More than half of recent flyers who have journeyed on a commercial airline in the last two years, think the process of air travel is more stressful than going to work, according to a new study from the online travel resource The Points Guy. This included a combination of ticket bookings, packing, commute to the airport, the flight itself and more.
Only 17 percent of the study’s respondents said they found work more stressful than air travel instead.
"More than half of recent flyers think air travel is more stressful than going to work — but getting on a plane shouldn't feel like an inconvenience,” said Melanie Lieberman, a senior travel editor at The Points Guy. “Fortunately, there are a ton of tools travelers can use to improve the air travel experience. You might even have a credit card in your wallet that gets you early boarding or a better seat.”
A little more than two in five – 44 percent – of respondents said they found the air travel process to be more stressful than going to the dentist or spending the day with in-laws. Fifty-five percent of respondents said the same thing about the air travel process is more stressful than spring cleaning. Likewise, more than one-third of respondents – 37 percent – said they think air travel is more stressful than filing taxes while 35 percent said they think air travel is more stressful than the DMV.
Of those who feel that air travel is not as stressful, none of the suggested circumstances were representative of one-third – though some were close.
Slightly more than one-quarter of respondents said they think air travel is more stressful than going to the dentist. Fifteen percent said they think their in-laws are more stressful while 19 percent said they think spring cleaning is more stressful. Likewise, 27 percent of respondents said they think taxes are more stressful than air travel and 24 percent said they think the DMV is more stressful than air travel.
When it comes down to making air travel less stressful, consumers are willing to pay extra for comfort and convenience. This is especially true for $500 roundtrip basic economy flights that are about six hours in length, according to the study.
Under the proposed hypothetical, 63 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay $88 to avoid a layover with a direct flight, 60 percent said they would be willing to pay $58 for more legroom and 42 percent said they would pay $56 avoid a delay.
Other perks consumers are willing to pay for include skipping the security line, avoiding waits associated with baggage and taking advantage of early boarding.
For the respondents who have not flown in the last two years, 39 percent said cost was the main reason. Another 34 percent said they have not flown because they haven’t traveled to areas where it would be necessary. Thirteen percent said they haven’t flown because they don’t think it’s a comfortable way to travel while 10 percent admitted they have a fear of flying.
A minority – four percent – of respondents said they think flying takes too long. Another 17 percent cited other reasons. Only 15 percent said they haven’t gotten on a flight because they think it’s too stressful.
Of those who have never flown commercially, they were more than twice as likely to cite fear of flying as their reason, according to the study.
The Points Guy commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey for its study, which had a total sample size was 2,349 adults.