Global: How much do social media reviews matter for airlines and airports?
March 10th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Global: How much do social media reviews matter for airlines and airports?

The air travel industry had its fair share of challenges in 2022 but, according to YouGov’s travel outlook for 2023, the industry is set to grow this year. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of global consumers and 55% of Americans are planning to take a leisure trip in 2023. How are these consumers choosing which airlines and airports to use?

Social media is a common first resort for any type of research, whether checking reviews by influencers or simply consulting the hive mind for recommendations. A recent YouGov survey asked over 18000 consumers across 17 global markets which products and services they check social media reviews for before purchasing.

Mobile phones and tech products are the most influenced by social media reviews with 45% and 43% of consumers respectively saying they consult them before purchasing. Airlines are further down the list, but a full fifth (20%) of global consumers say they look at social media reviews before buying. When it comes to airports, only 9% say they consult social media. Perhaps this because airport choice is governed by destination and flight rather than the other way around. These global figures, however, conceal significant variation across markets.

Consumers in UAE (34%), Hong Kong (33%), Singapore (30%) are most likely to consult social media reviews of airlines by a significant margin. Of the five markets least interested in social media reviews for these purchase categories, four are in Europe. These are Great Britain, where 13% of consumers consult social media for airlines, Germany (13%), Poland (15%) and France (16%). The least likely market of all those polled to consult social media reviews for airlines is the United States, at 12%.

While social media reviews are an important purchase-influencer worldwide, their influence varies greatly with product category and, in the case of airlines, with market.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 514 and 2011 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in November 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced. 

Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash