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TripAdvisor Finds Cramped Seats, Crying Kids Among Flyers’ Big Complaints

Aug 20, 2014 2:00 pm

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Southeast Asian airlines have a huge ancillary revenue opportunity in offering flyers in the region increased legroom on long-haul flights. Wi-Fi, according to the TripAdvisor survey, is not a priority.

— Dennis Schaal

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Flyers in Southeast Asia are much more concerned about flights with adequate legroom and comfortable seats than they are in accessing Wi-Fi, a TripAdvisor survey found. AirAsia

Uncomfortable seats and limited legroom are the main complaints among air travellers in Southeast Asia, according to a survey by TripAdvisor.

The world’s largest travel website announced the results of its inaugural air travel survey of more than 1,200 Southeast Asian respondents, a well-travelled lot, with 96% planning international flights this year.

Some 61% of respondents were concerned about uncomfortable seats and limited legroom, while 50% complained about unpredictable flight delays/cancellations and costly airline fees and ticket prices, followed by long security lines (45%) and loud or crying children on flights (42%).

For long-haul flights of over four hours, 80% of travellers were willing to pay an additional fee for extra legroom. As for those frustrated by loud and crying children, 48% would pay to sit in a child-free section.

Andrew Wong, regional director of TripAdvisor Flights Asia-Pacific, said the interest in international flights continued to rise despite some persistent frustrations, but the company was also seeing positive signs about booking and flight routes.

Travellers were asked about improvements over the past five years, with easier booking the top choice. Although costly airline fees and ticket prices were common complaints, flyers also noted that more affordable flights have become available.

The survey found the top five biggest improvements were easier booking (63%), more affordable flights (49%), more flight routes/options (45%), more streamlined check-in processes (38%) and better in-flight entertainment options (25%).

The top three uses of mobile devices by travellers are to research flight prices (57%), check in for flights (56%) and check flight status (54%).

Passengers are less eager to go online, with 65% rarely or never purchasing their carrier’s in-flight WiFi service.

AirAsia and Singapore Airlines were travellers’ favourite airlines, while Singapore’s Changi airport was named the favourite airport for Southeast Asian travellers, with 64% saying it was the best in the region. ___

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