Thai airline passengers expect to be treated with courteousness and politeness by fellow passengers and flight attendants, according to Expedia’s 2017 Thailand Aircraft Etiquette Study released last Thursday.
The survey conducted online, 9 to 12 February, explored the expectations of Thai’ airline travellers, based on a sampling 1,125 adult Thai residents.
It showed that 86% of Thai passengers agreed that for the most part, fellow airline passengers were generally considerate, but the majority admitted to finding certain types of travellers annoying.
90% of Thai passengers have a strong expectation that flight attendants must always appear polite and courteous, never losing their cool.
Thai passengers said they extended their courteousness to the airline crews, with 90% stating that they cleaned their space before leaving the plane and 54% following instructions to turn off their phones when asked to do so by a flight attendant.
Most passengers said they abided by airline rules with just about one in 10 admitting they boarded the plane ahead of their assigned group (14%), or ignored carry-on baggage rules (5%).
Topping the list of etiquette violators, 64% of Thai passengers said they disliked seat-back kickers; passenger who constantly kick the seat in front of them, followed closely by smelly passengers, who failed to shower prior to leaving home, or overdosed on cheap perfume or cologne ( 63%).
Rounding out the list of etiquette violators, six out of 10 respondents said, inattentive parents annoyed them the most, when they paid no attention to their crying, whining or misbehaving children, (62%). The audio insensitive passenger, who talked loudly, or they turned the volume up on a music device, ticked off 61% of those surveyed.
To solve the issues, 80% said they would complain to a flight attendant and ask them to handle “misbehaving passengers”, while 6% said they would confront the passenger directly.
In addition, if airlines offered a designated ‘quiet section,’ 62% of respondents would pay extra to be seated in such an area. The same applied to having a seat in a no-go zone for children.
Moreover, 71% of Thai passengers said they would like seats to be permanently fixed upright, or at least restricted on short-haul flights. This would prevent inconsiderate passengers reclined their seat fully, which restricts space for the passenger behind particularly if they are attempting to eat a meal.
But 60% said they reclined their seat while sleeping, 28% recline during longer flights of three or more hours, 18% recline if the person in front of them does, 14% recline after meal service and 8% recline immediately after take-off, the survey said.
Among those who recline their seats, most would recline their seat regardless of who is seated behind them. 50% would still recline their seat if the person seated behind them was noticeably pregnant (50%), elderly or frail (36%), showed aggressive or rude behaviour (34%), had their laptop out (29%), or was particularly tall (28%).
However, 10% do not recline their seat because it seems to be improper etiquette and 8% do not recline their seat because it doesn’t feel comfortable.
In addition, 50% of Thai passengers offered their seat to a fellow passenger in need, or have helped someone with their luggage (49%). 37% confess to having used social media, while at the airport to communicate their travel experiences in hopes of getting a response in their favour.
About one in 10 or less report inconsiderate or unscrupulous behaviour like boarding the plane ahead of their assigned group (14%), ignoring carry-on baggage rules (5%) or faked a sickness or injury to get a better seat assignment (4%).
Moreover, 65% of Thai passengers use the flight as an opportunity to talk and meet new people, and when sitting next to someone they do not know, they will often engage them in conversation and talk to them during the flight (63%).
However, 72% dread sitting next to someone who talks too much, and 55% feel annoyed by the Chatty Cathy, the neighbour who strikes up a conversation and won’t stop.
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