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Honeywell survey explores passenger pet peeves during heavy traveling season

Nearly all (92 percent) admit taking to the skies during the holiday season would be stressful. Passengers who would stress over flying during the holidays attribute it to crowds (57 percent) or annoying passengers (49 percent). More than one in two (53 percent) of Americans have done something to combat air travel frustrations.

PHOENIX – In a survey of air travelers, Honeywell Aerospace uncovers a “stormy” holiday travel forecast, revealing a mass of passenger pet peeves plaguing millions of airline travelers. The winter holiday travel season often presents lengthy delays, bad weather, inexperienced fliers and more, so trekking through the crowded airport with a wrapped present under one arm is hardly the picture of tranquility.

The survey shows that flying irritates most Americans, especially because of annoying passengers, like the “complete seat recliner” or the “smelly passenger.” The survey reveals ways that travelers have thought about to combat such annoyances.

The research was conducted by Kelton among 1,041 adults in the United States who have taken a flight at least once in the last 12 months.1

“Flyers are often resilient and can put up with inconveniences, but there are some things we just won’t tolerate,” said Bill Kircos, vice president, Communications, Honeywell Aerospace. “As to what makes holiday travelers feel better and keeps everyone more sane while taking to the skies, it comes down to keeping the flights on time, comfortable and running smoothly. Honeywell’s survey shows that all of us as passengers, and the commercial aviation industry in general, should focus more on keeping people informed, safe and entertained on their flights.”

Stormy Forecast
It’s no surprise that holiday air travel is daunting for most Americans. Survey results indicate many would skip time-honored traditions and even part with their gifts just to avoid it, including:

  • Fifty-seven percent would give up watching their favorite holiday parade to dodge flying.
  • Thirty-one percent would give up one of their holiday presents to avoid braving the holiday airport rush.
  • More than one-quarter would give up connecting with loved ones from afar on social media (27 percent) or taking pictures of holiday festivities (27 percent).

Troublesome Types
Seventy percent of respondents are open about the fact that they’re not accepting of other passengers’ faults while flying. In fact, traveler irritation peaks before fliers even get to the gate. Baggage check and security check-in lines can frustrate due to wait times, but are made worse by difficult or inexperienced travelers. Of the possible types of airport personalities one could run into identified in the survey:

  • Nearly three in ten would most want to avoid “the arguer” while dealing with the challenging baggage and security check lines, while others say this about “the line-cutter” (17 percent) or “the disorganized traveler” (15 percent).
  • Plug your nose. The No. 1 in-flight passenger attribute Americans most want to avoid is “the smelly traveler” (41 percent).
  • Emitting unpleasant smells is also the quickest way to become the most unwanted airline seatmate, with passing gas (64 percent) and not wearing deodorant (60 percent) considered top passenger blunders.

No Exemptions for the Little Ones
Children also face impatience from fellow passengers. Although children might not be aware of what’s going on around them, other passengers sure are. Of those surveyed, 37 percent of Americans believe children should have a designated section of the aircraft on flights lasting more than two hours. In fact, 40 percent of women feel this way, compared with 31 percent of men. They also agree on some potential solutions when dealing with impatient or tired little ones on a flight:

  • Seventy-two percent consider confronting a fellow traveler who was not stopping their child from kicking their seat.
  • Twenty-nine percent who have done something in response to a child issue on their flight have been so bold as to ask a parent to reprimand their child.
  • Forty-five percent think all passengers should get free ear plugs in the case of a screaming baby.

Before you get on a plane with a child, here are some helpful tips on how traveling with your kids for the first time can be better for you and everybody on the plane.

Surviving the Unfriendly Skies
What are passengers doing to survive the unfriendly skies? Experienced flyers have tricks up their sleeves for fighting on-board disturbances.

  • Many have taken direct action by asking a flight attendant to fix the issue (43 percent) or confronting a passenger who was causing a disturbance (27 percent).
  • Two in five (40 percent) have asked to move to another seat, escaping the situation in a civil manner, and 30 percent admit to taking a sedative or sleeping pill to dull their own reaction to the disturbance.

Keep Calm and Fly On With Honeywell
For the 41 percent of fliers that want to stay away from the “smelly traveler,” Honeywell technology keeps your flight comfortable and clean by refreshing the air on a plane 25?30 times an hour, which is more often than a train, hospital or office building.

And, for the 26 percent of fliers that get annoyed by canceled or delayed flights, Honeywell provides numerous pieces of technology to airlines, including 3-D weather radar that helps airplanes avoid hail, lightning and turbulence while flying; and advanced airport technology that enables more planes to land during times of peak travel, congestion or bad weather, thereby reducing delays and keeping things on time.

So wherever passengers fly this holiday season, Honeywell provides airlines and airports with technology that helps deliver safe, efficient, productive and comfortable flying experiences worldwide.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.