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Survey: Traveling and Entertainment in 2020 Amid COVID-19 Part II — Flying & Accommodations

Eric Jones
COVID Traveling 2020 Survey Part 2

With nearly every US state under restrictions or some sort of stay at home order due to coronavirus, we sought out to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on traveling and event comfort in 2020, vacation plans, financial stability to travel and consumer risk assessment. Stay at home orders have begun to be modified and some restrictions are lifting, so how safe do people really feel flying on planes and staying in a variety of accommodations? Here are the results.

Note: This is part II of our survey about traveling and entertainment in 2020 amid COVID-19. Read the entire sequence:

Part I: General Travel
Part II: Flying & Accommodations
Part III: Events & Vacation Locations

Conditions for Flying Comfortably During COVID 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • I would fly right now with no special conditions — 13.72%
  • Mandatory masks for all employees and customers — 16.81%
  • Mandatory masks for all employees and customers plus no people seated in middle seats — 34.48%
  • COVID-19 vaccine or cure — 34.99%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — Of those people surveyed, a larger percentage of males would fly right now with no special conditions. 18.33% of men said they would travel right now with no special conditions while only 10.24% of women said they would travel right now with no special conditions. This continues the trend we found in part I of the survey of men being riskier during the pandemic than women.

Key TakeawayNearly 35% of people do not feel comfortable flying again until there is a cure or vaccine for COVID-19. Breaking down this key takeaway, we see it is 2.55 times higher than the 13.72% of people that said they would fly right now with no special conditions. A larger percentage of women (37.35% vs 31.87%) than men won’t feel comfortable flying again until there is a cure of vaccine.

Would you pay extra to avoid having someone in a middle seat next to you when flying?

Paying Extra for No Middle Seat 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • Yes, up to 25% of my ticket cost — 26.42%
  • Yes, up to 50% of my ticket cost — 11.66%
  • Yes, up to 75% of my ticket cost — 5.32%
  • Yes, I’d pay for two tickets for myself — 3.95%
  • No — 52.66%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — The younger someone was that took the survey, the more likely they were willing to pay extra for an empty middle seat. Of the previous comparison, 37.04% of people over 60 would pay extra for an empty middle seat, 45.81% of people ages 45-60 would pay extra, 48.36% of people ages 30-44 would pay extra and 54.25% of people would pay extra.

Key takeaway — Almost 50% of people would pay extra for an empty middle seat. Of the 50%, the majority of those people said they’d only be willing to pay a modest pay bump of up to 25% of their ticket cost to avoid a middle seat. However, 3.95% of people did say they’d be willing to pay for two tickets in order to have an empty middle seat!

Which airline do you trust most to keep you safe from COVID-19?

Most Trusted Airline During COVID 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • Alaska Airlines — 7.38%
  • Allegiant Air — 1.89%
  • American Airlines — 15.78%
  • Delta Airlines — 20.24%
  • Frontier Airlines — 1.89%
  • Hawaiian Airlines — 3.60%
  • JetBlue — 7.03%
  • Southwest Airlines — 23.16%
  • Spirit Airlines — 1.54%
  • United Airlines — 17.50%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — The age group of people surveyed over 60 trust low-cost carriers the least of all age groups. For example, 0% of people over the age of 60 trust Spirit Airlines the most to keep them safest during COVID-19. Additionally, only 1.23% of that age group trusts Frontier Airlines, 7.41% trusts JetBlue and 2.47% trusts Allegiant Air.

Key Takeaway — Only 12.35% of people trust low-cost carriers the most to keep them safe from COVID-19. This includes the 1.89% that trust Allegiant Air the most. After that, the 1.89% for Frontier Airlines, the 7.03% for JetBlue and the 1.54% for Spirit Airlines are also included.

Which accommodation would you feel safest staying in right now?

Safest Accommodation during COVID 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • Airbnb — 23.16%
  • Chain Hotel (Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, etc.) — 62.78%
  • Independent Hotel — 11.66%
  • Hostel — 2.40%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — Men and women had nearly identical feelings about which accommodations they would feel safest to stay in. For example, 23.90% of men feel safest in an Airbnb while 22.59% of women do. Similarly, 63.75% of men feel safest in a chain hotel while 62.09% of women do. Lastly, 2.79% of men said they would feel safest in a hostel while 2.11% of women would.

Key Takeaway — An overwhelming 62.78% of people feel safest staying in a chain hotel such as a Marriott or Hilton over any other accommodation. Not surprisingly, only 2.40% of people feel safest during the COVID-19 crisis staying in a hostel. Similarly to the above with airlines, most people right now are more comfortable with familiarity and less are thinking with their wallet.

Which accommodations would you normally consider but won’t while the COVID-19 pandemic persists? (Check All That Apply)

Accommodations not Considered 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • Airbnb — 39.62%
  • Chain Hotel (Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, etc.) — 46.66%
  • Independent Hotel — 42.37%
  • Hostel — 28.30%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — Nearly 1/3 of those surveyed aged 18-29 normally would consider staying in a hostel but will not while the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Additionally, 46.41% of this age group said they would normally consider staying in an Airbnb but will not. Both of these statistics were the highest for any age group.

Key Takeaway — 39.62% of people will not consider staying in an Airbnb while the pandemic still persists. Over the last few years, Airbnb has seen tremendous growth. For example, they were readying to go public in 2020. Now Airbnb will have to deal with the substantial fall out from the ongoing crisis.

Survey Methodology

This Traveling and Entertainment in 2020 Amid COVID-19 Survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Vacationer. You have just read part II of the series focusing on Flying & Accommodations (See part I on General Travel here and part III on Events & Vacation Locations here). In total, 583 Americans over the age of 18 were polled on May 17. The demographics of those surveyed include 43.05% male and 56.95% female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey were 26.24% in the range 18-29, 20.93% in the range 30-44, 38.94% in the range 45-60 and 13.89% over 60. This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±4.142%. In addition, you can learn more about SurveyMonkey’s sampling method by clicking here.

The questions were chosen and the results were analyzed by the post author, Eric Jones, who is a Mathematics and Statistics Professor at Rowan College South Jersey.

Featured Image via Pixabay

Eric Jones Mediterranean Cruise

By Eric Jones

Eric Jones is the co-founder and head of operations of The Vacationer. He uses his background in mathematics as a professor at Rowan College South Jersey to conduct statistical studies and surveys on traveling and vacations. Having traveled to 48 states and over 30 countries, Eric is well-equipped to recommend travel destinations and new adventures to those seeking lifetime experiences.