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

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Recent events have apparently prompted more than a third of Americans to say they have grown fearful of international flying.

A new poll, conducted for TheStreet by GfK, shows that 36% of Americans agree that recent political turmoil has made them afraid to fly internationally. The poll, in which 1,004 people were interviewed by telephone, was conducted July 25 through July 27.

Women are more fearful than men, older people are more fearful than younger people, and people in the west are less fearful than people in other regions, the poll shows.

Why might people fear travel? Well, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down on July 17, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members. On July 22, a rocket landed near Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv and the Federal Aviation Administration temporarily banned commercial flights to the airport.

While passengers express fears, airlines don't seem to be seeing any impact on bookings. Spokesman for Delta (DAL) and Lufthansa (DLAKY) say they have seen no impact. Spokesmen for American (AAL) and United (UAL) declined to comment.

Lufthansa spokesman Nils Haupt said demand for seats on the carrier's daily Frankfurt-to-Kiev, Ukraine, flight has increased despite violence in the western part of the country. Lufthansa also operates about 14 daily flights to Israel.

As for U.S. carriers, they are moving to slow growth across the Atlantic, but not due to fears. Trans-Atlantic demand "as measured by revenue growth is strong but not strong enough to absorb close to 10% (industry) capacity growth," American President Scott Kirby said on the carrier's July 24 earnings call.

In the poll, 355 of 1,004 respondents answered yes when asked, "Whether or not you plan to fly, has the recent political turmoil made you afraid to fly internationally?" Another 621 said no, while twenty said they didn't know and five declined to answer.

Among those who now fear international flying, 42% were women and 29% were men. Also, 68% of men and 56% of women said they were not afraid to fly.

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