An Analysis of Trends in Air Travel Behaviour Using Four Related SP Datasets Collected Between 2000 and 2005
S Hess, ITS, University of Leeds, UK; T Adler, Resource Systems Group, US
This paper discusses an analysis of changes in the sensitivities and behaviour of air travellers between 2000 and 2008.
Over the last ten years, the airline industry has witnessed a number of important changes. An increasing number of no frills airlines have arrived on the scene, several legacy carriers have gone bankrupt, new routes have been opened up, free skies agreements have been signed, the role of the travel agent has been largely replaced by the internet, and the threat of terror attacks has brought in strict new security rules.
With all these changes, it is natural to expect that the sensitivities of travellers, and by extension their behaviour, have also evolved over time. The study of such changes is the topic of the present research paper. In the field of studying air travel behaviour, there has been a growing reliance on discrete choice models estimated on stated choice data, with great success in producing reliable indicators of consumer preferences and generating accurate forecasts.
The authors of this paper are in the rare position of having at their disposal data collected through four separate but very similar such surveys, with sampling taking place in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008. Our analysis combines the data from these six separate surveys (two collected before 9/11) and allows us to test reliably how various sensitivities have evolved over time. Initial results show an increase in cost sensitivity over time, potentially as a result of travellers having become more accustomed to low fares. The final models will also analyse shifts in the sensitivities to factors such as flight time, aircraft type, on-time performance, interchanges and frequent flier benefits.
Association for European Transport