How often do Australians take a flight?

Angus Kidman 16 January 2017

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7.1 million of us jumped on a plane for a domestic holiday last year.

When visting an airport on a Monday morning, or reading about the latest political expenses scandal, it's easy to assume that most people take flights for business. However, the data shows that far more of us are hitting the skies for holidays.

Figures from Roy Morgan suggest that 7.1 million Australians took a domestic flight for a holiday in the year to September 2016. Over the same period, there were just 2.3 million business-related flights.

That changing profile for flights affects everything from airline surcharges for credit cards through to how many passengers are travelling with cabin baggage.

The chart below shows the typical number of domestic trips taken for both holiday and business travellers. (In both cases, the percentages are of those people who took at least one flight, not the population as a whole.)

Unsurprisingly, the one area where business travellers outrank their holidaying counterparts is in the frequency of their trips. More than half of holiday travellers (54.4%) only took one return trip in a calendar year, and a tiny minority (0.8%) took more than one holiday flight a month. In the business category, just 33.1% only travelled once, and 9.9% did hit the skies at least once a month.

And yes, inevitably those figures might suffer from some overlap. As Australia's expense-hungry politicians have been at pains to remind us in recent weeks, in many cases it's possible to combine leisure activities with work when you're on the go.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

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