The Impact of Fear of Flying on Travelers' Flight Choice: Choice Model with Latent Variables

Aliza Fleischer, Anat Tchetchik*, Tomer Toledo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Flying is an important part of the tourist experience and a substantial component of its cost. While travelers' decision making regarding air travel has been studied, the role of fear of flying (FOF), a very common phenomenon among air passengers, in the process has not been explicitly addressed. Since airline safety levels are difficult to assess, passengers who have FOF employ other attributes of the itinerary as a means of alleviating their fear. Based on a stated preference experiment and accounting specifically for FOF as a latent variable, we established that the individuals' level of FOF affects the value they place on attributes of flight itineraries. We show that home carriers, scheduled carriers, and nonstop flights are fear-alleviating attributes. We also show that the price elasticities of demand for flights are smaller in absolute terms among people with a high level of FOF compared to their counterparts with low FOF.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)653-663
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • choice model
  • fear of flying
  • flight itinerary attribute
  • latent variable


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