This paper reports on a study which seeks to improve our understanding of how people choose between different kinds of flight at competing airports, and how their choices are affected by access conditions. In particular, using stated choice data collected in Scotland, it investigates whether improving surface access to regional airports that are in relatively close proximity to one another (Glasgow and Edinburgh) leads people to avoid taking indirect flights from their nearest airport in favour of direct flights from an alternative airport. In line with expectations, our estimation results from Cross-Nested Logit models show strong aversion to connecting flights, resulting in a willingness to either pay higher fares for direct flights or accept non-trivial increases in access time. For the latter, even without the potential new direct rail link between the two airports, current access times are such that a scenario where direct flights were only available at the non-home airport, a substantial share of passengers would choose to travel from the alternative airport.
Johnson, D., Hess, S. & Matthews, B. (2014), Understanding air travellers’ trade-offs between connecting flights and surface access characteristics. Journal of Air Transport Management, 34, pp 70-77.