The U.S. air travel market has changed significantly over the past decade. There is an abundance of data describing how travel patterns have changed over the past several decades. But, there is a corresponding paucity of data that can be used to determine exactly why those changes have occurred and how air services could be optimally positioned in the new travel landscape. RSG recognized this gap and, in the year 2000, began what has become a biennial survey of U.S. air travelers covering the period up to the present in which there have been especially dramatic changes.
The survey includes an in-depth exploration of air travelers’ itinerary searches, ticketing, airport and inflight choices and experiences. The core elements of the survey have been constant over this period, providing a rich portrait of the many changes that have occurred in these choices and experiences. The centerpiece of the survey is a set of choice-based conjoint exercises that are designed to elicit detailed information about travelers’ current preferences. RSG develops air traveler choice models using these data and applies them in simulation models that describe how different product and service characteristics affect market behavior. That information, combined with the trajectory of those preferences that can be drawn from past surveys, provides insights that our clients have used to reconfigure their existing products and services and design new services that better capture current and future U.S. travel markets.
RSG partners with industry clients, leading university research teams and government sponsors, adapting the survey to address special topics related to current issues and opportunities.