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From control to vitality: The seven emotions fliers’ experience

A study into how passengers feel when going on a flight has uncovered some quirky habits.

British Airways, which commissioned the Ipsos MORI research, found that fliers experience seven emotions: control, empowerment, security, belonging, enjoyment, conviviality and vitality. Passengers even start to experience these emotions before arriving at the airport, with some people so desperate to arrive on time that they tell their partner the flight leaves earlier than it does.

In control This is just one of the quirky habits that people do when in the ‘control’ phase. Other common behaviours included ticking off checklists reminding them about luggage allowances and travel insurance; but also having documents to hand and even organising what luggage can be stored in the overhead locker. According to BA, following the control phase is a need for empowerment. Frequent fliers will take shortcuts they have learned to nip through the airport as quickly as possible, grab their favourite seat and ensure they get in a last minute trip to the toilet.

Passengers will start to feel the security and belonging emotions once they’re on board. BA found that small things like a smile from the crew and the public-address (PA) system announcement from the pilots can help reassure people.

On cloud nine Once cruising at 37,000 feet, passengers start to relax, with enjoyment and convivial behaviours coming through. Many fliers take the opportunity to indulge in food, alcohol and entertainment to enhance this feeling. Throughout the journey, passengers want to fill their need for vitality; to experience something new. It appears in many forms, such as planning activities to do while on holiday or exploring new cuisines.

Abigail Comber, head of brands and marketing at British Airways, 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.”

Date Created: 31 March 2014

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