Tech Amenities Drive Traveling Choices for More Fliers: Survey
Airline fees and uncomfortable seats with limited legroom, not surprisingly, top the list of flier complaints. But according to a new TripAdvisor survey, technology-related amenities such as Wi-Fi are increasingly becoming deal breakers for many travelers.
The study, released last week, is based on 2,000 respondents.
Technology and up-to-date amenities are increasingly important to fliers, according to the survey.
One quarter of the respondents said they would choose one airline over another if it offered Wi-Fi. And the use of tablets continues to grow with 37 percent considering their Apple iPad or other tablet a carry-on essential, a five percent increase from 2012. (Read more: Will iPads Revolutionize In-Flight Entertainment?)
More travelers are also using a smartphone for travel-related activities. Among the top tasks:
- Checking flight status – 56 percent of respondents, up from 46 percent in 2012.
- Checking into flights – 38 percent, up from 30 percent in 2012.
- Researching flight prices – 36 percent, up from 30 percent in 2012.
The top five complaints among travelers were:
- Uncomfortable seats and limited legroom
- Costly airline fees and ticket prices
- Unpredictable flight delays
- Long security lines
- Other passengers
While seat comfort is a priority for travelers, many are reluctant to pay a premium for the benefit. About 44 percent have never paid extra for a better seating assignment. And if they were to shell out money, 85 percent of travelers said they would pay less than $25 for a seat upgrade on domestic flights, while 81 percent would pay $50 or less on international flights.
As far as fees, the five that annoy travelers the most were:
- Checked baggage
- Carry-on baggage
- Seat selection
- Printed boarding pass at the airport
- In-flight amenities