Latest findings from research commissioned by www.sunshine.co.uk have revealed the UK accents people most and least trust when it comes to the person flying them to their holiday destination. 2,043 people were polled and it was revealed that pilots with a RP accent, or those who speak in Queens English, are the most likely to put their passengers at ease. Those with a Birmingham or Liverpudlian accent are the most likely to make their passengers anxious.
After receiving an email from a happy customer, who mentioned their Geordie pilot put them at ease during some bad turbulence, sunshine.co.uk were interested in looking into how a pilot’s accent can affect aircraft passengers. The study found the accents that were most and least likely to put tourists at ease during the flight.
When asked the multi-answer question ‘Which UK accent would you be most put at ease by during a flight?’ 81% of the respondents said the classic RP accent from Oxford would make them feel in good hands.
72% of people said they would feel at ease with a pilot from Edinburgh and two thirds, 65% said that the friendly Geordie accent made them feel safe. When it came to the pilots’ accents that tourists were least likely to trust, the Birmingham twang was the least likely to put passengers at ease, with more than 3 in 4, 76%, saying they would feel the least safe with a pilot from Birmingham.
2 in 5 people said their pilot’s accent was a key factor in putting them at ease during a flight and 39% of the respondents said they had a fear of flying. 83% of the respondents said they would be more likely to trust a male pilot, rather than a woman pilot.
The accents of pilots that were the most likely to put passengers at ease, as voted by the respondents, were;
1. RP accent (Oxford) – 81%
2. Edinburgh – 72%
3. Newcastle – 65%
4. Yorkshire – 51%
5. Swansea – 48%
The accents of pilots that passengers said were least likely to put them at ease were
1. Birmingham – 76%
2. Liverpool – 73%
3. Bristol – 64%
4. Cockney – 41%
5. Manchester – 39%
Sunshine.co.uk also spoke to 53 pilots, to question them about how they speak to their passengers and 54% admitted they used their “telephone voice” when speaking over the tannoy to sound more professional. 92% claimed it was important to make their passengers feel safe.
Chris Brown, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, commented on these findings;
“We initially got talking about this in the office after receiving the email from a customer and were really keen to find out, from the passengers’ point of view, which accents were the most likely to put them at ease whilst on a plane. We weren’t surprised to find that the classic RP accent was the most likely to make passengers feel safe, as it’s a given that the “BBC accent” is the most widely accepted.
“I think the passengers obviously prefer it when they can’t really detect an accent in their pilot’s voice, but it was good to see that some were happy to hear a voice with a bit of character such as a Welsh or Scottish twang.”