Travel Leaders: 38.4 Percent Would Make Small Talk About Pets on Planes

airplane
Photo by Freeimages.com/Alberto Grilo

Travel Leaders Group has released its “What would you do?” survey on a variety of common air travel complaints and situations, including pets on planes, in-flight fights, reclining airline seats, children behaving badly on a plane, and airline passengers not using headphones when listening to music, watching movies or playing video games. The survey of 3,431 consumers across the United States was conducted by Travel Leaders Group April 4 to April 30, 2016.

“Last year, an all-time record of more than 798 million American airline passengers took to the skies. That means there are plenty of opportunities for travelers, perhaps unknowingly, to commit a gaffe – from the constant tapping on the seatback monitor to reclining so much that it’s uncomfortable for the passenger behind you,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko. “Not surprisingly, a vast majority would let the flight crew handle any in-flight disagreements – and there have been a few as of late. But in many other instances, there aren’t clearly defined right and wrong answers on how to handle particular situations. Patience, civility, common sense, self-awareness and courtesy toward others all contribute dramatically in making any travel experience better, all around.”

Airplane Etiquette – In-flight Fights and Bad Behavior:

After multiple incidents of airline passengers fighting, survey participants were asked, “If you saw two airline passengers fighting, in-flight, what would you do?” and the responses included:

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Call a flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation 73.3%
Step in and try to defuse the situation 7.8%
Sit quietly and say nothing 4.6%
Capture the video on my smartphone to share with others 1.3%
Not sure 13.0%

When asked, “If a child was behaving badly on a plane, one that was old enough to understand their actions, and the parents did nothing to correct the behavior, what would you do?” the responses were:

Call a flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation 54.8%
Sit quietly and say nothing 14.4%
Say something directly to the parents 13.4%
Say something directly to the child 6.6%
Not sure 10.8%

Airplane Etiquette – Reclining Seats

When asked, “If the person in the airline seat in front of you reclined their seat so much that you had difficulty lowering your tray table or perhaps were unable to open up a laptop, what would you do?” the responses were:

Say something directly to the person 41.6%
Call a flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation 31.6%
Sit quietly and say nothing 15.3%
Jam your knees into the back of the seat 3.7%
Not sure 7.8%

Conversely, when asked, “If you were trying to recline your airplane seat and you were hindered by the person behind you, in some way, what would you do?” the responses were:

Say something directly to the person 27.8%
Call a flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation 27.5%
Sit quietly and say nothing 27.0%
Continuously try to recline my seat 5.0%
Not sure 12.7%

Airplane Etiquette – Music and Videos

Trying to keep occupied on flights today often includes watching videos or in-flight television or listening to music. It’s not uncommon for the volume of those to be disruptive to other passengers. When asked, “If an adult passenger seated near you on an airplane was listening to music or watching videos without using headphones, what would you do?” the responses included:  

Say something directly to the individual 32.6%
Call a flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation 21.3%
Put in my own earphones to drown them out 18.4%
Do nothing because it would not bother me 13.0%
Sit quietly and do nothing, even though the sound bothers me 3.7%
Try to find an alternative seat 3.5%
Not sure 7.5%

When asked, “If a child near you was playing video games without using headphones on an airplane, what would you do?” the responses were:

Say something directly to the parent 30.2%
Call a flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation 21.7%
Put in my own earphones to drown them out 16.6%
Do nothing because it would not bother me 13.9%
Say something directly to the child 4.4%
Sit quietly and do nothing, even though the sound bothers me 4.1%
Try to find an alternative seat 3.2%
Not sure 6.0%

When asked, “Many newer airplanes have seatback monitors for watching movies or playing games.  If the person behind you continuously tapped the monitor on the back of your seat during the flight, what would you do?” the responses were:  

Say something directly to the person 29.5%
I don't think it would bother me 28.6%
Call a flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation 18.3%
Sit quietly and say nothing - even though it bothers me 10.7%
Not sure 12.9%

Airplane Etiquette – Pets on Planes

Make small talk about pets 38.4%
Sit quietly and say nothing - would not bother me 29.1%
I would ask to be reseated, I'm allergic to animals 14.1%
I would ask if the seatmate could be reseated 4.4%
Sit quietly and say nothing - even though it bothers me 3.0%
Not sure 11.1%

When asked, “If you were seated on airplane next to, or near, someone who had a service animal with them for a disability, what would you do?” the responses were:    

Sit quietly and say nothing - would not bother me 48.8%
Make small talk about pets 32.5%
I would ask to be reseated, I'm allergic to animals 9.8%
Sit quietly and say nothing - even though it bothers me 2.8%
I would ask if the seatmate could be reseated 1.0%
Not sure 5.2%

American consumers were engaged through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for the following Travel Leaders Group companies including the flagship Travel Leaders brand, as well as All Aboard Travel, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, Results! Travel, SinglesCruise.com, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units.

Source: Travel Leaders

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