LONDON, U.K. – 21 December, 2009 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest and most popular travel community, today announced the results of its annual travel trends survey of more than 700 Britons, revealing that travellers are unable to predict the final cost of their flight, with nearly one-third paying unexpected additional costs at check-in.
Travellers have become more surprised by the final price of their air ticket in the past three months. As a result of ‘add-ons,’ 73 percent have been surprised by the final cost of flight, up five percent from a survey conducted in September.*
Additionally, 32 percent, up 18 percent from three months ago, have checked in at an airport and paid additional costs they were not expecting.
The favourite airline for British travellers is Virgin Atlantic, for the second year running, followed by British Airways and Singapore Airlines. For the fourth year in a row, Ryanair is travellers’ least favourite airline by an overwhelming 41 percent, up from 30 percent last year. Eighty-two percent of travellers said that the brand of airline is at least somewhat important when making a booking decision, with 41 percent identifying it as very or extremely important.
When choosing an airline, the most important factor is price followed by preferred route. Twenty-three percent are willing to fly the same airline, if it’s the cheapest option, after a really bad experience on a flight.
Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of travellers will spend more than £1,700 on leisure travel next year, with more than one-quarter (28 percent) spending more than £5,300.
Mobiles and Wifi
British travellers are in favour of staying connected while flying, as 62 percent think Internet access should be allowed on flights, up 16 percent from last year. Nine percent are even willing to pay extra for it. In regards to mobiles, 13 percent think they should be allowed on flights, compared to 10 percent last year.
Germs While Travelling
H1N1 virus threats will cause British travellers to be more concerned about germs when travelling this year, with 26 percent packing hand sanitizer and 28 percent washing their hands more frequently. Seven percent of travellers’ holiday plans are likely to be affected by concerns about illness or the flu in the upcoming year. Additionally, 10 percent of travellers find the biggest traveller faux pas is sneezing or coughing without covering up.
Fourteen percent of British travellers will be more environmentally conscious in their travel decisions in 2010 than they were last year, far less than the French (20 percent), Italians (30 percent) and Spaniards (23 percent) revealed in a survey of 2,800 European travellers. According to Brits, the most suitable country to plan an eco-friendly holiday is Sweden, followed by Norway and Switzerland. One-fifth (21 percent) of travellers said there aren’t enough resources to easily plan an eco-friendly holiday.
Over three quarters of British travellers will visit a historic site in the next year, 68 percent are likely to visit a national park and over half (52 percent) will go to the theatre or opera. Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) are likely to attend a festival and 27 percent will go hiking.
Additional British Traveller Tidbits:
• Fifteen percent have taken slippers from a hotel room, while 10 percent have taken a washcloth and 9 percent towels.
• Thirty-three percent would do a holiday “house swap” if given the right opportunity.
• Perhaps because of its implementation at some U.K. airports in the past year, only 67 percent are comfortable with the new body scanners, compared to 80 percent last year.
• Sixteen percent of travellers will book their holiday earlier this year than last year.
• Rude seat recliners (33 percent) and children kicking the back of seats (32 percent) top the traveller faux pas onboard a flight.
Troncones, Mexico is TravelCast's Emerging Hotspot for 2010
The TripAdvisor TravelCast identifies up-and-coming travel destinations based on site data**, including increases in search activity and postings for the past year on TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor TravelCast Top Five World Destinations for 2010
1. Troncones, Mexico
2. Nairn, Scotland
3. El Chalten, Patagonia
4. Patara, Turkey
5. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
*600 Britons took part in the TripAdvisor survey (September 2009)
**Site data on TripAdvisor.com
For further information or interviews, please contact:
Betsy Croft, TripAdvisor
020 3320 3230 / 07519 106 430