Flying With Rude Passengers: Survey Asks What Would You Do

Say you’re on a plane, sitting in a middle seat, and the rude passengers on both sides of you are in command of the arm wrests. Do you say something? Ask a flight attendant to help? Say nothing and live with it? Or are you just not sure? If you are like a lot of people, you say nothing according to a fifth annual nationwide survey that asked Americans how they would handle uncomfortable but common air travel situations.

Nearly half those surveyed (48.9%) would say nothing to their arm-wrest hogging neighbors with about a quarter saying they would stand up for the space they paid for either by saying something to their overflowing seatmate (27.9%) or asking a flight attendant (2.7%) for help. The remaining 20.6 % were just not sure about it.Think that person in front of you who reclines to the point that you cannot open a laptop is a problem? You are not alone. A full 75% would either say something to that passenger or call a flight attendant for help, while 7.7% were just not sure about it. In fact, a number of survey respondents were “just not sure” about most situations. It is no surprise then when asked what to do when seated next to a non-stop talker, 89.6% of those surveyed would read a book, put on headphones, pretend to sleep or just give in and talk throughout the flight rather than say something to them directly about talking (10.4%).

The survey, conducted by the Travel Leaders Group from March 15 to April 8, 2013, measured responses from 1,788 air travelers on a number of very specific circumstances involving rude passengers.

“As their travel agent experts, we hear directly from our clients who share similar complaints regarding their experiences. In our survey, we wanted to know how many travelers proactively take some sort of action to resolve those situations,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.

The survey also asked about screaming children on a plane (not popular), which got the highest response from respondents saying it was a matter that flight attendants should take care of.

What do you think?

[Photo credit – Flickr user by mralan]

New Survey Shows Just What Travelers Would Give Up For Vacation

A new survey by Marriott’s SpringHill Suites brand reveals key statistics about Americans and their vacation habits, and some of what we learned from the report might surprise you. Travelers are more budget conscious than ever, and increasingly inspired by what they’re finding in hotels.

Here’s what we learned:

Vacation Time
While it’s no shock that we could all use a few more vacation days, the survey reveals that, on average, people would like 17 more paid vacation days, and that 22 percent of people don’t get any vacation days at all.

Packing and Planning
If you procrastinate and pack at the last minute, you’re not alone. Around 50 percent of people wait to pack until the day of or day before, with 12 percent just throwing items in a suitcase and hoping for the best.

Bargain Hunters
Flash sale sites and frequent hotel discount codes have made travelers hungry for a good deal. If they could get 25 percent off their hotel, travelers say they would:

  • give up alcohol (54%)
  • forego hotel housekeeping (40%)
  • give up mobile device access (26%)
  • forgo a camera or ability to document their trip (13%)

Bringing Vacation Home
Over four in five (84%) Americans would miss at least one convenience offered at a hotel after leaving. As a result, two in five Americans have liked something (amenities, sheets, etc.) so much that they purchased it for home use.

We’ll turn the questions back to you, readers. What would you do to have a good vacation? Do you need more time off? A great discount? Leave your comments below.

[Flickr via travel.executive]

Survey Finds Travelers Will Lie And Steal To Save A Penny

Traveling on a beer budget isn’t easy when you have champagne tastes but it seems some vacationers have found a way to cheat their budgets – as well as everyone around them. A survey of British vacationers has revealed the lengths some travelers will go to in order to pinch their pennies, including lying and stealing, among other tactics.

One notorious strategy involves couples pretending to be on their honeymoon in order to score flight or room upgrades, with about 5 percent of survey respondents admitting to faking a special event so they could receive a perk.

Twelve percent of travelers confessed they’d used the pool or other facilities at a hotel they weren’t actually a guest of, while 8 percent said they had used another hotel’s shuttle bus.In some instances, entire families have been drawn into the charade, with about 11 percent of those polled saying they had lied about their children’s ages so they could pay a lower entrance fee when entering theme parks.

Other travelers looked for ways to cut costs when it came to food and drink. A whopping 39 percent of respondents owned up to pinching food from the breakfast buffet in order to save money on lunch. A handful of others admitted to stooping even lower by leaving a bar or restaurant without paying their bill. Reassuringly, only 1.4 percent of people fell into that category.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Marion Doss]

The Most Frequently Stolen Items From Hotel Rooms Might Surprise You

For whatever reason, staying in hotels seems to bring out the kleptomaniac in even the most honest people. It starts with taking home the miniature toiletries (which are of course, fair game) and before you know it, you’re trying to figure out how to stuff the fluffy white bathrobe into your suitcase without anyone noticing it’s gone.

Now we’re all familiar with the rampant theft of towels and linen from hotel rooms – in fact, the problem is so widespread that some hotels have resorted to inserting tracking devices in their linens to stop the thievery. However, it seems some hotel guests will steal just about anything that’s not nailed down (and some things that are). A poll of Britons uncovered a surprising array of goods pilfered regularly from hotel rooms.Among the more bizarre items stolen were curtains, with 27 percent of respondents admitting to taking home the drapes. Artwork was also high on the list, with one in three people claiming to have pinched the paintings right off the wall. Thirty-six percent also said they’d made off with picture frames from their hotel room – one can only presume these are the same folks that took the artwork. Other items of note included kettles, which were swiped by 19 percent of respondents (this was a survey of tea-loving Brits so perhaps it shouldn’t surprise). Hotels have also been busy replacing batteries and light bulbs, with more than half of respondents confessing to emptying out remote controls and lamps.

But perhaps the biggest sin to have been committed by British hotel guests? Stealing the bible. In an ironic twist, seven percent of people owned up to pocketing the very book that condemns theft.

[Photo credit: Flickr user UggBoy UggGirl]

New Survey Reveals Travelers Think Grocery Stores Offer Better Loyalty Programs Than Hotels; Airlines

Loyalty has gone out the window, a new Deloitte survey finds. Only eight percent of survey respondents say that they always stay at the same hotel brand, while just 14% say they always fly the same airline.

“With heightened competition and eroding customer loyalty, hotels and airlines, now, more than ever, need to focus on enhancing and personalizing the consumer experience,” said Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. Travel, Hospitality and Leisure leader in a release.

Despite most hotel brands touting that loyalty and reward programs drive travel, these programs ranked low on the list of consumer influences – value and past experience were much higher priority items. That said, more than half of survey respondents (55%) ranked loyalty programs “high importance” for airlines and just under half (45%) ranked loyalty programs high importance for hotels.

Why? Perhaps it’s because travelers find that loyalty programs just don’t offer that much. Most consumers actually believe that grocery store loyalty programs offer more bang for their buck than their travel reward program of choice.

Deloitte researchers also suppose that travelers have become more pragmatic in light of the economy, seeking value for money, comfort and location when choosing a hotel, while on-time arrivals and departures, safety and value for money are the most important factors for choosing an airline. One thing is for sure – value rules. In this vein, half of survey respondents (49%) said that they have used flash sale sites, although most admit to booking directly (61% for hotel; 59% for air travel).

What does this mean for the consumer? Not much – yet. But it doesn’t bode well for the travel industry. Brands wanting to up their loyalty membership engagement should focus on those things that really matter to the traveler – experience and value – rather than perks that sound good on paper but offer no real benefit.

The web-based survey was commissioned by Deloitte and polled 4,000 hotel and airline customers, based on hotel stay and/or airline travel during the past 12 months.

[Image Credit: American Airlines]