Factors that predict passenger’s willingness to fly during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

a woman in a red dress and a man in blue gloves.



Prior research has examined consumer willingness to fly in a variety of situations, including during disease outbreaks. However, to date, no study that we know of has identified what type of person is willing to fly during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Six hundred and thirty-two participants from the United States were asked to complete a survey designed to capture demographics, personality measures, emotional states and travel purposes. The data were collected in two stages in order to both develop a descriptive regression equation and a predictive model.


Regression equations were created for both business and pleasure travel, and the following predictors were significant for both scenarios: perceived threat from COVID-19, agreeableness, affect, and fear. These models accounted for 66–67% of the variance in willingness to fly.


Airlines and governments could use these findings to help control the message to potential passengers on actions being taken to provide a safe flying experience, such as mask wearing policies and aircraft disinfectant procedures.

Lamb, T. L., Winter, S. R., Rice, S., Ruskin, K. J., and Vaughn, A. (2020).

Journal of air transport management89, 101897. DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2020.101897