Don’t Walk Barefoot on Planes, and Other Ways Not to Annoy Other Passengers

For your next flight, would you rather sit next to an aromatic passenger or an inattentive parent?  A seat kicker or a personal space violator? While neither is usually ideal, Expedia surveyed 18,229 adults across 23 countries in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific to find out travelers’ biggest pet peeves.

When asked about the worst type of flight passenger, for the fourth straight year, over half of respondents thought seat kicker topped the list.

Overall 90{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of respondents think being barefoot while in the air is inappropriate, and Americans are especially concerned. Nearly 75{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans report always keeping their shoes and socks on during flight.

When someone starts snoring around you on a plane, 54{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} think waking them is okay and 20{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} think climbing over a sleeping passenger with your back to them is acceptable.

Americans are especially concerned with having to interact with neighbors on a plane. Almost 90{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans report wanting to keep to themselves on a flight, and 77{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} dread sitting next to someone who talks too much. In addition, 69{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} would rather sleep than talk to other passengers (28{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).

Aside from other passengers’ behavior, Americans have strong opinions on airlines. According to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index Travel Report, in 2017, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue were rated the highest by customers, with budget carriers Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines at the bottom of the list. Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines finished in the middle.

After arriving at a destination, Americans are most concerned about bed bugs, with 80{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans saying that is the worst thing to encounter when checking into a hotel room.

The most used hotel amenity is Wi-Fi, with 74{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of respondents reporting using it. Travelers look for freebies like Wi-Fi, breakfast, and room upgrades, and 75{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} think they are very or somewhat important when booking a hotel.

Guests have become accustomed to high-speed internet, with 98{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of hotel rooms being equipped with it in the United States. While in 2004, just 35{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of hotels had in-room Wi-Fi, this year 91{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} provide it. The same survey found that just 9{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of hotels charge for internet access, largely those in the luxury market. In that market segment, 69{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of hotels charge for Wi-Fi.

Although guests might expect Wi-Fi in their hotel room and even use it to reserve the room, they aren’t as likely to use the internet to check into their hotel.  A recent study found that while 44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of respondents had used a mobile app to find or book a hotel room, only 3{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} report checking in online, 2{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} through an app, and 1{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} at self-service kiosk.

Wherever your next trip takes you, cross your fingers you can avoid the seat kicker, space violator, aromatic passenger, and bed bugs. But if they can’t be avoided, you aren’t the only one bothered by them.


Public Opinion Strategies