CREATURES OF HABIT – A Travel Study
UAE residents are creatures of habits when they travel, a study has found.
56 percent of adults in the UAE admit they always go through the same habits and rituals to ensure their journey and holiday goes to plan. Fliers also follow the same routines when it comes to the time they arrive at the airport, the food and drink they consume when on holiday and even going to the toilet before boarding.
It also emerged that 76 percent of adults in the UAE believe they are organized traveler, while 21 percent admit that although they usually get everywhere on time, and with everything they need, it is a little haphazard.
Carolina Martinoli, director of brand and customer experience at British Airways, which commissioned the research to mark its multi-million pound investment in its World Traveller catering, said: “Travelling by its very nature requires people to relinquish an element of personal control, so we know it helps people to have routines in place to manage that, be that one person being in charge of the passports, getting to the airport early or being ready at the gate as soon as the flight is called.
“These habits are an important part of the holiday ritual and they don’t stop at the airport – in-flight habits such as keeping a phone and money in a pocket or choosing what to eat on-board are all part of it too, which is why our investment in our long-haul catering is proving so popular. It caters to all those needs, from the travellers who want to try new food to those who like to squirrel snacks away for later.”
The study, of 1,000 UAE residents, found 42 percent leave plenty of time to check-in for their flight – getting to the airport after the desk has opened but with time to spare. To find out what kind of traveller you are, take the quiz.
An organized 55 percent will arrive at the airport before check-in has even opened. When it comes to eating and drinking, travellers also have their own habits, with 58 percent of residents in the UAE seeing flying as an ideal opportunity to indulge in food and drink.
42 percent will tuck into meals, snacks and beverages as soon as it is served on board so they have finished everything when the flight attendant comes around to collect the rubbish, while almost half will hold on to at least some of it to have later in the flight. But 66 percent admit they often consume food and drink in the air that they wouldn’t usually have on the ground.
Over 50 percent of flyers from the UAE are more likely to eat sweets while flying and 53 percent eat more nuts on a plane than they do on the ground. Chocolate, fizzy drinks, cheese and biscuits are also among the foods people are more likely to eat in the air.
Researchers also found many travelers follow a set routine when boarding the plane with 44 percent always going to the toilet beforehand, even if they don’t need to. 65 percent of fliers from the UAE will head to the gate as soon as it is announced, while 29 percent will hold back to miss the rush, without leaving it until the last minute.
A daring one in twenty admit they won’t make a move to the gate until the ‘final call’ message is flashing up on screens. It also emerged that despite having the overhead lockers, 81 percent of travelers from the UAE will keep their passports on them during the flight while 83 percent will keep hold of their phone.
Others will also leave their money, tablet and books/magazines in the seat pocket rather than storing it overhead. And while 39 percent of adults in the UAE will look after their own travel documents, 53 percent of respondents say they are often put in charge of keeping hold the of the passports and tickets for everyone they are traveling with.
But researchers also found that travelers from France are among the least likely to have the same rituals on holiday, with just 29 percent sticking to the same routine when they go away. Germany and Swedish fliers are also less likely to stick with the same habits. In comparison, almost half of British travelers, 69 percent of Chinese people and 64 percent of Indians admit they generally do the same thing.
While travelers in Norway are most likely to consider themselves as organized (87 percent), those from Hong Kong are at the other end of the scale with just 60 percent believing they are on top of everything when they travel.
Martinoli concludes: “We’re delighted with the response we’ve had to the new catering. We’ve focused on introducing more quantity and quality. A four-course main meal has been developed by our team of chefs to be full of flavor at 35,000ft and we’ve created regional options depending on the route. The second meal option is either a tasty sandwich or a more substantial pizza wrap, both served with additional snacks, depending on the length of the flight.”