A survey by infrastructure solutions company HNTB has found that although 68% of American air travelers still prefer to begin their trip in a personal vehicle, 42% said they had used a ridesharing service use for the journey in the past year.
The HNTB survey, named Airport Terminals-2018, found that among Americans who prefer using private vehicles, 39% opt for a drop-off from a friend or family member or use their own personal vehicle. Taxis, limousines and shuttles were favored by 11% of respondents, and ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft are favored by 10%.
While the use of ridesharing services is relatively low compared to other available alternatives, it is increasing – 37% of those surveyed have used ridesharing to get to and from an airport. Among this group, 42% have used it within the past year, three times as many as the 14% that have used it in the past one to three years.
Nearly eight in 10 (79%) Americans believe airports are efficiently designed in terms of parking, pick-up/drop-off curbs, passenger check-in, security checkpoints, ground transportation within the airport campus, and gate-to-gate proximity.
More than six in 10 (63%) find airport terminals to be stressful environments, with waiting in lines cited by 57% as the most frustrating aspect of the airport terminal experience, a notable increase from 34% reported from a previous HNTB survey conducted in 2017.
The amount of time spent waiting in lines was identified by 89% of respondents as the aspect needing the most improvement in airport terminals.
Laddie Irion, HNTB’s national aviation sector market leader and senior vice president, said, “Despite the continuing preference to use a personal vehicle for travel to and from airports, we’ve identified an important shift just within the past year – an emerging preference to use ridesharing services. Airport operators should take note of this trend and potential impacts it may have for them, both short and long term.
“This rapidly growing inclination to use ridesharing services for travel to and from airports is important on many levels, including the potential of increased vehicular congestion at airports as well as impacts it will have for traditional airport revenue sources.
“One direct revenue example could result from people who use ridesharing instead of driving themselves and no longer needing parking on-site at airports.
“Airport operators’ focus on safe, efficient movement of travelers must be balanced with changes in how passengers use ground transportation to and from airports as well as their expectations for a pleasant experience inside the terminal before boarding an aircraft.”