First Free Story (1 of 3)

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Editor’s Note: Recently we launched a new weekly survey series Skift Asks to test out assumptions travel industry insiders have about various consumer travel issues, trying to bridge the disconnect between the industry and consumers. See previous Skift Asks here.

Important: The survey is not done on Skift readers, but general U.S. internet adult population, through Google Consumer Surveys.

The American Airlines-US Airways merger has been one of the biggest stories in the travel industry over the last year, generating lots of news, analysis, and heartburn for everyone involved. With the U.S. Justice Dept filing a lawsuit last month to block the merger and arguing that the resulting airline would be too anti-competitive to help the American public, this story will get played out for months to come, if not years.

But does the American public actually care about the merger? Have the airlines or the opposing parties made a persuasive enough case to the general public? The results from our survey seem to indicate the opposite.

This single-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population from Sep 5-Sep 9, 2013, through Google Consumer Surveys, with 1,505 responses (1,169 weighted by inferred gender, age and geography to make the sample as representative as possible of the Internet population). The methodology is explained here.

The headline takeaway: The majority of Americans don’t care one way or the other if American Airlines and US Airways merge, even if the Justice Department is arguing on behalf of them that the merger won’t be beneficial to the public. Only about 7 percent are for the merger.


The takeaway: U.S. men are more engaged with the outcome, one way or the other.

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The takeaway: The youngest and oldest crowd have slightly diverging opinions on the merger.

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The takeaway: No major differences across the U.S. regions.

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The takeaway: No major differences across the urban/suburban/rural divide either.

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The takeaway: The rich favor it, but the data’s not clear enough on it.

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The key insights: Many people just “haven’t heard of it.”

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Photo Credit: U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker, right, and American Airlines CEO Tom Horton pose after a news conference at DFW International Airport announcing the merger in Feb, 2013 LM Otero / Associated Press