When it comes to air travel, it’s no surprise that passengers value the amount of personal space on airplanes, but who knew there were a bigger pet peeves while flying than a crying baby?
A new study by Harris Interactive revealed air travelers would rather sit next to a crying baby than a smelly adult. It also showed many are willing to pay for increased comfort and convenience.
Among the top comforts and conveniences passengers were willing to pay for were entertainment, Wi-Fi, extra legroom and avoiding the middle seat.
Almost half of fliers said they would pay extra for Wi-Fi or a seatback entertainment system on flights more than three hours, and about a quarter said they’d pay for it on flights less than two hours.
Those with children under 18 years old were more than twice as likely to prefer entertainment and Wi-Fi than those without children, and men were also more likely to prefer in-flight Wi-Fi.
For women, a window or aisle seat was among the most important amenities.
About 60 percent of the more than 2,000 U.S. adults polled were willing to pay for extra legroom on flights more than three hours, and a third were willing to pay for it on flights less than two hours.
About half said they’d pay to avoid the middle seat on flights more than three hours, and a third were willing to pay for it on flights less than two hours.
Extra personal space was clearly a top desire among flyers, but almost half said the extra legroom wasn’t worth spilled drink or smashed laptop — they said they’d rather sit in a no recline zone than a seat with extra legroom.
Avoiding baggage fees was another reason for those polled to say they’d skimp on comfort. Almost 40 percent said they’d rather let a stranger sleep on their shoulder than have to pay for carry-on baggage.
The findings also showed that Alaska/Horizon Airlines seemed to be a preferred airline. It was the 2013 Brand of the Year in the full service airline category in the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, followed by Hawaiian and Delta airlines.