U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee hearing on airport finance:
"Considering its vast implications for the U.S. economy, airport financing is a greatly underappreciated federal policy issue, and the travel community is grateful to the Aviation Subcommittee for holding a frank discussion on the subject.
"Just yesterday, U.S. Travel released an in-depth survey showing that of the hassles associated with flying, travelers are most concerned about delays and cancellations, which are closely linked to the resources that are available for our air travel infrastructure. We discovered that because of flying hassles, Americans are consciously avoiding 38 million airline trips each year, costing the U.S. economy $35.7 billion annually.
"We realize things are tough all over when it comes to the federal budget, but this new data quantifies the harsh broader consequences of the country's recent failure to prioritize the upkeep of our air travel system.
"Consumers understand this, and they make it clear that all financing options need to be on the table. It surprised us to find that 60 percent even say they'd be willing to pay slightly more to fly as long as the extra money is used to make air travel more efficient. But any proposal the travel community ultimately supports will need to encompass three core principles: One, transparency, so consumers know what they're paying and what it's for. Two, value, so that every dollar consumers spend is coming back to them in the form of services and amenities. Three, efficiency, so that the travel experience is free of hassles at every stage, from when a traveler purchases their ticket online to when they step out to the curb at their destination."
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.