Hipmunk: millennials want quirky inflight experiences

A Hipmunk survey finds millennials are willing to pay for inflight extras

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
January 23, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/348d

This just in: millennials are spoiled brats. You’ve been practicing your surprised face, haven’t you? I’m impressed…

No, that’s not exactly the result of Hipmunk’s survey of 3,000 adults and their travel preferences. But it’s close: the survey found that millennials want more quirky inflight experiences, even if it means having to pay more.

For example, 38% of millennials (aged 18-24) surveyed said they’re willing to pay extra for a ticket that would give them access to an open bar on a plane. By comparison, only 18% of Generation X travelers (aged 35-54) would be willing to pay extra for an open bar. Additionally, a full 79% of millennials said they would appreciate a “themed” flight with seasonal snacks, drinks, and movies, while only 64% of Generation X travelers said they would prefer such a flight. Because it sounds obnoxious.

“Airlines used to live in a world where the only things that mattered were fares and schedules,” said Hipmunk CEO Adam Goldstein, in a statement. “Millenials show how the industry is shifting. Tech-savvy travelers care more about the in-flight experience.”

Millennials also want more social options than Generation X travelers do. Some 45% of millennials said they would want the ability to connect socially with other passengers through electronic chat, games, or social networks…FOR SOME REASON. Only 36% of Generation X travelers want inflight social capabilities.

Additionally, a full 24% of millennials would be willing to pay extra for a child-free plane, compared to 18% of Gen X travelers. Spoiled little shits…

BUT, millennials buck the “spoiled brat” image in other ways. Example: 70% would be willing to sit next to the nasty-ass airplane bathroom for a reduced fare, compared to just 54% of Gen X travelers. And 28% of millennials would be willing to stand on a flight for a reduced fare, compared to 16% of Gen X travelers.

Millennials want better inflight experiences. (Personally, I’d be happy with more leg room and free headphones.) And the trends suggest airlines are moving in this direction. The FCC is considering a proposal to lift the ban on inflight cell phone calls. The FCC made a similar proposal in 2004, but dropped it after receiving complaints from flight attendants and other groups that ringing phones and loud conversations would be bothersome to other travelers. But now those travelers are adult millennials who are the ones having loud, obnoxious phone calls in public places.

Additionally, the FAA recently announced that henceforth, travelers will be able to continue using their mobile devices (as long as they’re in Airplane Mode) during takeoff and landing.

So for those of you who don’t even like talking to the person next to you on a plane, you’ll probably soon be getting game invitations, or pings, or texts from a whole bunch of bored ADD travelers. 


Image source: degreesoftransition.com

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