Eighty-five per cent of Americans who took a flight in 2016 reported being “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with their experience, according to the new Status of Air Travel in the United States report from industry group Airlines for America (A4A).

The survey found that 43 per cent of respondents were very satisfied with their trip, and just 6 per cent were either “somewhat” or “very” dissatisfied.

Satisfaction was highest for the flight check-in process, followed by shopping for and booking flights, boarding aircraft, reliability of on-time departure and arrival, awaiting checked baggage upon arrival at a destination, and getting through security.

Enrollment in expedited security screening programmes was strongly associated with traveller satisfaction: 92 per cent of Global Entry customers reported being satisfied with their overall flight experience, as were 80 per cent of TSA Precheck enrollees.

“Enhanced amenities like gourmet food options, further investments in technology, both at the airport and onboard the aircraft, and collaborative industry-government efforts to expedite screening for travellers at security checkpoints are further enhancing consumers’ positive views of air travel today, resulting in even more satisfaction around their flying experience,” said A4A vice president and chief economist John Heimlich.

“Airlines are increasingly enabling their customers to choose the service offerings and price points that meet their individual needs.”

About half of the approximately 5,000 adults surveyed by Ipsos Public Affairs had travelled by air last year; 69 per cent of trips were taken for personal reasons.

Both business and leisure travellers said that price was the biggest factor in their choice of airline, followed by flight schedules, airline reliability, seat comfort, customer service, quality of in-flight amenities, frequent-flyer benefits, and environmental responsibility.