airport crowd
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Study Finds Deep Dissatisfaction with Airline Travel

Three-fourths of Americans say on-the-ground aspects of their flights now take longer than the flights themselves.

One reason interest in private air travel is soaring is that passengers can simply drive to the airport, climb aboard a jet, and go. A new study by KinectAir—maker of an app for private air travelers—suggests how dramatically this scenario differs from what airline customers endure these days.

According to the study, 88 percent of Americans leave for the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight, while 47 percent leave at least three hours before the scheduled takeoff. In fact, three out of four passengers say the on-the-ground aspects of their flights now take longer than the flights themselves. In addition, 48 percent cite delays as the worst part of air travel while 44 percent say lack of space in the cabin is the worst part. Others mentioned airport security (32 percent), layovers (32 percent), and the boarding process (30 percent).

Not all these people are candidates for private air travel, given that 48 percent listed the cost of airline travel as the worst part of flying. But for those who can afford to wave goodbye to commercial carriers, these stats underscore reasons to do so.

The study also found that most Americans harbor misconceptions about the proximity of airports. KinectAir found that 88 percent thought of the nearest commercial airport when asked what airport is nearest to where they live and 78 percent thought there were more Target, Home Depot, and Costco stores in the U.S. than public-use airports, which is not the case. Meanwhile, 61 percent said they would consider flying from a local private airfield if it was closer than their nearest commercial airport.