TripAdvisor has announced the results of its second annual in-flight amenities survey of more than 1,400 travellers worldwide. Comfortable seats and legroom was again the primary hot button for respondents, as nearly three-quarters of all travelers surveyed would pay at least a 10 percent premium to get a more comfortable and roomy airline seat.
Aside from their seats, for the second straight year, a roomy and clean bathroom was the most important in-flight comfort feature for travelers, according to 30 percent of respondents. Twenty-five percent of travelers consider a clean pillow/blanket their number one comfort priority on a flight.
Choosing the healthier option, fruits and vegetables are the complimentary snack of choice among travelers (36 percent) followed by cheese and crackers (33 percent). If it would mean a cheaper fare, 36 percent of travelers would do without complimentary snacks onboard.
Mountain Springs Fever
The majority of travelers identified bottled water as their favorite complimentary drink on a flight. Only five percent of travelers value complimentary champagne. Men are more likely (36 percent) to choose wine, champagne, beer or a cocktail than women (25 percent) as their in-flight beverage.
Forty-two percent of travelers said a video screen at their seat is the most important in-flight entertainment feature, followed by on-demand movies (18 percent). Video screens at seats are actually more important to women (46 percent) than men (36 percent). Perhaps travelers consider in-flight time as an opportunity to disconnect-only 13 percent chose internet access as their choice of entertainment.
When asked what would inspire them to pay for better amenities on a flight, time was of the essence, as 71 percent of travelers would pay a premium for amenities, only on flights longer than 3 hours.
Nap of Luxury
Beds are the most popular in-flight luxury that travelers would be willing to pay for, according to 36 percent of respondents. A bed was far less important to Americans (29 percent) than other travelers around the world (47 percent).
Shop ‘Til You Descend
One-third of travelers surveyed said they purchase items from an in-flight catalog. British travelers particularly enjoy “fly-buys” as 56 percent said they purchase from in-flight catalogs, compared to 23 percent of Americans.
Singapore Airlines was the favorite among travelers for in-flight amenities, taking the crown from 2006 favorite, British Airways. Virgin Airways came in second in this year’s tally. Singapore was also recognized for having the best food of any airline, followed by British Airways.
“Travelers continue to request some pretty basic amenities of carriers,” said Michele Perry, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “By offering more room and cleaner facilities, travelers will be much happier with their airline experience.”
Top 5 Comfort Features:
1. Roomy and clean bathroom
2. Clean blanket/pillow
3. Noise-canceling headphones
4. Sanitizing wipes to clean tray tables/arm rests
5. Anti-germ products/toiletry kits
Top 5 Entertainment Features:
1. Video screen at every seat
2. On-demand movies
3. Internet access
4. Route map display
5. Real-time satellite TV
Top 5 Complimentary Beverage Choices:
1. Bottled water
4. Fruit juices
Top 5 Complimentary Snack Choices:
1. Fruits and vegetables
2. Cheese and crackers
5. Candy and cookies
Top 5 Luxuries Travelers Would Pay Extra For:
1. A bed
2. Gourmet food
4. Premium liquor
Top 5 Airlines for Best Amenities:
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Virgin Atlantic
3. British Airways
5. Cathay Pacific
Five Worst Airlines for Amenities:
3. U.S. Airways
4. American Airlines