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Death Of The Queue? TripAdvisor Research Highlights Rise Of The Queue Jump Generation
New research from TripAdvisor shows Millennials are locking horns with Baby Boomers and shunning traditional queuing etiquette by skipping the line

Queuing is a dying trait amongst younger Australians, research commissioned by TripAdvisor and backed by a British behavioural psychologist and queuing expert suggests.

While almost three quarters of the nation (69%) claim they’ve never queue jumped, this figure is in sharp decline amongst Australia’s youth as a battle of the generations plays out in queues across the country. Millennials (25-34 y/os) are more than twice as likely to push in front than Baby Boomers (42% Millennials vs 17% Boomers)**. On the flip side, more than two thirds (75%) of Baby Boomers consider queue cutting the height of bad manners, compared to under half (38%) of Millennials.

The research identified five common techniques Australian queue jumpers use to cut the queue – including the ‘chat and cut’, the ‘sorry, sorry, sorry’ and the ‘quick question’. Yet despite this behaviour becoming more common in Australia, it still provokes strong reactions from other queuers, especially among the Baby Boomer generation who take pride in queuing etiquette, as it’s ‘the polite and proper way’.

Behavioural psychologist and queuing expert, Professor Adrian Furnham in the UK commented on the findings: “Queues can only operate smoothly when everyone understands and abides by the same social rules, but increasingly we’re seeing a younger generation willing to bend those rules, and an older generation willing to confront them when they do.”

While the British are world-renowned for their queuing etiquette, Australian attitudes and behaviours are actually very similar. In both countries, the majority see queuing as part of their national identity (72% UK vs 60% Australia), with the study also revealing that Aussies replicate the Brits’ stiff upper lip by responding to queue jumpers with a passive-aggressive ‘hard stare’ (50% Australian vs. 46% UK) or simple ‘tut tut’’ (38% in both countries).

As tourist visitation increases alongside Australia’s warm weather in the coming months, the prospect of being caught in the middle of an awkward queue confrontation is greater than ever. Yet, globally, only one in five attraction visitors heed advice to book ahead – even though many of the busiest attractions worldwide offer Skip The Line ticket options that can be booked in advance on sites like TripAdvisor and which allow you to skip the queues altogether. These include skip-the-line access to iconic sites such as the Vatican Museums and the Eiffel Tower.


Queue-Jumping Techniques

Queue-Jumping Reactions


  1. The ‘open invitation’ (31%) – if there is space between people queuing, act as if you think the gap is at the end of the queue and join the line there
  1. The 'hard stare' (50%) - give your most disgusted stare forcefully... into the back of the skipper's head
  1. The ‘chat and cut’ (24%) – start up a conversation with someone in a good spot in the line
  1. The 'boiler' (46%) - don't say anything but the whole encounter makes your blood boil
  1. The 'sorry, sorry, sorry' (23%) - apologise in a flurry so people in the queue let you in
  1. The 'kill them with kindness' (41%) - smile sweetly while clearly and loudly directing them to where they must have missed the back of the queue
  1. The 'I'm going to be late' (21%) - tell a lie so people think that you are in a rush and let you push in
  1. The 'tut tut' (38%) - you don't confront the skipper, but tut and make rude comments under your breath
  1. The 'I just have a quick question' (19%) - walk to the front under the guise of asking the staff a question but continue to wait at the front
  1. The ‘confronter’ (33%)- call out the queue jumper and berate them

Janice Lee Fang, Communications Director, Asia Pacific, TripAdvisor, offered her queuing advice: “Almost no one enjoys being stuck in a queue yet we are willing to spend two to three days a year waiting in line. That can easily be avoided if you book your tickets online and in advance. With more than 100,000 experiences, tours and activities available that you can book on TripAdvisor, there’s definitely a more legitimate way to skip the line politely and to avoid the dreaded hard stare from your fellow queuers.”

In a field test of the research findings, TripAdvisor also set up a social experiment – filming British YouTuber Zac Alsop undercover at well-known attraction queues around the UK. The experiment challenged Zac to test the most common queue jump techniques Brits confessed to, while also observing the reactions of fellow queuers – with hilarious results. Watch what happened here

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest provider of tours and activities, with more than 100,000 attractions and experiences available to book around the globe. For top tips on skip-the-line options, go to

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Note to editors

*Research of 1,000 respondents across Australia conducted by One Poll in May 2018 and commissioned by TripAdvisor

**Full breakdown of statistics by age group available up on request

Adrian Furnham

Adrian Furnham is an expert in behavioural psychology and a firm believer in time optimising when it comes to queuing. Previously a lecturer in Psychology at Pembroke College, Oxford, he has been Professor of Psychology at University College London from 1992 to 2018. He is currently at the Norwegian Business School.