Poll: Cheaper is better when it comes to paying for airfare

The results are in: cheaper is better -- at least when it comes to airfare.

A Reuters opinion poll released this week shows 83 percent of Americans put ticket prices among their top consideration when booking personal travel. This outweighs both travel perks or an airline's reputation.

That same poll indicates 60 percent of those polled said they would not pay extra to avoid the dreaded middle seat.

But passengers flying through Sky Harbor International Airport had a different opinion about the middle seat, saying they'd shell out a few extra bucks to avoid it.

The larger U.S. carriers have all recently introduced their own versions of a no-frills, bare bones, economy fare. Those seats are called basic fare. They don't include an advanced seating assignment and no option to upgrade. On some airlines, you can't use overhead storage bins, though bags can be checked at the gate for a fee.

Despite what could be conceived as inconvenient, about 40 percent United passengers buy the cheaper, more restrictive options, and about half of American Airlines passengers now choose the basics economy fares.

About 52 percent of those surveyed said they would not pay to fly more on their preferred airline.

The poll was conducted online from June 22 to June 29. It gathered responses from 2,316 Americans at Sky Harbor.