Airline passengers want to fly in comfort, with a lack of legroom the most annoying aspect of air travel, according to a new study.
The annual TripAdvisor air travel survey found that uncomfortable seats and/or limited legroom is the number one gripe for passengers, followed by high airfares and flight delays. Backing up this result, 38% of respondents said that giving “more legroom” is the number one thing airlines should do to improve the in-flight experience. Comfort is clearly a priority for travellers; 56% of those polled said they have previously paid extra for a better seat.
Interestingly, 58% of respondents said they prefer an aisle seat, while 42% chose a window seat, and 4% like to be in the middle.
“Flyers continue to voice concerns about the challenges associated with air travel, such as extra fees and limited legroom,” said Bryan Saltzburg, General Manager of TripAdvisor Flights. “However, it seems equally clear that these challenges are not limiting the increasing demand for flights.”
Reflecting the rise in demand for low-cost carriers, 81% of air travellers said they would happily go without in-flight entertainment for a significantly cheaper flight. The most annoying airline fees, according to respondents, were checked baggage, carry-on baggage and seat selection.
In terms of new innovations, 25% of respondents said they would choose one airline over another if it offered Wi-Fi, but ‘quiet zones’ were less popular. Sixty-three percent of passengers said they were not willing to pay to sit in a designated quiet section of the aircraft, while 23% said they might pay less than US$25.
The TripAdvisor survey polled 2,000 airline passengers in the US.