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Study: Domestic traveler confidence reaches pandemic high

Travel confidence up despite flight cancellations
Study: Domestic travel confidence reaches pandemic high
Posted at 10:27 PM, Nov 03, 2021

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Dave Adams of Strongsville and his wife have seen traveler confidence climb at Hopkins International Airport since the first pandemic era flight they took back in 2020.

Adams told News 5 he and his wife have taken six flights over the past 22-months and are now going on a trip to see family members in California for the Thanksgiving holiday.

He said he's noticed a lot more people flying in the past six months compared to when the pandemic first started spreading in the United States.

"At the beginning of the pandemic, when we flew in that time frame, you couldn't get anything to eat, there was nobody in the airport, it felt like a ghost town," Adams said. "When it comes to our family in California we’re extremely excited, we go out three, four times a year, we’re blessed to be able to do that.”

Study: Domestic travel confidence reaches pandemic high
Dave Adams of Strongsville and his wife have seen traveler confidence growing at Hopkins International Airport

Amir Eylon, President of Longwoods International, told News 5 his agency's latest COVID-19 American Travel Sentiment Research Report confirms what Adams is seeing in Cleveland.

Eylon said the report surveyed 1,000 Americans on Oct. 27 and found that the number of travelers with trip plans in the next six months now stands at 91%, the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic and up from a low of 57% last December.

He also reported the percentage of travelers planning to change upcoming travel plans because of COVID-19 has declined to 46%, down from a pandemic peak of 85% in April of last year.

Eylon said traveler confidence continues to grow despite American Airlines canceling more than 1,700 flights on Halloween weekend, due to staffing problems and high winds, and during the second weekend of Oct. Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,800 flights.

He said despite the boost in domestic travel confidence, growth in international travel is happening at a slower rate and added it will take some time for the airlines to fully recover from COVID-related impact.

"About 28% in our last survey said they are opting to travel to a U.S. destination instead of going abroad in the next six months," Eylon said.

“When it comes to the airlines it just takes time. I don’t think the airlines are going to be truly caught up in terms of staffing and fleet until late first quarter, early second quarter of next year.”