The FINANCIAL — United Airlines and Continental Airlines have announced a $3 billion merger that will form the world’s largest airline with the ability to carry nearly 150 million passengers a year. But 42% of Americans nationwide believe the merger will result in higher airline prices.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Adults finds that only six percent (6%) expect prices to go down, while 31% say they will remain about the same. Another 21% are not sure.
Additionally, 30% of adults think the United-Continental merger will be bad for air travelers overall. Still, nearly the same number (28%) says the merger will have no impact on travelers.
Only 12% say the merger will be a good thing for travelers, while 29% more are undecided.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on May 5-6, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Those who travel by plane once a month or more are twice as likely as everyone else to expect airline prices to increase as a result of the merger. The majority of adults who travel by plane more than once a month also believe the merger will be bad for air travelers overall.
Still, only 42% of all Americans say they have been following news of the merger closely, including just 11% who have been following very closely.
Only three percent (3%) of adults say they travel by airplane at least once a month, down from seven percent (7%) two years ago. Another 15% report doing so several times a year. Thirty-seven percent (37%) say they fly occasionally, while 42% say they do so rarely or never, up six points over the past two years.
Just 35% of Americans who travel by plane at least once a year now believe current airport security procedures are not strict enough. Most adults still think flying in a commercial airliner is safer than driving their own car, and a sizable majority favor the use of full-body scanners at airport security checkpoints.