Travel Woes: How Airline Disruptions and Inflation Are Impacting Americans in 2022

A new survey reveals that airline disruptions and delays are hurting Americans wallets - Insuranks

It’s no secret that air travel looks different in 2022 than ever before. With the airline industry trying to balance crew shortages, a bounceback in travel demand, inflation, and ever-changing pandemic safety measures, it’s been nothing short of a mess for travelers.

We wanted to know how Americans feel about their air travel experiences so far in 2022, and just how many are planning to travel for the upcoming holiday season. We surveyed over 1,000 people to get details about their travel plans. We learned how much money Americans have lost to travel disruptions and delays (it hasn't been cheap!) and how many are buying insurance to protect themselves in this chaotic period of air travel.

Traveling in 2022

You heard it here: travel has made a comeback! Almost half (44%) of Americans have flown at some point already this year. Considering how the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel plans across the nation during the past two years, this is good news for airlines.

As Americans return to the sky, some are remembering how stressful traveling can be, but it looks like most are just glad to go on an adventure. When asked how they felt about their travel experience, most Americans felt either happy (35%) or neutral (45%). A small 15% felt annoyed, and 5% felt frustrated.

We wanted to know if Americans stay loyal to a single airline, or if affordability matters more. The most popular airline among survey respondents is Southwest Airlines (18%), followed by Delta Airlines (17%), and 15% just book whichever airline is cheapest.

Of those who haven’t traveled by air this year, 1 in 3 plan to at some point in 2022. Most are planning to travel for a vacation (53%), to see family (34%), and to see friends (25%). Others plan to travel for Thanksgiving (9%), Christmas (13%), Labor Day weekend (4%) or a different holiday (5%).

Many Americans turned to road trips during the pandemic, but that may be changing due to rising gas prices. Unfortunately, airfares haven’t been immune to price hikes. In fact, 79% of Americans feel that flights are too expensive this year.

Inflation, Delays, Lost Luggage, Oh My!

Speaking of spending money on travel, Americans who have flown or plan to have spent an average of $729.86 each on flights this year. Almost 3 in 4 (72%) bought one round-trip ticket. 18% bought two round-trip tickets. Just 1 in 10 bought more than 2 round-trip tickets.

71% of those who plan to travel are worried about delays and cancellations for their upcoming trip, but 77% do not plan to purchase travel insurance

Those who haven’t traveled and don’t plan to say it’s mainly due to how expensive travel is and inflation (67%). 44% are worried about COVID-19 and monkeypox, 32% don’t have a reason to travel, 25% never planned to this year anyway, 16% are worried about delays and cancellations, and 13% just don’t want to.

Travel Woes in 2022

Air travel hasn’t been smooth for Americans this year. 39% of those who’ve flown have had a flight delay. 4% have had their flights canceled. An unlucky 8% have had flights delayed and canceled, and 6% have had their luggage lost by an airline. 

Almost 1 in 10 (8%) of American travelers have lost money because of delays and cancellations this year and lost $243 each on average. It’s no wonder that 7% regret not buying travel insurance prior to their trip.

When asked if they themselves canceled or delayed their travel plans due to disruptions, 16% say they postponed their plans, 6% canceled, and 6% both canceled and postponed their plans.

But travel disruptions aren’t exclusive to taking off and landing on time. 1 in 5 Americans have had their luggage lost by an airline in the past. 27% have stopped flying with a particular airline because of a previous bad experience. 39% have had a bad experience at an airport (and 26% avoid certain airports when booking travel).

Also read:

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is affordable and covers different travel-related expenses, from lost luggage to delays and sometimes COVID-19-related interruptions. Almost half (48%) would consider buying travel insurance after seeing the airline disruptions this year.

Of those who traveled this year, 79% did not buy travel insurance. 6% did, and spent $121.18 on average (travel insurance should cost about 4%-6% of your total trip cost.) 17% plan to buy travel insurance for their upcoming trip.

Almost 1 in 5 (16%) of those planning to later this year have actually purchased travel insurance, and spent $332.83 on average. The top reasons they bought insurance include COVID-19 concerns (13%), airline disruptions (11%), and to cover the costs of lost luggage (5%).

Over three quarters (79%) of Americans would be more likely to purchase travel insurance if it was under $50 per trip. In fact, 70% would pay up to $50 per trip. 24% would pay up to $150, and 6% would pay over $151.

Since airline disruptions hit the news earlier this year in March, Google searches for travel insurance have risen 22%. Considering many Americans are planning to travel and airlines are still struggling with crew shortages – it’s probably money well spent.

Whether or not you plan to travel this year, make sure you are prepared. Plan to arrive at the airport earlier than normal, keep updated on your flight times through airline apps, and consider buying insurance to cover you in the worst case scenario – which may be more common this year than before.


In August 2022, we surveyed 1,007 people to ask about their travel plans and opinions. Respondents were aged 18 to 84 years old, with an average age of 37 years old. Respondents were 49% men, 48% female, and 3% transgender/non-binary.

For media inquiries, please contact

Fair Use

When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing


Recent Reviews

Recent Posts