U.S. Travel Association Says Airlines in the United States Are Sub-Par

In a new quarterly press conference launched today, the U.S. Travel Association’s videotaped presentation included findings from a new Ipsos Poll field survey:

  • The air travel experience is sub-par for nearly half of Americans: Just one in 10 Americans who have flown by air (13%) rate their overall travel experience as excellent while nearly half (45%) rate it as average or below average
  • Crowds and congestion, flight delays or cancellations, airport security process and cumbersome travel logistics were the main contributors to a less-than-excellent travel experience
geoff freeman talking to businessmen in a conference room
Geoff Freeman

“The latest data is a clear sign that significant upgrades are needed to kickstart a reimagined air travel experience that works for all Americans,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO, Geoff Freeman. Freeman was joined on the presentation by incoming U.S. Travel National Chair and Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta.

Other issues that U.S. Travel wants mandated included:

International Inbound Travel

  • Decrease unacceptable visitor visa wait times, which total more than 400 days worldwide in the United States’ top 10 visa-requiring markets
  • Eliminate the vaccine requirement for international visitors
  • Restore the Chinese inbound travel market and ensure processing operations run efficiently as demand increases

Domestic Travel

  • Improve the air travel system and create a seamless and secure travel experience from end to end, beginning with opportunities this year as Congress works to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration
  • Get the federal workforce back to the office and encourage the return of government business travel
  • Leverage the 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Act to enable better traveler mobility options within our nation’s travel infrastructure

Britain to Require Electronic Travel Authorizations

The United Kingdom has announced that it will soon require all nationalities (except U.K. citizens and Irish citizens) to apply for an online Electronic Travel Authorization permission from 48-72 hours prior to travel.

The system will cost travelers as well, although the site’s FAQ sheet says that the amount has not yet been determined.

The FAQ sheet says that the processing requirement will be completed by the end of 2023.

Meeting Planners Takeaway: Consider that the cost may be anywhere from $15-25 (or possibly more) and that as the system rolls out, electronic delays or snafus are possible. If you have participants meeting in the United Kingdom this year or after 2023, build in education about the requirement in your planning.