Published on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Brits would forgo complimentary food and drink for cheaper air seats

British travellers would gladly forgo complimentary in-flight items such as food and drink, magazines and in-flight entertainment in return for cheaper flights.

A survey of more than 1,000 holidaymakers conducted by Kenwood Travel has revealed the in-flight magazine would be the first to go, with more than half (56%), saying they would be happy for airlines to ditch these complimentary mags, if it meant less costly flights.

The survey also reveals that, whilst many flyers enjoy the on-board complimentary treats, available on most mid- to long-haul flights, 12% say they would be satisfied if airlines no longer offered free food and drink, as long as this meant cheaper flights.

Eight in 10 British flyers (80%), would enjoy watching the seat-back TV or movies rather than using their own devices, even if it meant airlines could offer cheaper flights if they ditched in-flight entertainment and wifi.

When it comes to seating and hand luggage, the majority of British holidaymakers would not sacrifice these, even if it meant cheaper flights.

Only 8% said they would be happy to swap reclining seats for cheap seats, and just 5% would forgo the free seat choice option, in return for cheaper flights.

According to the survey, the ability to carry hand luggage free of charge is most important to travellers, with only 2% saying they would happily pay extra for this service, even if it meant the flight was cheaper.

Kenwood Travel head of sales Alex Stuart said: "Our survey reveals that for many British travellers, cost is king, and if airlines cut back on services such as complimentary food and drink, they wouldn't mind, as long as the savings were passed on and the seats themselves were cheaper." 

"Most people carry and use their own devices in-flight now, so over time, in-flight entertainment may become redundant. However, our survey suggests British fliers consider free hand luggage, seat choice and reclining seats, essential items."

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