Expedia released findings from its 2018 Global Flight and Hotel Etiquette study, an annual survey that looks at the flight and hotel etiquette habits of more than 18,000 adults around the world. Featuring insights from over 600 adult travelers in Thailand, the study found that Thais are the most frequent travelers in the region, with an average of 10.1 flights per year, followed by Japan and India travelers coming in at 2ndand 3rd.
Conducted on behalf of Brand Expedia by Northstar, the study serves as a reminder that even though travel is generally enjoyable, annoying behaviors and gross encounters can quickly ruin the good vibes when traveling. The survey was conducted online from February 22 to March 19, 2018, across North America, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels among from across 23 countries.
Thai travelers the most tech-savvy globally
On average, travelers are taking 5 one-way flights per year, with personal flights (3.2 per year) accounting for two-thirds of these flights and another third being business trips (1.6 per year). Business travel is particularly high in Thailand (4.5), Japan (3.9), and India (3.6). Economy class travel predominates, especially for personal trips, with US and Thai business travelers being the most likely to travel in premium economy or above.
Most travelers still prefer a printed boarding pass, with nearly half (47 percent) using print only, and a third (32 percent) using a combination of both print and mobile boarding passes, while over one fifth (21 percent) would use a mobile device. Americans (28 percent) and Italians (27 percent) along with select markets in Asia (Thailand 30 percent, India 29 percent, South Korea 27 percent) lead the way for choosing mobile-only boarding passes.
When it’s time to snooze, who loses?
When it comes to passing a sleeping passenger, most say they would wake them and ask them to move (42 percent), a third would climb over (20 percent) with their back to them and facing them (15 percent), while nearly a quarter (23 percent) would just wait.
Travelers in Asian markets tend to be more likely to wake them: led by Hong Kong (60 percent), Thailand (59 percent), and Singapore (58 percent).
When it’s time to buckle up, Thais would keep their shoes on
Nearly a third of passengers (30 percent) say they take off their shoes but not their socks, with just 7 percent who go barefoot on airplanes. Japanese were the most likely to go barefoot (16 percent), while Swiss (48 percent), and British (43 percent) travelers were most likely to take off their shoes but keep on their socks. Mexicans (85 percent), Thai (81 percent), Italians (80 percent), Indians (77 percent), and Spaniards (77 percent) were most likely to say that shoes should remain on.
In-flight and hotel stay pet peeves for Thai travelers
Though continents apart, Thais’ pet peeve when it comes to most annoying in-flight habits do not differ much from other travelers from other parts of the world. As far as annoying passengers go, the worst in most markets are the seat kicker/bumper/grabber, chosen by a majority (51 percent) of global travellers (Thailand 37 percent), followed by the Aromatic Passenger (43 percent globally versus Thailand 42 percent), the Inattentive Parent (39 percent globally versus Thailand 34 percent), Personal Space Violator (34 percent globally versus Thailand 43 percent), and the Audio Insensitive (29 percent globally versus Thailand 31 percent).
When checking into their hotel rooms, guests are mostly annoyed to find bed bugs (61 percent globally versus Thailand 34 percent), a used condom (55 percent globally versus Thailand 52 percent) or a cigarette smoke or foul smell (46 percent globally versus Thailand 59 percent).
The most annoying guests include The Inattentive Parents (45 percent globally versus Thailand 40 percent), The Hallway Hellraiser (41 percent globally versus Thailand less than 30 percent) and the In-Room Revelers (41 percent globally versus Thailand 40 percent).
Making travel decisions
Travelers are closely divided between booking a flight first and then a hotel (43 percent) compared to a travel package with a flight and hotel (38 percent), while relatively few would book a hotel first (9 percent). Singaporeans (64 percent), Malaysians (64 percent), and South Koreans (63 percent) travelers are most likely to book a flight first, with Thais at 37 percent.
Choosing to stay at big chain hotels seem to dominate in most markets as a first or second choice (69 percent globally versus Thailand 52 percent), with boutique hotels (51 percent globally versus Thailand 44 percent) and vacation/holiday rentals (34 percent globally,Thailand 33 percent) as the next most popular option.
Wi-Fi connection is by far the most important hotel amenity for global travellers and is the top hotel amenity for Thai travelers at 71 percent, followed by complimentary toiletries (34 percent globally versus Thailand 46 percent), an in-room fridge (34 percent globally vs Thailand 45 percent), along with freebies such as spa credits and food/beverage credits (Thailand 47 percent).
“Thaitravellers are no doubt frequent travelers who love to stay connected to their friends and families back home. It thus comes at no surprise that Wi-Fi emerged as the most important hotel amenity among Thais, ahead of even price and location”, said Lavinia Rajaram, Regional Head of Communications for Brand Expedia in Asia.
Despite being a price-sensitive group of travellers, it was surprising to see that only 38 percent of Thai travellers book their flights and hotels together as a package.
“Package bookings remain the single easiest way for travellers to save hundreds on travel, both domestically and internationally. By booking their flights and hotels together, Thai travellers can stand to enjoy up to 18 percent off their travel costs. For those who are still looking to book your travel, packages to nearby destinations for under USD 400 (per person) are available, making the coming summer season a great time for travel,” said Lavinia.
Terms and conditions apply. Prices are per person, based on the twin share on the lowest price hotel room type and lowest airfare, inclusive of hotel taxes. Other fees may apply.