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Saturday, 16 April, 2016, 11 : 30 AM [IST]

Expedia Passenger Preferences Index 2016

According to the study, only 32% Indians sleep while on a flight - lowest globally, followed by China and Mexico. TravelBiz Monitor presents insights
Expedia Passenger Preferences Index 2016 includes amenities for which customers would prioritise 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.

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.

Dressing up
84% Indians choose comfort over style when choosing what to wear. They don’t mind paying extra for an upgrade to first or business class on short or long haul flights. They are quite choosy over picking seats and will pay extra for window, aisle, seat with extra legroom or wider seat. Indians also tend to save time on the transit by willing to pay extra for the priority baggage unloading and advanced boarding.

Indians are seen to show most tolerance for inattentive parents, aromatic passenger, and rear seat kickers. On the other hand, they seem to show the least bearable attitude towards the armrest hoggers, mad bladders, and the amorous couple. They have been seen getting into an argument with a fellow passenger very frequently. They have also less patience for audio insensitive passengers and the neighbour who strikes a random conversation and doesn’t stop.

Travellers willing to pay extra for
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

Comfort zone
Travellers 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 Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia India.

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.

Being Busy
Indians tend to different activities to keep themselves occupied including listening to music, reading, internet surfing, play games on mobile phones etc. 44% Indians feel it is important to have a meal on the flight whereas only 8% indulge in snacking.Top preferences of Indians included water, food, earplugs, computer, healthy snacks and music player. Indians needed less of sweaters, jackets, mint/gum, or other alcoholic beverages. They are willing to pay extra for the food, Wi-Fi access, and physical reading material.

Baggage woes
74% Indians prefer to not pay baggage fees at all cost. They avoid checking bags so that they don’t have to wait in line at the baggage check before the flight. Indians avoid checking bags because of the fee, to skip waiting at the baggage carousel, and out of the fear that their bags will get lost. They carry the maximum amount of suitcases/luggage pieces globally placing themselves at number four.

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%
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%
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