Survey: More People are Flying, and They Want More Legroom
International travel is up 8 percentage points this year. (Photo: WBeem/Flickr)
More people are flying than they did last year, and uncomfortable seats are their biggest complaint, according to TripAdvisor’s sixth annual air travel survey, released Thursday. A group of 4,300 weighed in on everything from mobile check-ins and crying children to technology and seat comfort.
Whether happy or unhappy with travel experiences, the report shows more people taking to the skies, with 93% planning flights in 2014, an increase from the 89% who said they flew domestically last year. This was also reflected in international air travel, up to 63% from 2013’s 55%.
With all this airtime being racked up, travelers have homed in on what makes or breaks a trip. The pre-flight experience factored into the top five biggest air-travel improvements seen over the past five years. On the list:
- More streamlined check-in process – 38%
- Easier booking – 36%
- More streamlined security process – 32%
- More streamlined boarding process – 28%
- Better in-flight entertainment options – 25%
“The top four all have to do with before you get on the plane versus once you’re on, which shows there hasn’t been a lot of improvement with the actual in-flight experience,” TripAdvisor travel advocate Wendy Perrin told Yahoo Travel.
Satisfaction with check-in is up in 2014 (Photo: Jetstar Airways/Flickr)
Pre-flight factors are a high priority for Los Angeles International Airport’s ongoing $7 billion modernization.
“Airports themselves have very few ways to make traveling less stressful,” Amanda Parsons, a spokesperson for LAX, told Yahoo Travel. “How LAX is trying to make those experiences a bit better is by adding more TSA screening lanes to reduce length of lines and providing easier check-in processes to alleviate the line to get boarding passes. Once inside terminals, LAX is looking to provide as many electric outlets as possible, as well as having free WiFi.”
Woman checking her cellphone pre-flight (Photo: Getty Images)