Americans Are Happy Flying Overseas

Americans are planning more trips overseas in 2004 despite conflicts and
turmoil in Iraq and North Korea, the Al Qaeda threat, cancellations of
some international flights and SARS, however, their trust level in airport
security is lukewarm. A survey of 400 international travelers in the U.S.
by 1stAir also found that when traveling abroad, Americans prefer
international flag carriers to U.S. carriers.
“Neither terrorism, nor contagious disease nor war are deterring Americans
from flying overseas for business or leisure,” said Robert Laney,
president, 1stAir, a provider of first class and business class
international travel at 30-50% fare reductions. “Given the improvement in
the economy, international travel should have a solid comeback in 2004.”

Among the key findings from the survey: * Increase in travel overseas for
business and pleasure: Nearly half of international travelers surveyed
(46.8%) are traveling overseas for business more than they did at the same
time last year. More than half (65%) are traveling overseas for leisure
more than they did at the same time last year; * SARS and Al Qaeda are
ongoing concerns of international flyers: Despite international travel
growth, SARS is impacting overseas plans, cited by nearly half (45.9%) as
an event affecting their decision to travel; the second greatest event
affecting travel overseas is the Al Qaeda threat, cited by 31.3%; * Trust
in airport security is moderate: While more than half (66%) of those
surveyed define their trust in airport security in the United States as
“moderate”, only 15.3% label their trust as “great”. There is improvement
with the level of trust in airports overseas - more than one quarter
(26.6%) say their level of trust in airport security in Great Britain is
“great” while one third (33%) say their level of trust in airport security
in Singapore is “great”. * Preference for International Flag Carriers:
When traveling internationally, nearly two-thirds (62.6%) prefer
international flag carriers vs. U.S. carriers, and one-quarter (26.6%) say
there are airlines they avoid due to security concerns. * Indifference to
Cancellation of British Airways and Air France Flights: Half of those
surveyed (54.7%) say the cancellation of some British Airways and Air
France flights have had no impact on their feeling about air travel
security, and 89.2% said the cancellations have not caused them to delay
or rearrange their travel plans. * Reduced international fares would
increase travel: International flyers surveyed prefer business class to
economy class (54.7% vs. 29.1%) when flying for business and economy class
to business class (52.2% vs. 33%) when flying for leisure. If the cost for
first or business class fares were reduced by 20-30%, an overwhelming
majority (85.2%) said they would fly internationally more frequently.
1stAir conducted the email survey between 1/00/04 and 1/20/04.

1stAir, headquartered in Rochester, NY with offices in New York City,
Toronto and Singapore, offers first and business class international
travel at 30-50% fare reductions by using proprietary routing technology
and global alliances and partnerships. 1stAir is not a travel agency and
remains autonomous from airline control. 1stAir focuses on serving the
needs of self-managed travelers, including entrepreneurs, business people,
small business owners and high net-worth individuals who are free to
arrange and manage their own travel.