92% admit taking to skies would be stressful; attribute it to crowds, annoying passengers
In a new survey of air travelers, a ‘stormy’ holiday travel forecast has been revealed, amassing turbulent passenger pet peeves plaguing millions this winter holiday travel season.
Up on the list are lengthy delays, bad weather and inexperienced fliers, say survey undertakers, Honeywell Aerospace.
The survey also shows that flying irritates most, especially because of annoying passengers, like the ‘complete seat recliner’ or the ‘smelly passenger’.
The survey reveals ways that travelers have thought about to combat such annoyances.
The research was conducted by Kelton among 1,041 adults in the US who have taken a flight at least once in the last 12 months.
“Flyers are often resilient and can put up with inconveniences, but there are some things we just won’t tolerate,” said Bill Kircos, Vice-President, Communications, Honeywell Aerospace.
He stated: “As to what makes holiday travelers feel better and keeps everyone more sane while taking to the skies, it comes down to keeping the flights on time, comfortable and running smoothly.”
It’s no surprise that holiday air travel is daunting for most.
The survey results indicate many would skip time-honoured traditions and even part with their gifts just to avoid it, with 57 per cent saying they would give up watching their favourite holiday parade to dodge flying.
Another 31 per cent would give up one of their holiday presents to avoid braving the holiday airport rush.
Meanwhile, more than one-quarter would give up connecting with loved ones from afar on social media (27 per cent) or taking pictures of holiday festivities (27 per cent).
Seventy per cent of respondents are open about the fact that they’re not accepting of other passengers’ faults while flying.
In fact, traveller irritation peaks before fliers even get to the gate.
Baggage check and security check-in lines can frustrate due to wait times, but are made worse by difficult or inexperienced travelers.
Of the possible types of airport personalities one could run into identified in the survey, nearly three in 10 would most want to avoid ‘the arguer’ while dealing with the challenging baggage and security check lines, while others say this about ‘the line-cutter’ (17 per cent) or ‘the disorganised traveller’ (15 per cent).
The number one in-flight passenger most want to avoid is ‘the smelly traveller’ (41 per cent).
Emitting unpleasant smells is also the quickest way to become the most unwanted airline seatmate, with passing gas (64 per cent) and not wearing deodorant (60 per cent) are considered top passenger blunders.
Travelling with babies
Children also face impatience from fellow passengers.
Although children might not be aware of what’s going on around them, other passengers sure are.
Of those surveyed, 37 per cent believe children should have a designated section of the aircraft on flights lasting more than two hours.
In fact, 40 per cent of women feel this way, compared with 31 per cent of men.
They also agree on some potential solutions when dealing with impatient or tired little ones on a flight, with 72 per cent consider confronting a fellow traveller who was not stopping their child from kicking their seat.
Another 29 per cent who have done something in response to a child issue on their flight have been so bold as to ask a parent to reprimand their child.
Forty-five per cent think all passengers should get free ear plugs in the case of a screaming baby.
Surviving unfriendly skies
What are passengers doing to survive the unfriendly skies? Experienced flyers have tricks up their sleeves for fighting on-board disturbances.
Many have taken direct action by asking a flight attendant to fix the issue (43 per cent) or confronting a passenger who was causing a disturbance (27 per cent).
Two in five (40 per cent) have asked to move to another seat, escaping the situation in a civil manner, and 30 per cent admit to taking a sedative or sleeping pill to dull their own reaction to the disturbance.
The Honeywell Aerospace Travel Pet Peeves Survey was conducted by Kelton, between November 14-24, among 1,041 Americans ages 18 and over who have taken a flight at least once in the last 12 months, using an email invitation and an online survey.