More than three quarters of air travellers have no interest in socialising with their fellow passengers, a new study has found.
According to the TripAdvisor survey, 76% of travellers prefer to keep to themselves while in-flight. Only 9% expressed an interest in trying a ‘social seating’ programme that allows fliers to choose a seatmate based on social network profiles. A much more significant 40% of respondents said they would pay extra to sit in a designated quiet section of the plane.
The study was based on 1,000 US-based travellers, but the results appear to contradict another recent poll by Skyscanner.
Research by the travel search site found that 39% of travellers have developed friendships with someone they met on a flight, with 6% even admitting to a romantic liaison with a new onboard acquaintance.
The poll of more than 700 flyers found that while the majority of these connections were short-lived, 5% spent time on holiday together as a direct result of meeting on their flight. A further 7% continued to stay in touch after their holiday.
Backing up the result of the TripAdvisor poll however, 57% of Skyscanner’s respondents said that they would not want to participate in a ‘social seating’ scheme. Carriers including Malaysia Airlines have experimented with social seating, whereby a passenger’s booking is connected to his or her Facebook profile, offering the chance to choose seats next to their social media ‘friends’. The Skyscanner survey revealed however, that many respondents found the idea “weird”.