FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FLYERS SPEAK OUT ON CABIN CONDITIONS & ONBOARD PREFERENCES
SeatGuru Survey Shows Flyers Value Cleanliness & Full Meals — Are Airlines Listening?
BOSTON, June 11, 2009 — SeatGuru®, the web's most comprehensive resource for airline information, today announced the results of its 2009 survey of more than 1,600 flyers. In 2008, the majority of SeatGuru flyers took more than eight flights, and over 90% consider cabin cleanliness first when making a reservation. For onboard comfort features, 40% consider a full meal most important. SeatGuru flyers gave U.S. carriers low marks for serving the worst food.
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Singapore Airlines Serves the Best Food - American, United, & US Airways Serve the Worst
When asked which comfort feature provided by an airline flyers value the most, getting a full meal overwhelmingly ranked highest (40%). Singapore Airlines was voted #1 for serving the best food (19%), followed by British Airways (9%), Continental (7%), Air France (7%), and Cathay Pacific.
JetBlue Cozies Up with Most Comfortable Economy Seats
JetBlue led the pack with the most comfortable economy-class seats (11%), while Singapore Airlines scored first for business-class (21%). American (12%/15%), United (10%/13%), and US Airways (12%/10%) led the way for least-comfortable economy- and business-class seats.
Flyers Will Open Their Wallets for More Legroom
Forty-two percent of flyers will pay up to 10% over ticket cost to get five additional inches of legroom, and those in the know said upgrades were worth it (83%). Business-class flyers are even more likely to pay extra to stretch their legs.
The Middle Seat Blues
When asked which celebrity couple travelers would most like to sit between, the majority of respondents said they preferred not to sit between anyone (56%). For those who didn't mind celebrity seatmates, preference went to the President & First Lady, followed by Brad and Angelina, the Beckhams, Ashton & Demi, and Tom & Giselle.
When asked if they've ever knowingly transported banned items through security, 13% of flyers said they had.
US Flight Attendants Need Etiquette School
When asked which airline had the rudest flight attendants, United clocked in with the rudest (14%), followed by American (13%) and US Airways (11%). Singapore Airlines was voted first for having the most polite attendants (19%), followed by British Airways (8%) and Southwest (7%).
Fear of Flying
Though there isn't a safest airline or safest part of the plane to fly on, flyers perceive international carriers to be safest and four out of five voted the most unsafe were U.S. carriers. Twenty-six percent feel safest in the front of planes, followed by the middle (17%) and the back (6%). Four percent never feel safe and 47% feel safe regardless. Seventeen percent of flyers self-medicate before flying. U.S.-based flyers fear sickness/coughing and overweight seatmates most; international flyers fear body odor and overweight seatmates.
Leisure Travelers Say "Give Me a TV" - Business Travelers Hunger for Power & Internet Access
When asked which in-flight entertainment feature they value the most, flyers said having a TV at the seat came first (32%), followed by movies (24%), power ports (9%), and Internet access (8%).
What's That Smell?
Dirty diapers, vomit, tissues, and mystery stains are among the most disgusting things flyers have seen left on aircraft seats. Other notable items that flyers claim to have seen left on seats include crushed bananas in seatbacks, toe nail clippings, husbands, ear plugs, and mothers-in-law.
"Domestic airlines have been making strides in recent years to better compete with international airlines, but it is clear that they still have a ways to go in the eyes of flyers." says Matthew Daimler, founder of SeatGuru.
SeatGuru (www.seatguru.com) is the web's most comprehensive resource for airline information, featuring 20,000+ user comments on airline seats, services, and amenities, and helpful information and links about baggage and TSA regulations. SeatGuru offers more than 600 airline seat maps covering 84 airlines to help travelers find the best seats. SeatGuru is part of the TripAdvisor Media Network.
About TripAdvisor Media Network
TripAdvisor® Media Network, operated by TripAdvisor, LLC, attracts more than 33 million monthly visitors* across 14 popular travel brands: TripAdvisor®, www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.frequentflier.com, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com and www.virtualtourist.com. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 25 million monthly visitors*, 10 million+ registered members and more than 23 million reviews and opinions. Featuring real advice from real travelers, TripAdvisor-branded sites cover more than one million destinations, hotels, restaurants and attractions and operate in the U.S. (http://www.tripadvisor.com), the U.K. (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk), Ireland (http://www.tripadvisor.ie), France (http://www.tripadvisor.fr), Germany (http://www.tripadvisor.de), Italy (http://www.tripadvisor.it), Spain (http://www.tripadvisor.es), India (http://www.tripadvisor.in), Japan (http://www.tripadvisor.jp), Portugal and Brazil (http://www.tripadvisor.com.br), Sweden (http://www.tripadvisor.se), and The Netherlands (http://nl.tripadvisor.com). TripAdvisor also operates in China under the brand daodao.com (www.daodao.com). TripAdvisor® Media Network provides travel suppliers with graphical advertising opportunities and a cost-per-click marketing platform. Collectively, the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network have won hundreds of awards and accolades from press and industry worldwide. TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).
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*Source: comScore Media Metrix, March 2009