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TripAdvisor Air Travel Survey Reveals Flyers Sour On Seat Discomfort But Cheer Streamlined Check-in

NEWTON, Mass., June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of its annual air travel survey of more than 4,300 respondents. The number of U.S. travelers expecting to fly this year is on the rise, as 93 percent intend to take a domestic flight at least once in 2014, up from 89 percent who said they flew domestically last year. International air travel is also taking off, with 63 percent planning flights abroad, compared to 55 percent who did so in 2013.

TripAdvisor Logo.

"Interest in domestic and international flights continues to rise despite some persistent air travel frustrations, such as uncomfortable seats and limited leg room," says Bryan Saltzburg, general manager of TripAdvisor Flights. "We are also seeing some positive signs, as flyers report more streamlined check-in processes and easier booking, and the increased use of technology, such as mobile apps help the traveler experience."

Flyers Cite Improvements in Booking and BoardingTravelers were asked about air travel improvements over the past five years and a more efficient process was the top choice.

The top five biggest improvements in air travel:

  1. More streamlined check-in process – 38%
  2. Easier booking – 36%
  3. More streamlined security process – 32%
  4. More streamlined boarding process – 28%
  5. Better in-flight entertainment options – 25%

Uncomfortable Seats Remains Top Air Travel ComplaintTravelers' greatest issues with air travel remain consistent year-over-year, with a lack of seat comfort beating out costly airline fees and ticket prices as flyers' biggest frustration.

The top five flyer complaints about air travel:

  1. Uncomfortable seats / limited legroom – 73%
  2. Costly airline fees and ticket prices – 66%
  3. Unpredictable flight delays – 45%
  4. Long security lines – 35%
  5. Loud / crying children – 32%

When travelers were asked which amenities would most improve their in-flight experience, their answers reflected these frustrations: "more legroom" (35 percent) and "more comfortable seats" (32 percent) were their top answers. As for those frustrated by loud and crying children, 42 percent of respondents would pay to sit in a child-free section. 

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