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Travel Survey - How Air Travelers Feel About Air Travel


Traveling during the holiday season is often rife with stress. As an airport gate agent I know that flights are going to be full, and it is often difficult to reseat passengers in order for them to sit together. Weather can be a factor, as can oversold flights. Bearing this in mind, Amadeus and research firm Leflein Associates have conducted a survey to find out the stressors for holiday air travelers. The results of the following survey are provided courtesy of Amadeus and Leflein Associates.

Survey Says…Stressful
1,000 consumers were surveyed about their biggest problems with the air travel experience, and they are:
  • 70% said their biggest gripe is the lack of room between airplane seats
  • 55% cited flight delays
  • 41% were frustrated by waiting in lines
  • 37% were worried about lost luggage
  • 36% said limitations on what liquids and toiletries you can bring in carry on was a problem
  • 32% were not impressed with overbooked flights

Missed Connections a Major Concern
Missed connections cause stress. During the holiday travel season it is not always easy to get on the next flight when you've missed your connection as flights are inevitably full.

For passengers with connecting flights the numbers are as follows: 73% said a missed connection is their biggest concern when they have a connecting flight; 55% said they were worried about hoofing it to their connecting flight and losing luggage because of a tight connection.

It's All in the Seating
Seating on commercial flights, especially in coach, is not always the best experience. Those surveyed had opinions on their least favorite seating options.
  • 61% cited the middle seat as their biggest complaint
  • 59% stated sitting next to someone sick
  • 45% mentioned sitting behind someone who reclines their seat
  • 45% ranked not being seated with travel companions as a problem
  • 40% said sitting next to a baby was a concern

Less Stress Is On The Horizon
Amadeus is working with several major airlines like United Airlines, British Airways, and Lufthansa to implement new technologies aiming to minimize air travel stress for their customers in the future. It appears that technology to further streamline reservations/passenger services systems is in the works.

Robert Buckman, air travel futurist and director for Amadeus North America describes the future for decreasing passenger stress: “What's most exciting about this new technology is that it will help the airline provide better, faster and more efficient service to their customers across their entire travel experience from booking to baggage." Buckman elaborates by mentioning the new technologies will permit automatic passenger re-booking when a missed flight connection is anticipated, or even ensuring that passengers can sit with their traveling companions.

"By streamlining and updating their own systems, airlines will be able to truly improve efficiency, service and convenience for the air traveler, not only during the holidays, but everyday."
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