This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Americans Still Hate Bag Fees and Most Lack a Preferred Airline: Poll

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Despite the airline industry's best efforts to encourage brand loyalty and to convince passengers that paying for checked bags is logical, most Americans neither favor a single airline nor willingly accept baggage fees.

A new poll, conducted for TheStreet by GfK, showed that 63% of Americans do not have an airline they prefer to fly and only 5% consider getting frequent flier miles to be an important consideration when selecting a flight. Frequent flier miles are the key element in airline loyalty programs.

Additionally, 70% of Americans said they find bag annoying. The fees are the second most annoying component of airline travel, slightly behind high ticket costs -- which annoy 73% of Americans -- but ahead of cancelled or delayed flights, which annoy 68% of Americans; uncomfortable seats, which annoy 64% and rude staff, which annoys 63%.

The poll, in which 1,004 people were interviewed by telephone, was conducted July 25 through July 27.

Must Read: 1 in 3 Americans Fears International Travel and Flights, Poll Shows 

Americans who live in a hub might be expected to have loyalty to the hub carrier, given the range of destinations and flight frequencies that a hub provides. However, "people in hubs usually have a love/hate relationship" with the hub carrier due to the high fares, said aviation consultant Bob Mann.

The lack of brand loyalty isn't necessarily significant, Mann said, as long as road warrior business flyers remain committed. "For airlines, 30% of the customers are business customers who represent 70% of the revenue," Mann said. "Those 30% have loyalty; the other 70% just want a low price."

In general, airlines seek to pamper their most loyal frequent passengers, primarily with upgrades and also with airport club access. Frequent flier miles, intended to encourage passenger loyalty, can be redeemed for upgrades or free flights.

As for the high level of dislike of baggage fees, Mann declared that "70% of Americans find everything annoying."

The airline industry likes to think that passengers have come to accept the logic of allocating the cost of transporting bags to the passengers who transport bags.

In May, speaking at an airline investor conference, American Airlines (AAL - Get Report) President Scott Kirby bristled when an airline analyst mentioned that some passengers view airlines as businesses that "nickel and dime" their customers.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAL $34.48 0.15%
AAPL $95.47 2.00%
FB $117.93 -0.54%
GOOG $695.59 -0.38%
YHOO $36.14 -1.10%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,760.49 -130.67 -0.73%
S&P 500 2,063.36 -18.07 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,773.5830 -44.0110 -0.91%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs