By The Numbers: Travelers’ Growing Distrust of Airlines

Delays, Cancellations, and Rising Costs

When we’re talking about traveler’s trust in airlines, many factors come into play. And right now, it seems like all of these factors are coming together in a “Perfect Storm” kind of way to knock that trust into an all-time low. For context, in July 2023, less than 52% of Air Canada’s flights arrived on time.


Backed By Data

What’s contributing to this plummet in public trust? In a new study by Leger and reported by blogTO, both Americans and Canadians were surveyed in a variety of areas. Let’s look at a few here.

1. Carriers are “reliable in terms of adhering to their departure and arrival schedules”
Americans – 49%
Canadians – 39%

2. Experienced “at least one flight delay in the last year”

Americans – 52%
Canadians – 59%

3. Will only try to book direct flights “after recent incidents of late arrivals and missed connections”

Americans – 35%
Canadians – 59%

4. “The current economic climate caused them to alter, defer, or completely call off vacations this year”

Americans – 20%
Canadians – 33%


That’s rough.

Not only are travelers experiencing unreliable service, unexpected delays and cancellations, they are also putting off personal travel due to rising costs.


How does this impact business travel spend?

This actually all impacts business travel spend. With more and more American and Canadian travelers opting to book direct flights in hopes to avoid missed connections, and business travelers continually experiencing delays and cancellations, the cost can add up. This is a great time to review your company’s travel policy to ensure that adequate guidelines are in place. Of course, we can’t control when delays and cancellations happen, and can’t control travelers’ perception of  certain airlines. But, we can review preferred vendors and make guidelines around direct flights vs connections.

Which airlines have the best on-time performance?

Check out USA Today’s report on which American-based airlines had the best on-time performance, and this Global News article for some of Canada’s top airlines’ on-time performance.