British Airways’ survey reveals the different personas travellers take on when they get to the airport, with 54 per cent saying they adopt a new identity
Travellers from the East Midlands are the most organised and likely to take charge as the ‘Airport Ace’ with Northern Irish holidaymakers (22 per cent) more likely to be ‘Airport Athletes’, treating travelling through the airport as a competitive sport, trying to get on and off the plane first
Only 55 per cent of travellers admit to reading pre-travel emails and more than a quarter (28 per cent) of Brits say they always forget something when they pack
To help customers better prepare for travel, British Airways has compiled expert advice on how to become the ultimate ‘Airport Ace’ and unveiled tips from packing influencer, The Folding Lady
Wednesday August 2, 2023 - Are you an airport ace, airport adventurer or on airport autopilot? A new survey by British Airways has revealed a staggering 54 per cent of travellers adopt a different persona when they travel through an airport.
Airport Ace: 49 per cent of those surveyed said they consider themselves an ‘Airport Ace’, aka fully prepped and the designated leader when travelling with a group. Results show that travellers from the East Midlands (59 per cent) are more likely to take charge, with research finding that they are most likely to adopt the ‘Airport Ace’ persona. They are the most organised and do all the prep for their travel party, probably seen carrying their own perfectly pre-packed liquid bags, with spares for the rest of their group. The airport ace can’t be missed as they are at the front of the pack, carrying all the group passports and can often be overheard assertively giving directions.
Airport Autopilot: 43 per cent of Brits said they go with the flow on ‘Airport Autopilot’, happy to take a back seat and let someone else take charge at the airport, with those from the East of England most happy to be led. These travellers tend to trail at the back, always following directions and don’t often break away. More often than not, they don’t even know where their gate is as they leave it down to the ‘Airport Ace’
Airport Athlete: 15 per cent of holidaymakers said they felt they were an ‘Airport Athlete’, treating the airport like competitive sport. Northern Irish holidaymakers resonated most with the ‘Airport Athlete’ persona (22 per cent), striving to be amongst the first to get on and off the plane and the first to get their baggage after landing. Airport Athletes can often be spotted darting through the crowds and are constantly on the move, always eyeing up queues trying to work out how to get ahead and spend as little time as possible dwelling in the airport.
Airport Adventurer: Eight per cent of travellers said they classed themselves as an ‘Airport Adventurer’ – happy to break away from the pack and spend a lot of time exploring the airport, visiting the terminal’s shops and restaurants and investigating what’s around. Airport Adventures tend to be lone wolfs, not often seen in a group so that they can make the most of airport without the distractions from their travel companions. They are most likely to come back with a new gadget from their airport exploration that they didn’t know they needed.
Airport Ambler: Meanwhile four per cent of people surveyed said they’d describe themselves as an ‘Airport Ambler’, with the most relaxed approach to travel, taking their time to make it to the aircraft and often being amongst the last people to get onto the plane. The survey revealed that Scots are the biggest Airport Amblers, with 10% saying this persona resonated with them. The amblers don’t tend to rush, they are the ones who will stop off for the all-important holiday photo in front of the plane, sometimes holding up the rest of their party.
40 per cent of travellers described the airport as an important part of their holiday, with nearly a third of Brits arriving early. However, French counterparts are the most likely to pop the breaks on with only one in five travellers leaving time to explore and make the most of the airport experience, versus 35 per cent of US holidaymakers who like to get there early.
When it comes to preparing for travel, 55 per cent of Brits said they always remember to check their emails from the airline before travel, and women are more likely to do this than men. A staggering 19 per cent of travellers also admit to being unsure of which items they can pack in the checked baggage, versus their hand baggage.
Becoming the ultimate Airport Ace
To become the ultimate ‘Airport Ace’ this summer British Airways has a dedicated page on ba.com and a new pre-travel email for customers, with useful tips on what they need to do in advance of travel to avoid being the ‘Airport Ambler’,and helping more than a quarter (28 per cent) of Brits who admit to forgetting an item because they aren’t fully prepared. British Airways’ hints and top tips include:
Have it all at your fingertips. Check in from 24 hours before departure and get your boarding pass with the British Airways app.
Make sure your favourite things are folded, rolled, zipped up, and light enough, to be ready to roll. Check your baggage allowance.
Make sure your lotions and potions are no more than 100 millilitres and presented separately in a sealed, see-through bag and place your electronic gadgetry in their own tray to breeze through security.
Every second counts. If you’re criss-crossing the globe on a long-haul flight, you’ll need to arrive at the airport no more than three hours before your flight. If you’re doing a short-haul jaunt, it’s two hours before.
Check when you need to be at your gate, as sometimes it can be up to 50 minutes before your flight is due to leave.
Join the British Airways Executive Club and earn Avios that can be used to discount the cost of future travel
Pauline Price, British Airways customer service agent, said: “Having worked at British Airways for nearly 18 years, I have seen every type of traveller head through the airport, from the ace who takes responsibility and knows where they are headed, to the airport autopilot who goes with the flow. We are always on hand to help, but to make it easier for customers, our expert travel teams at British Airways have pulled together a list of everything travellers need to prepare for their trip that can be found on our website and in our new pre-travel email. We can’t wait to welcome every type of traveller on board this summer!”
Packing influencer, The Folding Lady, has created the ultimate packing tips for those travelling with British Airways this summer as 31 per cent of holiday makers believe their holiday starts when they pack their case. Customers can see how to pack like a pro, making the most of the airline’s generous baggage allowance, with a standard checked baggage allowance of 23kg per bag.
The number of checked bags depends on the customer’s booking, cabin of travel and Executive Club Tier status. All tickets on British Airways, BA Cityflyer and BA Euroflyer include a handbag and cabin bag, offering customers as much flexibility as possible.