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Tasty treats and travel routines are top priorities for Aussies

February 9, 2018 Aviation No Comments Email Email

A study by British Airways has found that Australians are creatures of habits when they travel, with half of respondents admitting that they always go through the same rituals on each journey to ensure the holiday goes to plan. This fondness for routine also extends to the holiday itself and even eating habits, with 40 per cent of people seeing a flight as an ideal opportunity to indulge in food and drink.  Forty eight per cent say that, when on holiday, they like to get up or eat breakfast at the same time each day.

The study was conducted between January 5 and 22, 2018 with 1,000 Australians. It revealed that 44 per cent tuck into meals, snacks and beverages as soon as it is served on board so everything is finished when the flight attendant comes around to collect the rubbish, while almost half save a few tasty treats to have later in the flight.

Sixty-two per cent of respondents admit they often consume food and drink in the air that they wouldn’t usually have on the ground. Top foods that Australians are more likely to eat on a plane than on the ground include nuts, pretzels, cheese and biscuits, sweets and crisps.

Nicole Backo, British Airways’ regional general manager, South West Pacific, said:  “During a flight, our bodies are subjected to a number of environmental factors, including reduced oxygen levels, atmospheric pressure changes and low humidity, all of which can affect our tastebuds. It is thought that our ability to taste can be reduced by as much as 30 per cent at altitude, therefore it makes sense that we might crave a few foods that we wouldn’t otherwise choose when we’re on the ground.”

The research also found that one in 10 Australians always indulge in a ‘pre-holiday drink’ after heading through security regardless of the time, while another 28 per cent enjoy an alcoholic beverage if it’s an appropriate time of day. Almost half of Australians said that they never drink alcohol before they fly. Almost half of Australian fliers head to the gate as soon as it is announced, while 47 per cent hold back to miss the rush, without leaving it until the last minute. A daring four per cent admit they won’t make a move to the gate until the ‘final call’ message is flashing up on screens.

Backo added: “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 – whether it’s being that one person 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 food choices on board are all part of it too, which is why our investment in our long-haul catering has been receiving positive feedback from our customers. Our enhanced catering in the World Traveller economy class responds to all those needs, from the travellers who want to try new foods to those who like to squirrel snacks away for later.” Backo said.

The study also revealed that 52 per cent of travellers leave plenty of time for check-in – getting to the airport after the desk has opened but with time to spare. An organised 46 per cent arrive at the airport before check-in has even opened. It also emerged that 72 per cent of Australians believe they are organised travellers, while 26 per cent admit that although they usually get everywhere on time and with everything they need, it is a little haphazard.

Other interesting insights into Aussie travellers:

  • Six in 10 always go to the toilet before boarding the plane, even if they don’t need to;
  • Eighty-one per cent would keep their phone on them during the flight and 76 per cent would keep hold of their purse or wallet, despite having the overhead lockers; and
  • Almost half of the surveyed Australians just look after their own travel documents, whilst 38 per cent of them said they are often left looking after the documents of everyone they are travelling with as well.

Backo concluded: “We’re delighted with the response we’ve had to the new catering.  We’ve focused on introducing more quantity and quality. Our team of chefs has developed a four-course main meal that is full of flavour at 35,000ft, with 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.

“Our customers have also told us they want to be able to save some items for later in the flight, so we’ve replaced the water cup with a bottle of Highland Spring on the first meal, and added snack boxes on our longest flights. We’re also offering Magnum ice-creams on daylight flights from London and a Tuck Box on inbound and overnight flights. Our popular meal options for customers with special dietary requirements will continue to be available to book on ba.com/managemybooking; customers just need to book them between 30 days to 24 hours before their flight.”

British Airways is investing AUD$7.8 billion (£4.5 billion) to enhance customer experience over the next five years, covering the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline is also investing AUD$1 billion (£600 million) specifically in Club World business class, including outstanding catering and luxurious The White Company bedding – plus, from 2019, a new seat with direct aisle access. This year, British Airways will start services to six new routes including Nashville and The Seychelles.

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