Stats: 35% Would Pick First Class Upgrade Over Future Discount

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Travelers are more likely to choose comfort over discounts, according to new research by ground transportation provider The GO Group. The company surveyed almost 300 passengers online about their preferences should an airline offer a one-time perk for a loyal customer. 

In the study, 35 percent of travelers selected an upgrade to first class as their first choice, slightly ahead of a discount on a future flight (33 percent). More legroom and priority boarding were the third and fourth choices, at 15 and 11 percent, respectively, followed by access to the airport lounge, at just under 5 percent. Free food and beverages ranked last, at just under 1 percent each. 

The findings differ from a previous study conducted in 2015 on the subject by The GO Group, in which a future discount was selected as the top choice by almost 50 percent of respondents. Free food and beverages were also more popular in the 2015 study, receiving 11 and nine percent, respectively. 


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In a written statement The GO Group President Joe McCarthy said that the fact that first class upgrades ranked slightly higher than future discounts in this year’s study points to an improving economy, which could affect the choices that travelers make. 

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