Testifying before the House Small Business Committee, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Travel Industry Association Roger Dow said travelers were frustrated with insufficient security screening, flight delays and cancellations.
"Our air travel system is in steep decline," Dow told committee members, noting the problems affected "business across America."
Dow referred to a TIA survey undertaken with Peter Hart Research Associates and The Winston Group, a statement from the association said.
The survey pointed to millions of trips avoided by passengers in the preceding 12 months, which totaled "a $26 billion loss in consumer spending," Dow said.
The unspent sum includes $9.4 billion in revenues that would have gone to airlines, $5.6 billion that would have gone to hotels, $3.1 billion in lost restaurant income and $4.21 billion in lost taxes, Dow said.