Indians, who happen to be the third most frequent travellers in the Asia-Pacific region, with an average 7.6 flights a year, are on the top spot (about 59%) in engaging in a conversation when sitting next to someone they don’t know, the Expedia Flight and Hotel Etiquette Survey 2018 has found. Interestingly, 70 per cent of Indians actually hate sitting next to someone who talks too much. The survey which was conducted across North America, Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific also revealed that Indians also top the list (about 72%) of passengers who prefer listening to music on their trip.
The study covered 18,229 respondents out of which as many as 793 were from Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune. Apart from this, 32 per cent Indians find seat kicker/bumper/grabbers most annoying in a flight or at the airport, while 30 per cent indicated that audio insensitive passengers are also most annoying.
The report also gives better insight into the hotel booking habits of passengers. As per the report, Indian travellers prefer big chain hotels (29 per cent) followed by vacation/holiday rental (22 per cent), boutique hotel (15 per cent) and short-term room rental (11 per cent) the most.
The least preferred accommodations include hostels (39 per cent) and bed and breakfasts with shared bathrooms (29 per cent).
“Indians are also increasingly shifting to technology as 67 per cent Indians check-in online while 18 per cent check-in on mobile. The country stands second in number of people using the boarding pass on a mobile device (29 per cent) after Thailand,” said Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head of Brand Expedia.
In fact, online and mobile check-in are taking the world by storm as just over a third of travellers still check-in at the airport. However, about 72 percent passengers across the world still print a boarding pass and less than 30 percent use a mobile boarding pass.
South Koreans are the most likely to get drunk on a flight – Thai and American travellers round out the top three.
Coming back to the Indians, there is a high preference of booking the flight first followed by the hotel (37 per cent), while 36 per cent book a flight and hotel together as a package. “Only 15 per cent Indians are driven by the hotel properties as they book a hotel first followed by the flight,” Ahluwalia said.
The survey revealed that as many as 79 per cent Indians prefer the window seat. In America, however, 59 percent of passengers prefer the window over the aisle. “Indians agree that, generally, airline travel is fun and exciting (89%), and for the most part, fellow passengers are considerate of other passengers (80%),” the report added.
Also, 53 per cent of Indians recline their seats only when they are going to sleep, 48 per cent recline if it’s a long flight (3 hours or more) and 23 per cent recline when the person in front of them does.
The most common in-flight activities are reading (74%), sleep and watching TV (69%), and listening to music/podcasts (61%).
Across the globe, travellers are most annoyed to find bed bugs, a used condom, cigarette smoke or foul smell upon checking into a hotel room. However, the main reason why they request to switch hotel rooms are dirty surroundings.