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Priority Pass Introduces “Conspicuous Consumers,” a Subset of Millennials Spending More On Five and Four Star Hotels than Older, Wealthier Travelers

October 30, 2014 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Priority Pass, provider of the world’s largest independent global lounge access program, finds that a subset of millennials are inclined to open their wallets a little wider when it comes to some travel luxuries, like Four and Five Star accommodations. The class, which Priority Pass is calling “Conspicuous Consumers,” encompasses 26-35 year olds who are increasingly spending where it can be seen.

In a survey of more than 1,500 of its Members, Priority Pass also found that this age group makes an average of 24 round trips every year and nine business class flights, leaps and bounds above 56-65 year olds who take an average of 16 round trips every year and six business class flights. More findings include:

  • Selective Spending: Conspicuous Consumers outspend on luxuries like Four and Five Star accommodations (42% and 62%, respectively) over every other group, including travelers aged 55-65 (23.3% and 51.4%, respectively).  However, they’re also on the lookout for ways to save money when traveling: nearly one in three (31%) agree overnight flights are a good way to save money – compared with 19% of travelers aged over 55.
  • Constant Connectivity: It’s not just enough to travel with a smartphone, laptop and tablet. Conspicuous Consumers take an average of seven gadgets with them while traveling and 31% named lack of Wi-Fi access at the airport as a bigger cause of stress and aggravation than airport security, poor food choices, lack of seating and even children.
  • Location Matters: more Conspicuous Consumers than any other age group prefer to pay more to stay in a prime location (88%).  By comparison, 73% of 36-45 year-olds agreed.

Members of Priority Pass under the age of 35 prefer the premium experience elsewhere, too. Over half (62%) agreed they would be willing to pay more for luxury brands and 30% said they buy tailored suits. These consumers choose to spend predominantly on credit cards rather than cash (75%) and 69% use credit cards that allow the collection of loyalty points. More than four in 10 respondents in this age group (43%) said they have a rewards account – compared with an average of 37% of respondents aged 36 and older.

How we travel in different parts of the world

Priority Pass’ survey also took a close look at the travel preferences of consumers of all ages in areas such as the Middle East andAfrica and learned that these travelers overwhelmingly prefer to spend more on a luxury experience.

  • The Middle Eastern region showed a general preference for Five Star accommodation, with 70% staying there on business and 60% for leisure.
  • In Latin America more than half of respondents travel first class for leisure, significantly more than anywhere else in the world.
  • In Africa, 93% are willing to spend more to stay in a pleasant location.

“Our research provides a snapshot into the insights of some of the most discerning global consumers. The results presented some surprising findings from the 26-35 demographic who are choosing to spend on higher end accommodation and other luxuries usually expected in older demographics,” stated the Global Marketing Director at Priority Pass, Stephen Simpson. “This age group, perhaps pre-family, wants to show they are making it and, for them, the airport lounge is a central part of the traveling experience.”

According to the survey, top destinations for Priority Pass business travelers include:

  1. USA – 30%
  2. Germany – 17%
  3. UK – 16%
  4. France – 12%
  5. China – 10%

Top destinations for Priority Pass leisure travelers include:

  1. USA – 27%
  2. Spain – 15%
  3. UK – 14%
  4. France – 11.3%
  5. Italy – 10%


A survey was sent to Priority Pass Members in May 2014 and was completed by 1,555 recipients.

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