Air Travelers throughout U.S. Answer "What Would You Do?"

Travelers weigh in on common travel dilemmas such as: overhead bin space, unruly children, cell phone use in-flight, distractingly loud music/movies, and being asked to switch seats.

Jun 20, 2012, 09:10 ET from Travel Leaders Group

PLYMOUTH, Minn., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- There are situations that many, if not most, airline passengers repeatedly face – particularly since planes are flying at near capacity. Consumers were provided with a variety of such scenarios through Travel Leaders Group's recent consumer survey and asked how they would handle them, including when fellow passengers don't turn off their cell phones in-flight – in that instance, 61.4% said they would take some sort of action.  A child kicking one's airplane seat would prompt 73% of those polled to take action and distractingly loud music or movies would stir 73.9% to action. This survey was conducted by Travel Leaders Group from April 4 to May 16, 2012, and includes responses from 855 consumers throughout the U.S.

"With more and more people flying today, there are bound to be situations in which air travelers aren't quite sure if, or how, they should take action.  Let's face it, there are no real etiquette rules for air travel," stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.  "The 'What would you do?' questions we asked were to gauge on how airline passengers handle potentially prickly situations such as an unruly child and how tolerant they are of requests to switch seats or put their carry-on items under the seat in front of them so a large roller bag can go up above.  By better understanding consumer behavior, our travel experts can provide sage advice to their clients to hopefully better defuse many of the situations they may face while traveling."

Key Statistics and Findings: (Top responses below; to see full list go here.)

When asked, "If another airline passenger seated near you won't turn off his/her cell phone while in flight, what would you do?" the responses were:

Call a flight attendant to handle the situation.


Say something directly to the person.


Sit quietly and say nothing.


When asked, "If another airline passenger seated near you is using headphones to listen to music or a movie and the sound is so loud that everyone around him/her can also hear, what would you do?" the responses were:

Say something directly to the person asking them to turn it down.


Call a flight attendant to handle the situation.


Sit quietly and say nothing.


When asked, "If a child was seated behind you on an airplane and constantly kicked your seat, what would you do?" the responses were:

Turn around and say something directly to the parent or child.


Call a flight attendant to handle the situation.


Sit quietly and say nothing, while hoping the parent will stop their child.


Ignore it, children will be children.


Turn around and glare at the parent or child.


When asked, "If you were flying alone and a couple asked you to switch seats so that they could sit together, what would you do?" the responses were:

Gladly move regardless of what kind of seat it was.


Move only if it was not a middle seat.


Move only if new seat was an aisle seat.


Not sure.


Move only if new seat was a window seat.


Many elite status frequent flyers get upgraded.  When asked, "If you were traveling with a companion on vacation and you received an upgrade to first class, would you..." the responses were:

Depends on who I'm traveling with.


I would pass up the opportunity so we could continue to sit together.


I'm not sure what I would do.


Give it to my traveling companion – they deserve a little extra something.


Depends on the length of the flight.


When asked, "If you placed a small bag in the overhead bin and were asked to place it under the seat in front of you so someone else could put a very large roller bag above, would you …" the responses were:

Do so without a second thought.


Do so, but grudgingly. I believe the other passenger should've checked their bag.


Politely decline offering one or several reasons why your bag should stay where it is.


When asked, "While passing through a TSA security checkpoint, if a traveler in front of you is taking too long removing shoes, laptop, etc. would you..." the responses were:

Patiently wait.


Wait, but be frustrated that they don't have their act together.


Jump in front of them.


This is the fourth consecutive year this consumer travel survey has been conducted. American consumers were engaged predominantly through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for the following Travel Leaders Group companies: Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and Travel Leaders Group is one of North America's largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generates gross travel sales of nearly $17 billion. Travel Leaders Group also recently released its findings on American travelers' "tipping point" on the cost of airfare ( and increased satisfaction with airport security (


Steve Loucks

Kathy Gerhardt



SOURCE Travel Leaders Group