Kenny Totten

Kenny Totten

Posted on September 11, 2017

It’s been 16 years since that dreadful Tuesday morning that claimed the lives of thousands of Americans. Each September 11th, our country takes a collective moment of reflection, honoring the fallen, their families and the many heroes of September 11th.

As a company that is tied to the health of the airline industry, we are continually amazed at the strength and resiliency of the American people. After 9/11, the airline industry took a major hit.

According to USA Today, the airlines suffered a major reduction in passenger demand, and rightfully so– people were afraid to fly. Directly after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the federal government closed airports, canceling thousands of flights at a direct cost to airlines. However, even when the airports reopened, passengers were wary of air travel, and airlines experienced at least a 30 percent reduction in demand during the initial shock period immediately following the reopening.

Business travel accounts are one of the most profitable segments in the airline industry, and after the attacks, a significant number of businesses temporarily suspended non-essential travel for their employees.

The week following the attacks, Congress passed a program in an effort help the airline industry, thus the Air Transportation Stabilization Board was born. This authorized billions of dollars in aid to faltering airlines.

However, in the years following the attacks, the airline industry has rebounded and even exploded, enjoying record profits. People are taking to the skies at a rate greater than ever before.

Here are some encouraging stats concerning air travel in the United States:

-Nearly half of all Americans flew on a plane last year.

-80% of all passengers report that their trip was a positive experience.

-In 2015, the average traveler took 4.8 trips on a plane.

-About a quarter of all people living in the Southern-Atlantic region on the United States flew on a plane in 2015.

-63% of all trips were taken domestically.

-The average length of an international trip is 7.7 nights.

-33 million American’s traveled internationally in 2016.

-The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that it expects the global airline industry to make a net profit in 2017 of $29.8 billion.

-Millennials (ages 18-34) and members of the Gen Xs and Gen Y age groups (35-54) each made up 35 percent of U.S. air travelers last year, with millennials traveling the most often – six times on average during the year.

Although airline seats are shrinking and it seems like everyday consumers are hit with more excessive fees (I was just told it would be $300 to redeposit two miles tickets if it wasn’t for Hurricane Irma), people are still choosing to fly.

The growth of the airline industry is a testament to the strength of the American people.

So on the the 16th anniversary of September 11th, let’s follow up our moment of reflection with a collective pat on the back.

Be brave.

Live well.

Travel often.