Most passengers willing to pay extra for quieter plane seats: Expedia survey

An in-flight behaviour survey by Expedia says 65% passengers would pay extra to be seated in a ‘quiet section’ if the airline offered one


Airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet, among others, already charge passengers extra fee for seats in the front row with extra legroom and more privacy. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet, among others, already charge passengers extra fee for seats in the front row with extra legroom and more privacy. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: A majority of Indian passengers are willing to pay extra for quieter seats away from disturbing and overly talkative passengers, according to an in-flight behaviour survey carried out by travel firm Expedia.

“A majority (65%) would pay extra to be seated in a ‘quiet section’ if the airline offered one. Dreading sitting next to someone who talks too much on a flight is a justified fear, as many will engage in conversation,” Expedia said in a statement on Thursday. 

Airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet, among others, already charge passengers extra fee for seats in the front row with extra legroom and more privacy. 

The study was conducted online via GfK’s Global Omnibus with a sample of 1,002 interviews conducted during 3-6 February, among Indian adults. 

“As flying picks up as a preferred mode of travel for Indians, there is a variety of behaviour that can be seen on a flight. While some of the travellers are patient and helpful, the others are inconsiderate and annoying. The survey highlights that 76% feel that for most part, fellow passengers are considerate of other passengers and 59% have offered their seat to a fellow passenger in need. 61% Indians use flights as an opportunity to interact with and know new people. Ironically, 68% of the flyers also dread sitting next to a talkative person,” said Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head, Expedia in India. 

There were a lot of quirky findings too. 

Passengers said they are particularly considerate to the airline crew and generally follow regulations. At least 61% often use flights as an opportunity to talk to and meet new people, 29% often drink more than two alcoholic beverages during air travel (this would include beverages consumed at airport or while on the plane) and 6% have faked a sickness or injury to get a better seat assignment. 

At least 61% passengers said they would like reclining seats banned or at least restricted to set times on short-haul flights.

A lot of people turn off the phone or put it on flight mode only when the plane is airborne (4%), while most do it when the plane is about to take off (38%) or as soon as they are seated in the aircraft (57%). 

At least 11% of those surveyed said they tweet about passenger misbehaviour and dislike passengers who kick the rear seat often.

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