When it comes to air travel, the crying baby is preferable to the smelly adult.
According to a recent Harris poll of more than 2,000 adults, nearly two-thirds (63%) said they would prefer to sit next to a crying baby than a smelly adult.
“It’s not like either is preferable,” Regina Corso, senior vice president at Harris, tells Marketing Daily. “No one likes the crying baby, but you can understand it’s not the baby’s fault.”
A majority of air travelers also said they would pay more for extra legroom on flights that last longer than three hours (58%) or to avoid the middle seat (53%). Half of all the respondents said it would be worth having a chatty seatmate if they could have the extra legroom. (The personal space issue didn’t extend all the way to additional fees, however; 39% of flyers said they would rather let a stranger sleep on their shoulder than be levied a fee for carry-on baggage.)
“Airlines are trying to make a profit, but they’re cramming more people into these planes, and people will pay more for personal space,” Corso says.
Still, consumers prefer to be entertained while in the air. More than a quarter (27%) of flyers said they would rather pay extra for baggage than fly without in-flight TV or movies, although more than half (55%) said they would prefer to have free WiFi rather than free TV and movies. A significant amount (47%) said they would pay extra for a seat-back entertainment system on a three-hour flight.
“It says a lot about where we’ve come as a society that free WiFi would rise to the top of amenities,” Corso says.
"Crying Child in Airplane" photo from Shutterstock.