’Tis the Season for Travel – And Here Are the Insights Companies Need to Know


  • For travelers this holiday season, Christmas is spent with family locally; New Year’s is for flying away for vacation.
  • Midwesterners plan ahead; in the South, last-minute booking is more the norm.

These are just a few fascinating insights about holiday travel that Askem gleaned from a survey we conducted using our market research software. With a platform that allows us to reach hyper-targeted audiences without offering incentives, we filled a panel of 909 people from across the country in just a few days. And we weren’t surveying the general population; our sampling formation algorithm utilizes Facebook’s advertising technology to make sure our samples are always balanced (by gender, age and geographic location, for example) and representative of the audience we want to target: in this case, frequent flyers.

The holiday travel survey, which consisted of eight questions, drew some statistically significant data that has the potential to help travel-related companies market to particular audiences more effectively.

The first important piece of data we got was that less than half – 47% – of these frequent flyers are traveling this holiday season, and the majority are not traveling by plane. The statistically significant percentages of people flying at New Year’s (61%) vs. at Christmas (34%) support the idea that more people plan vacation travel at New Year’s and celebrate with family nearby at Christmas.

Because we run our surveys on Facebook ads, we were able to layer on valuable data that’s already available from responders’ social profiles, instead of having to add on time-consuming (and patience-testing) profiling questions. Thus, we can tell you, with just a 4.7% margin of error, that of the responders who are traveling, 0% (that’s right, 0) of Midwesterners waited until the last minute to make their travel plans; more than half of them bought their tickets 30 or more days in advance. On the other end of the spectrum, more than 40% of travelers in the South were procrastinators, buying tickets less than 7 days in advance. In the West, half booked more than 30 days in advance, and only 1 in 4 bought their tickets last-minute. Northeastern frequent flyers were a group of extremes: 40% booked their travel less than 7 days in advance, while the other 60% booked more than a month ahead.

By comparing attributes, we found that for those who prefer to fly economy class, price is the most important driver by far, with 79.4% citing it. Of the responders who usually fly premium economy, 46% say their top consideration is legroom. First-class flyers are the only group significantly moved by frequent-flyer membership. And in-flight entertainment was not an important consideration for any of these groups.

So if you’re a travel-related business, you can start using this learning now to plan how you’re going to reach your potential customers for the next travel season. Last-minute deals? Send them to the South. To move some early-bird specials, look no further than your Midwestern customers. And above all, offer those economy-class flyers a good deal.

With our data-driven, advertising-influenced approach, we’re making research fast and easy to run. Just pick your audience – even a hyper-targeted one – and ask your questions. What can Askem help you learn?





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