Photos: U.S. Flyers Fee'd Up With Checked Bags Charges, but Will Soar for Savings
PRNewswire NEWTON, Mass. (NASDAQ-NMS:EXPE)
54 Percent Call Checked Bags the Most Annoying Airline Expense; 90 Percent Would Take a Spontaneous Trip in '09 for a Great Airfare Deal
NEWTON, Mass., March 17 /PRNewswire/ --TripAdvisor®, the world's most popular and largest travel community, today announced its airline and airports survey of more than 1,500 U.S. respondents. Fifty-one percent of travelers plan to fly between one to four times in the next 12 months, and 45 percent will fly five times or more in the coming year.
Checked bags are the most annoying airline fee, according to 54 percent of U.S. respondents. Sixty percent of travelers said they factor checked fees into their overall airline ticket price. However, 36 percent have been surprised by the cost of checked baggage fees upon arrival at the airport. Nineteen percent said they always carry-on a bag to avoid additional fees, while 39 percent often do.
Invasion of the Airline Seat Swappers
Fifty-three percent of respondents said they have tried to swap their airline seat for a better one after boarding a flight. Thirty-one percent of travelers get frustrated when another in-flight passenger asks them to switch seats with their travel companion. Eighty-five percent have been asked to switch seats in the past.
When asked about their seating preference, 53 percent of travelers prefer the aisle, while 42 percent would rather have a window seat. Forty percent of travelers said when selecting their seat, they request the emergency exit row.
Ahead of the Class
Sixty-five percent of travelers are aware that flying first or business class allows them to avoid most airline fees. Sixty percent have tasted the high life and flown first class, 43 percent have bumped up to business class and 22 percent have upgraded to a premium seat outside first or business class. When it comes to paying for higher class seats, 63 percent said they received a free upgrade from the airline. The favorite thing about flying in a premium class is the bigger seat, according to 64 percent of travelers.
Flyers Brown Bagging
Only six percent of travelers said they purchase food on a flight. Fifty percent said they typically satisfy their hunger at the airport, and 37 percent bring food from home.
Drawing a Line at the Loo
When asked what factors they would not be willing to endure for a significantly cheaper flight, 75 percent of U.S. respondents pooh-poohed the idea of coin-operated restrooms on planes.
To Err in the Air is Human
Travelers have experienced some unfortunate behavior from their seatmates on flights, below are the lowlights:
44% have experienced loud snoring
25% have experienced obvious intoxication
19% have experienced excessive flatulence
11% have experienced couples that cannot keep their hands off one another
9% have experienced vomiting
Worth Every Penny
Travelers are willing to splurge for a more expensive flight for the following top three factors: Convenient departure/arrival times (69 percent), non-stop flights (67 percent), and good experiences with the airline in the past (44 percent.)
"It's apparent that travelers are frustrated about checked bag charges and are looking for more clarity when it comes to domestic airline fees," said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor. "By using TripAdvisor's new flight search and fees estimator, travelers get the whole picture on the cost of a flight and can take advantage of some excellent flight deals to stretch their vacation dollars farther."
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