Sales Tips: US Consumers Return To Airports & Transit Amid Increasing Comfort

The US economic recovery is being fueled in part by consumers increasing comfort with airline travel and the use of public transportation, according to a new survey from OAAA and LoopMe. Overall, consumers are expressing much higher levels of comfort both with flying and using transit than last year:

  • Almost sixty percent (57%) of US adults are more comfortable with air travel compared to last year, and over three-quarters (76%) are as comfortable or more comfortable flying than last year.
  • About two in five (38%) of US adults are more comfortable using public transit compared to last year, and two-thirds are as comfortable or more comfortable using public transit than last year.
  • Through the end of the year, almost forty percent (38%) of US adults plan more air travel compared to the same period in 2020.

Increased consumer use of these transportation modes provides distinct opportunities for OOH. Recent OAAA and Harris Poll research found over 40 percent of US adults report noticing OOH ads more than pre-pandemic, and the increased notice rate jumped to 59 percent in cities of one million or more in population size.
Other signs of the economic recovery are revealed in recent July 4th holiday travel data released by the US Transportation Security Administration:

  • The TSA reported over 10 million people were screened between July 1 and July 5, marking a new pandemic record.
  • Overall, air travel was up nearly 200% from this time last year, when about 3.4 million people passed through security checkpoints despite widespread travel restrictions.
  • On two days over the July 4 weekend, the number of passengers screened by TSA surpassed pre-pandemic levels, which was a first-time occurrence since summer 2020.
  • Over 2.15 million people passed through security checkpoints on Thursday and 2.2 million on Friday, versus 2.09 million and 2.18 million during the same days in 2019. The 2.2 passengers screened that Friday was the highest since the start of the pandemic.

The record air travel over the July 4 weekend occurred despite large numbers of travelers facing delays and cancellations. Several major airlines cancelled flights due to staffing shortages, while other flights were impacted by severe weather across the US.

LoopMe conducted the mobile survey of 1,658 U.S. consumers, ages 18 -64, from June 25 to July 2, 2021. Findings were weighted to be nationally representative on age, gender, and geographic region of the US. 

Source: OAAA, Forbes, Harris Poll, LoopMe