Tuesday 19 May 2009


A survey discovers that more than 50% of Australians are frustrated before even boarding a flight

RUDE flight attendants, chatterboxes, poor passenger hygiene, reclining seats and dirty toilets are amongst the nation’s greatest flying frustrations according to a survey conducted by

But delayed flights topped the list with over half of the survey’s 1700-plus* respondents, indicating that the most frustrating aspect of flying occurred before the plane had even left the tarmac.

Discussing the survey results, General Manager – Brand Lisa Ferrari, said: “The days when airplane food was the biggest bugbear of passengers are obviously gone – it didn’t even score a place in the list.”

“Instead, nowadays it seems the biggest flying frustration comes before passengers have even boarded the plane,” Ferrari said.

Discussing the result further, Ferrari said that many of the respondents went further – pinpointing the lack of information about a delayed flight as the most frustrating component.

One respondent’s comment managed to sum up the feelings of many in the survey group: “As far as I am concerned they can apologise for a delay all they like, but unless you tell me what’s going on and how long it’s going to take to fix it, I’m gonna (sic) get annoyed”.

For Ferrari, who flies regularly and has even had to request the assistance of a flight attendant to get past a sleeping passenger, the remainder of the results came as less of a surprise.

“Evidently I’m not the only person whose attempts to get to the bathroom have been hampered by a passenger who just can’t be woken,” Ferrari said.

Ferrari said she also agreed with the 47.9% of respondents who got frustrated by people who reclined their seats all the way back on short flights.

“Given that it can severely cut into your already limited seat space, I’d throw my support behind a decision by the airlines to regulate when you can and can’t recline your seats. Extenuating circumstances aside, I’m just not sure it’s necessary on an hour flight.”

According to respondents, the fourth most frustrating event was being sat next to an overweight passenger who encroached on their own seat.

This result reinforced the findings of a survey conducted by in November 2008, which found that 53% of Australian thought obese people should have to purchase two economy class tickets if they couldn’t fit into one.

“Evidently this remains a contentious issue for Australian travellers.”

Australian Travellers’ top 8 Flying Frustrations

1. Flight delays
2. People putting their seats back during short flights
3. Being trapped in your seat by a sleeping passenger
4. Overweight passengers who encroach on your own seat
5. The poor hygiene of fellow passengers
6. Being stuck next to a passenger who won’t stop talking
7. Dirty toilets
8. Rude flight attendants

*Editor’s Notes

In April 2009, surveyed 1744 Australian travellers as part of its annual Travel Habits Survey. The information provided in this release was compiled from the answers given to the question: ‘What frustrates you when you’re flying’.

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