What Do You Consider 'Rude?': Today's Travelers May Be Pushing the Limits on Civility
Nearly Half of Respondents Would Decline to Switch Seats When Asked While Most Don't Think Twice About Reclining in Flight, According to Travelocity's Rudeness Survey
Apr 14, 2004
Relying on the kindness of strangers may be a thing of the past, at least when you're on the road, as up to 40 percent of travelers feel it's unnecessary to oblige when asked by a fellow passenger to switch seats, according to a Travelocity survey. Furthermore, the poll found that a large group of travelers may themselves be the culprits of sporting what many consider "rude" behaviors such as excessive cell phone usage or those who fully recline their seats in flight.
Why does this matter? According to Travelocity's first survey conducted in December 2003 with public opinion research organization Public Agenda, the majority considered rudeness a serious issue in travel, and travel was considered always stressful by nearly 30 percent of participants. Often times, fellow travelers were considered the ones to blame for high stress levels. As a follow-up to Travelocity's study released last December, Travelocity delved more deeply into traveler behaviors and found that chivalry often takes the back seat.
"Travelocity is committed to making life on the road better and we can all play a part in that," says Amy Ziff, Travelocity editor-at-large. "Important first steps include being aware of your surroundings, knowing how your actions may be perceived and avoiding rude behaviors when on the road. Whether it's by yielding passage or keeping cellular usage to a minimum, you can make a difference."
The latest poll conducted in March 2004 consisted of responses from approximately 1,300 Travelocity members to obtain information about travelers' attitudes with regard to specific behavior while traveling.
Key survey results included: -- When asked by a fellow airplane passenger to switch seats on a plane: -- 42 percent feel no obligation at all to oblige -- Nearly 5 percent consider it rude to even be asked -- When asked to describe their mobile phone usage, nearly 20 percent of respondents reported using their phones "frequently, as long as the airline permitted it" or "until a flight attendant asked them to turn it off." -- Nearly 10 percent felt that it was unnecessary to try to even keep their voices down, keep calls to a minimum or end their phone calls if it seemed to bother those around them. -- Thirty-two percent of those surveyed reported reclining their airplane seats all the way either "frequently" or "all the time."
According to Ziff, some travelers are even taking defensive actions. With the release of the somewhat controversial knee-defender device now on the market, travelers are able to prevent those in front of them from reclining at all.
"It's interesting to know that common courtesy toward your fellow travelers can have such an impact on the overall travel experience and that some are oblivious to the effects of their behaviors in transit," said Ziff.
Following are some quick tips from Ziff that can help make the journey better for travelers and those around them. For more travel tips, trends and data, visit www.travelocity.com/atoz .
-- Limit cell phone usage, and remember you are in a public space. So, try to keep your voice down when you use it. -- Space is limited when you're on the road, so try to keep belongings within your own limits. And, remember to pack light to avoid using others' designated space. -- Learn the rules at the airports in advance so you can move through security with ease and avoid slowing down fellow travelers if possible. Additional survey results were as follows: -- When the seat behind them is occupied, 33 percent of respondents did NOT think it was rude to recline their seats, while nearly 46 percent believed it was rude only if they reclined all the way. -- When asked about the likelihood of using inappropriate language in public, responses were as follows: -- Nearly 20 percent said they would use inappropriate language when angry or frustrated -- About 5 percent responded that they would if it came up as part of their conversation -- Only about 2 percent were extremely likely About the Travelocity Rudeness Poll
The Travelocity study was fielded from Feb. 26 through and including March 8, 2004 via a survey of Travelocity members who have traveled in the previous 12 months to obtain information about travelers' attitudes with regard to specific behavior while traveling. Results were accumulated from more than 1,300 responses received. Additional results can be found at www.travelocity.com/rudenesspoll2 . To reference the Dec. 2003 survey, visit www.travelocity.com/rudenesspoll .
Travelocity(R), with 41 million registered users, booked nearly $4 billion of travel in 2003. Every day Travelocity negotiates thousands of great travel deals with the world's most reputable airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, ground transportation providers, and popular destination attractions such as theme parks, ski resorts and theaters. Additionally, Travelocity offers access to special rates for weekend getaways and dynamic packages through its Last Minute Deals and TotalTrip(SM) shopping engines, and provides customer service support over the phone 24 hours a day. Travelocity's industry-leading technology and wealth of straight-talking, honest information allows travelers to make informed decisions and have more rewarding travel experiences. Through Travelocity Business(SM), companies can better manage business travel, lowering costs and expanding options for travelers, while the Travelocity Partner Network(SM) further distributes Travelocity's products through an array of channels.
Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also powers international travel Web sites in seven languages and has been recognized worldwide for its consumer advocacy and global leadership in online travel. More information about Travelocity is available at www.travelocity.com . Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation
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