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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : November 19, 2013

Third of long-haul passengers check seat comfort online

Today's long-haul passengers are able to easily and quickly check the comfort levels they can expect on a flight by searching online, something which a third of long-haul travelers do, according to new global research from Airbus.

by Helen Leggatt

Living here in New Zealand getting pretty much anywhere, except perhaps the east coast of Australia, requires a long-haul flight. Therefore, checking out the dimensions of an airline seat you'll be stuck in for several hours, and being able to choose aisle or window, is a key part of the travel booking experience.

Over half of passengers surveyed by Airbus said better seat comfort is critical and 41% were prepared to pay more within economy for a better flight experience. Five percent were willing to invest in an upgrade to ensure the ultimate sleeping comfort and avoid aching limbs.

Determined to avoid "crusher seats" of 17 inches or so, 34% of passengers are turning to websites, such as SeatGuru by TripAdvisor, to compare seat widths, pitches and location.

"Passengers are acutely aware of in-flight comfort and this impacts purchase decisions. Our research reveals that almost half of economy passengers are prepared to pay more in order to get greater comfort in economy," says Kevin Keniston, Airbus Head of Passenger Comfort.

"Airlines are already responding by differentiating their seat offerings within classes and placing a price premium on more comfortable seat options - such as aisle, front row or emergency exit seats. Seat width however is a key determinant of comfort and as such passengers are increasingly investing time and money to avoid enduring a 17 inch crusher seat on a full-service, long haul flight."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: air travel, airline passengers, travel trends

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