British Airways research reveals fliers’ emotions and quirks


British Airways has published the findings of an Ipsos MORI research poll, revealing the range of emotions fliers undergo when they travel, and the quirks that make them feel at ease.

The study found that travellers experience seven different emotions when they fly: enjoyment, conviviality, belonging, security, control, empowerment and vitality.

Most travellers feel the need to be in control, often exhibiting behaviour such as ticking off check-lists and even fibbing to partners regarding the flight schedule in order to get to the airport well ahead of time.

Passengers also continue with the control phase at the airport and are super organised for the journey ahead, from readying the documents and baggage for security checks, deciding on seat preferences as well as calculating the exact time they can spend in duty free shops beforehand.

On board the flight, during the announcements, the ‘secure’ and ‘belonging’ feeling is at play, when fliers settle in their seats and organise the space around them. Following this, the ‘enjoyment’ and ‘convivial’ behaviours come to the fore, with travellers suspending normal life and breaking their own norms to indulge in calorific food, drinking alcohol first thing in the morning and watching three films in a row, ‘because they can’.

The ‘vitality’ need is that desire to experience something new and exciting, and is evident throughout the journey. It may manifest itself as planning activities, or being more open minded as to trying different foods.

Abigail Comber, British Airways’ head of brands and marketing said: ‘We all have our habits when we fly, be that constantly checking for our passport, turning up really early or watching back-to-back films on board, just because we can.

‘Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we want to ensure we recognise how they feel at every stage of their journey and tailor our service to fit. To make sure they feel in control, it could be something as simple as reminding them that we offer mobile boarding passes, so they don’t have to worry about losing their ticket. To make sure they feel at home it may be in the welcome our pilots and cabin crew give. And for their enjoyment, it’s making sure we provide great food and entertainment.

‘It’s also about giving us an insight to help us develop the British Airways experience in the future and we’ve already got a number of ideas in the pipeline so watch this space….’

British Airways is investing more than GBP5bn in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.