Americans Still Willing to Travel by Air

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Contrary to what some might expect, vacationers this year are as likely to say they will be flying to their summer destinations as they were last year.

Since Sept. 11, there has been speculation about Americans shying away from air travel. However, the latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows 35 percent say they will be flying to their vacation spot this summer, up from 32 percent in May 2001. About half of vacationers this year plan to drive to their destination, down from 60 percent last year. The remaining few will travel by train (four percent), bus (three percent) or boat/cruise (three percent).

"Despite the recent focus on potential new terrorist threats, it seems most Americans are unwilling to alter their plans for what has really become a cherished institution-the summer vacation," said Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics.

For fun, we asked folks to choose between some nationally known figures and tell us with whom they would prefer to spend their summer vacation. When asked to choose between the current and former first lady, Americans say they would rather vacation with Laura Bush (42 percent) than Hillary Clinton (23 percent). Both men and women give the nod to Bush over Clinton, while almost a quarter of Democrats say they would prefer to vacation with our current (23 percent) rather than our former first lady (37 percent).

Similarly, more people would choose to spend their vacation with President Bush (44 percent) than with former President Clinton (26 percent). Almost half of all women choose Bush (48 percent), while just over one-quarter would prefer Clinton (26 percent). The split is somewhat closer among men (39 percent Bush to 26 percent Clinton).

When faced with the choices of California Congressman Gary Condit and O.J. Simpson, most Americans wouldn't take that vacation at all. A clear majority (65 percent) responds "neither" to these choices, while 16 percent would prefer to vacation with Condit and 12 percent Simpson.

Finally, two-thirds would rather vacation with a family member (66 percent) than a friend (24 percent). Fully 71 percent of women and 59 percent of men would choose to spend their summer vacation with a family member, while 21 percent of women and 28 percent of men would opt for spending their vacation with a friend.

Polling was conducted by telephone June 4-5, 2002 in the evenings. The sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ± 3 percentage points.

1. Do you plan to take a vacation this summer?

2. (If yes, n=528) And how do you plan to travel to your vacation destination? (OPEN ENDED)

3 - 6. Would you rather spend your summer vacation with: