From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published August 29, 2007 06:22 PM

Survey: Passengers Blame Airlines Not Weather For Flight Delays

NEW YORK - The majority of air travelers have been delayed within the past three months -- and they hold the airlines responsible. That's the dope from a new survey shows consumer perceptions of the causes for air travel delays.


Among the key findings:


-- 58% of people flying in the past three months experienced at least one delay


-- 50% of consumers delayed during air travel in the past three months reported that the delay was within the control of the airline(overbooking, mechanicals, etc.)


-- 48% of travelers attributed their delay to weather, late arriving planes or both


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-- 10% of air travelers delayed in the past three months cite security as the reason for the delay


-- 5% of travelers blame their fellow fliers' slow boarding for causing their travel delays


This month, the FAA declared June 2007 one of the worst travel months in U.S. history. At the same time, the Department of Transportation stated that the first half of 2007 was the worst for air travel delays in 13 years, when the department first began keeping statistics.


Despite the delays, the Air Transport Association expects 15.7 million passengers will fly over the Labor Day Weekend -- a 2.6 percent increase over last year. As the already busy skies become increasingly crowded this holiday weekend, consumers can only hope that airlines will be prepared to meet the demand.


"What's interesting is that consumers are now blaming the airline itself for their travel delays more often than they blame the obvious culprits -- weather, increased summer air traffic, or both," commented Tim Gohmann, Senior Vice President, Travel & Leisure, TNS North America, the group that did the study.


"Airlines have the opportunity to address the contributing factors such as overbooking and mechanical failure and win back some of the trust of consumers. Consumers, on the other hand, should approach Labor Day weekend prepared to face the same delays they have experienced throughout the summer."


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