By a five to one margin, Americans believe flying is much worse than it was five years ago, especially during the holidays, according to a new poll.

Done for the U.S. Travel Association, the survey said that Americans are most angry at added fees and changing seats.

Their complaints matter: USTA said that “Because of such headaches, Americans avoided 32 million air trips last year, costing the U.S. economy more than $24 billion in spending.”

The association's survey was done by Morning Consult.

“Air travel isn't a privilege of the few—it's an essential pillar of our economy and our American way of life, especially around the holidays when families gather,” said the association’s Jonathan Grella. “With aviation infrastructure funding being debated in Washington, the survey results indicate that addressing these problems is more urgent than ever.”

Some key findings:

  • 60 percent say airline fees, such as fees for checked bags, flight changes, and seat assignments have gotten worse.
  • 51 percent say the overall cost of flying has gotten worse.
  • 47 percent say airport hassles, like long lines, crowded terminals, and moving from one part of the airport to another have gotten worse.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at