Expedia Passenger Preferences Index 2016

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New Delhi, Delhi, India
  • Indians globally most intolerant towards Armrest Hoggers (16%), Mad Bladder (18%) & Undressing (14%) travellers
  • 11% Indians find couples displaying an inappropriate level of public affection unbearable

Expedia one of the world’s largest full service online travel sites, today released the results of the Expedia Passenger Preferences Index, which includes amenities for which customers would prioritize on flights of different length, how they prefer to pass the time, their opinions on baggage fees and packing, and which passenger behaviours they found most frustrating. The survey highlights that three-quarters (74%) of travellers will pay for added comfort on a short haul flight, but this jumps to 89% on long or extra-long haul flights. Travelers from Mexico (98%), India (97%), Thailand and China (96%) are the most likely to pay for added comfort on long haul flights.  India (20%) leads in playing games on a phone or mobile device while flying.

“According to Expedia Passenger Preferences Index, a massive 74% of travellers will pay for added comfort on a short haul flight, and the number further jumps to 89% on long or extra-long haul flights.  Indians lead globally in paying extra for a window seat (34%) or an aisle seat (10%), for a snack (36%) and a non-alcoholic beverage (16%) on board a short-haul flight. For 84% Indians, comfort is more important than style while travelling by air” said Mr. Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia India.

SURVEY FINDINGS:

Indians globally most active @ 30,000 ft

  • Only 32% Indians sleep while on a flight- lowest globally, followed by China and Mexico (35%)
  • 51% listen to music, 39% read a book /magazine / newspaper, 32% surf Internet when Wi-Fi is available, 32% watch TV shows / movies available on board, 20% play games on phone/mobile, 15% watch TV shows / movies that they carry, 7% spend time doing puzzles / games, 6% work on board

Flight Essentials!

  • India in top 3 countries to choose water (59%), music player (32%), computer (29%), healthy snacks (21%), e-reader (17%),earplugs (13%)
  • Indians in bottom 3 to feel the need for extra jacket or sweater (7%), mints and/or gum (6%), non-alcoholic beverages (8%) and over-the-counter medication (2%)
  • Alcoholic beverages is preferred by only 9% Indians
    • Ready to pay extra on short (18%), medium (18%), long (22%), extra-long (28%) haul flight
  • Indians are foodies; 44% Indians feel a meal to be important while 21% prefer healthy snacks and 8% indulge in snacks
    • Willing to pay extra for a full meal on short (40%), medium (48%), long (57%), extra-long (62%) haul flight
    • Willing to pay extra for a snack on short (36%), medium (32%), long (36%), extra-long (38%) haul flight
    • Willing to pay extra for a non-alcoholic beverage on short (16%), medium (19%), long (21%), extra-long (23%) haul flight
  • We can’t live without our gadgets; mobile device (54%), headphones (36%), game player (7%)
    • Willing to pay extra for high speed wi-fi on short (45%), medium (51%), long (53%), extra-long (54%) haul flight
    • Willing to pay extra for basic speed wi-fi on short (14%), medium (11%), long (13%), extra-long (13%) haul flight
  • We love to read– magazines / newspapers (32%), e-reader (17%), physical books (11%)
  • Other essentials include- prescription medication (4%), pen & paper (8%), eye cover (6%), neck pillow (11%), blankets (13%)

Baggage Woes

  • 74% Indians will avoid baggage fees at all costs
  • India at #3 globally to
    • Pack less to ensure things fit in a carry-on (74%), led by Taiwan & China (78%)
    • Avoid checking bags so that they don’t have to wait in line at the baggage check before boarding flight (62%), led by China (70%) & Malaysia (63%)
    • Check bags regardless of situation (68%), led by Germany (77%) & Mexico (74%)
      • 56% often over-pack and if that means checking a bag, they are ok with it
      • 53% Indians don’t mind paying extra to check a bag
  • Indians avoid checking bags because of the fee (53%), to skip waiting at baggage carousel (59%), out of fear that their bags will get lost (46%)
  • A trip < Week: 50% prefer to check-in luggage while only 18% Indians prefer a backpack
    • Carry-on size suitcase to be checked (30%), carry-on size suitcase on the plane (32%), 2 suitcases/pieces of luggage, with at least one needing to be checked (7%)
  • A trip > Week: 74% prefer to check-in luggage while only 8% backpack
    • Carry-on size suitcase on the plane (10%), carry-on size suitcase checked in for convenience (21%), large suitcase that would be required to be checked (35%), 2 suitcases/pieces of luggage, with at least one needing to be checked (22%),carry 3 suitcases/pieces of luggage (4%, highest globally)

We shell out for more comfort

  • 84% Indians prefer comfort over style when choosing what to wear
  • Indians are ok to pay extra for upgrades to first or business class on short (26%), medium (25%), long (31%), extra-long (32%) haul flight
  • Willing to pay extra for specific seats:
    • Window Seat: short (34%), medium (31%), long (34%), extra-long (39%) haul flight
    • Aisle Seat: short (10%), medium (14%), long (15%), extra-long (16%) haul flight
    • Seat with extra legroom: short (32%), medium (39%), long (50%), extra-long (53%) haul flight
    • Wider Seat: short (23%), medium (33%), long (41%), extra-long (49%) haul flight
  • Indians like to save time in transit, willing to pay extra for
    • Priority baggage unloading: short (18%), medium (23%), long (28%), extra-long (29%) haul flight
    • Priority /advanced boarding: short (15%), medium (15%), long (22%), extra-long (21%) haul flight

Most unbearable passenger types (flight >10hrs)

  • Indians have the highest tolerance globally for the Inattentive Parents (24%), Aromatic Passenger (21%) and Rear Seat Kicker (18%)
  • Indians globally most intolerant towards The Armrest Hog (16%), Mad Bladder (18%), The Undresser (14%), Back Seat Grabber (12%) and The Amorous couple (11%)
  • India leads globally with 22% saying they have gotten into an argument with a fellow passenger followed Mexico (19%) & the USA (14%)

Methodology

This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm. This survey was conducted online from December 11-29, 2015 across North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific using the Kantar-owned GMI (Global Market Insite) and Lightspeed Research amalgamated group of panels.  The study was conducted among 11,026 adults 18+ adults, who have flown on an airplane in the past two years, across 22 countries.

About Expedia

Expedia is the world’s largest full service online travel agency with localized sites in 31 countries. Expedia is a one-stop solution for all travel needs, with a comprehensive and distinctive suite of travel solutions covering over 30,000 destinations in over 200 countries with 15000+ holiday activities and 400+ airlines worldwide. Expedia helps consumers not only book flights, hotels, buses and tourist attractions globally, but also provides services like visa and car rentals, supported by a 24×7 call center in India. The portal also features over 11 million independent and verified traveler reviews; the portal allows access to reviews by Indian travellers, to help consumers make an apt hotel choice.

ANNEXURE I

Travellers willing to pay extra for Global India
S Haul M Haul L Haul XL Haul
A full meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) 26 40 48 57 62
A seat with extra leg room 24 32 39 50 53
A wider seat 22 23 33 41 49
WiFi – higher speed 21 45 51 53 54
A window seat 19 34 31 34 39
A snack 18 36 32 36 38
First or business class 16 26 25 31 32
Inflight entertainment 13 21 28 39 39
A ‘quiet zone’ area 12 15 23 30 32
Priority baggage unloading 11 18 23 28 29
One alcoholic beverage 10 18 18 22 28
Access to loyalty club room in the airport 9 13 15 21 23
Priority/ advanced boarding 9 15 15 22 21
One non-alcoholic beverage 9 16 19 21 23
Guaranteed carry-on space in bulkhead 8 11 14 16 24
Front of the plane in economy class 8 13 15 17 17
WiFi – basic speed 8 14 11 13 13
An aisle seat 7 10 14 15 16
None of the above 26 9 5 3            2
Green highlight denotes that India is amongst the top 3 in this category, red denotes bottom 3

ANNEXURE II

Categories of annoying passengers on board Highest Lowest India
Rear Seat Kicker – the passenger who constantly kicks the seat in front of them Taiwan- 50%
Hong Kong- 43%
UK, Mexico- 41%
India- 18%
China – 20%
France & Thailand -25%
India- 18%
Inattentive Parents – parents who have no control over or pay no attention to their crying, whining or misbehaved children Mexico, Norway, New Zealand- 42% China- 18%
Hong Kong- 22%
India- 24%
India- 24%
The Aromatic Passenger – the passenger with poor hygiene or who is wearing too much perfume or cologne Thailand- 52%
France- 49%
Switzerland- 46%
Singapore- 17%
Japan- 18%
India- 21%
India- 21%
The Boozer – the disruptive passenger who has enjoyed a few too many alcoholic beverages before or during the flight Norway- 43%
Mexico- 40%
Switzerland, Germany- 36%
Taiwan- 3%
Hong Kong- 6%
China- 8%
India- 21%
The Snorer – The passenger who snores so loudly, it is clear to the entire plane he/she has fallen asleep China- 38%
Thailand- 37%
Brazil- 33%
Sweden- 12%
Japan- 14%
USA, Canada, Norway -15%
India- 31%
Audio Insensitive – the passenger who talks so loudly everyone around him can hear his conversation or turns the volume on his music up so loud everyone around him knows what song he is listening to Japan- 52%
China- 42%
Hong Kong, Taiwan- 40%
Mexico- 11%
Australia, Thailand- 9%
India- 24%
Chatty Cathy – the neighbour who strikes up a conversation and won’t stop Thailand- 32%
Mexico- 30%
Taiwan,  Hong Kong – 25%
Switzerland, New Zealand- 15%
UK,  Japan- 14%
India- 24%
Seat-back Guy  – the passenger who reclines his seat all the way back as soon as the plane is off the ground New Zealand,  Australia- 32%
UK- 30%
Taiwan, Mexico- 12%
Brazil- 11%
China- 8%
India- 18%
The Heavy-weight – The large passenger who takes up more than his/her seat USA- 31%
Canada, Australia, New Zealand- 27%
Thailand- 7%
China- 9%
Taiwan- 10%
India- 22%
The Armrest Hog – the neighbour who takes both the armrests Canada, UAE, India- 16% Canada, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, China – 9% India- 16%
Pungent Food Eaters – the passenger who brings food with a strong smell or odour on board China- 38%
Japan- 18%
Taiwan- 16%
Mexico- 5%
France- 6%
Thailand- 7%
India- 15%
Mad Bladder – the window seat passenger who makes frequent visits to the bathroom UAE- 19%
India- 18%
Brazil,  Singapore- 13%
Japan, South Korea- 5%
Taiwan- 6%
India- 18%
The Back Seat Grabber – the passenger who grabs the back of your seat to get up out of their seat India,  Hong Kong – 12%
Sweden,  Malaysia – 11%
Germany- 3%
Switzerland, South Korea-5%
India-12%
The Undresser – the passenger who removes his shoes, socks or a few too many layers of clothing Malaysia- 15%
India, China, UAE- 14%
Japan- 2%
Sweden,  New Zealand – 3%
India- 14%
The Amorous – the couple who displays an inappropriate level of public affection toward one another Thailand- 12%
India- 11%
South Korea- 10%
Norway- 2%
Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan  – 3%
India- 11%