Extra To Avoid Flying United
Flight-Purchasing Study Tests How the Scandal Will Impact Consumer Behavior
As the United Airlines scandal continues to garner national attention, a key question lingers: Will all the hot air actually lead consumers to avoid flying the airline when money and convenience is at stake? A new survey from Morning Consult puts that question to the test.
The survey was conducted by showing 1,975 American adults simulations of buying flights from Kayak.com. Respondents were asked to chose between flights from NYC to Chicago that were either on American Airlines or United Airlines, and were given four different scenarios that tested how layovers and cost would impact the decision.
The full study is available here. Highlights include:
People Overwhelmingly Picked American Over United When Cost/Duration Are The Same: When the flights were identical, 70% of respondents chose the American flight over United.
- Among those who had heard of United in the news lately: 79-21 in favor of American.
- Among those who had not heard the split was nearly identical: 51-49 in favor American.
American Layover Starts to Tip The Scales to United: When the American flight has a layover, those who chose American over United drops significantly: Fifty-three percent chose United and 47% chose United.
- Among those who have heard of United lately: 57-43 in favor of American.
- Among those who had not heard of United lately: 73-27 split in favor of United.
Price Seems To Matter the Most: When the American flight was $66 more expensive than the United flight, 60% of respondents chose United and 40% chose American.
- Among those who had heard of United in the news lately 51-49 in favor of United.
- Among those who had not heard of United lately: 81-19 split in favor of United.
But Even One-Third Still Chose American When Flight is More Expensive and Has Layover: 65% chose United compared to 35% who chose American.
- Among those who had heard of United in the news lately: 56% chose United, 44% chose American.
- Among those who had not heard of United lately: 86-14 split in favor of United.
As Morning Consult’s Chief Research Office Kyle Dropp notes: “While a self-report of purchase consideration on a survey is different from an actual purchase decision, the findings provide striking, if preliminary, evidence that reputation crises can directly impact purchase considerations.”
The survey was conducted among a nationally representative online sample of 1,975 adults on April 12, 2017, and has a margin of error 2%.