The rest of the world wants a full meal on flights while Americans want alcohol.
Comparing Americans to citizens of other counties is always fun, either because Americans can shout their superiority, or the reset of the world gets to make fun of Americans.
The recently released Expedia Passenger Preference Index shows how American travelers differ from other travelers in their preference for airline amenities. Americans, it turns out, are more likely than other travelers to request just one amenity – alcohol.
The EPPI interviewed more than 11,000 travelers from 22 countries to determine which airline amenities mean the most to them.
The study looked at the request for amenities for flights of different lengths and found that on short flights of under three hours, Americans were less likely than the people of almost every other represented to pay extra for amenities. For instance, only 21 percent of Americans would be willing to pay for seats with extra leg room, while 24 percent of worldwide travelers would do so.
While 26 percent of travelers from the rest of the world would pay for a “full meal’’, only 15 percent of Americans would on the short flights. However, 13 percent of Americans would pay for alcohol on that three-hour tour, while only 10 percent of worldwide travelers would do so.
Interestingly, 13 percent of American respondents said they would pay for alcohol on short flights—higher than the 10 percent global average.
Americans are similar to other travelers in their attitudes towards baggage fees. Sixty-seven percent of Americans say they “avoid baggage fees at all costs, while 52 percent said they packed lighter to avoid fees, and 57 percent said they do not check bags because they don’t want to wait for the bag to arrive at the baggage carousel.
For longer flights, Americans have a more positive attitude toward paying for amenities. For flights of over seven hours, 49 percent of Americans would pay for a full meal, 41 percent would pay for extra leg room and 20 percent said they would pay for alcohol.
While one-fourth of Americans would buy an upgrade to a better class of seat on a long flight, 18 percent said they would pay for a child-free zone on flights exceeding 12 hours. In that case, Americans are more patient with children than some other fliers; 41 percent of Mexicans, 38 percent of citizens of Thailand and 37 percent of those from Taiwan would want a child-free airplane seat.
Among the most important amenities overall, water came in first at 43 percent of all respondents, phone or mobile device connectivity came in second at 33 percent, headphones were third at 26 percent, meals were desired by 24 percent and reading material was fifth at 22 percent.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.