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Frights to Flights: A Look at What Scares People Most at Airports

Halloween may be over but scares at the airport continue to cause jitters, according to a new survey from Priority Pass

November 1, 2019

Priority Pass has released a revealing survey conducted with 1,720 respondents about their airport routines and the stresses they experience during travel.

The survey asked which areas of the departure lounge they visit, which scenarios they find the most stressful, and what they worry about the most while traveling. Not surprisingly, the survey found more than a few fright points that raise neck hairs and blood pressure for those who frequently find themselves on the road.

The survey asked which areas of the departure lounge they visit, which scenarios they find the most stressful, and what those polled worry about the most while traveling. Almost half of the people agreed that baggage collection was the most stressful part of traveling, closely followed by passing through security (47 percent), and waiting for your transfer (47 percent). One in three people said that the most stressful part of traveling was during the flight, with a further 35 percent saying they found landing the most stressful.

Boarding, finding your seat on the plane and the flight itself all came at the bottom of the list, making them the least stressful moments while traveling.

What are people most worried about might happen at the airport?

People’s biggest worry while traveling is not getting to the airport on time with 63 percent of people worrying about getting stuck on the way to the airport. Meanwhile, the second biggest worry for  travelers is their luggage getting lost, with 61 percent saying they worry about this happening while traveling; compare this to only 41 percent of people worrying about losing their child.

Additionally, almost 3 in 5 people (57 percent) are worried about misplacing their passport or missing boarding the plane. Of the people surveyed, 25 percent of people were more worried about their flight being delayed than being stopped at security.


The busiest and quietest parts of the departure lounge

Over a third of people visit the pubs and restaurants at the departure lounge but as little as 4 percent celebrate the start of their holiday by sipping on a glass of bubbles at the airport champagne bar. The most popular and busiest part of the airport is the duty-free store with almost half (49 percent) of people taking a look around for what tax-free deals they can find.

The most common mishaps at the airport

Nearly a fifth (19 percent) of people surveyed admitted their luggage has been over the weight limit in the past. However, those travelng for business or aged between 35 – 44 are the worst when it comes to exceeding their baggage allowance, with 22 percent of solo business travelers and 35 -44 year-olds admitting their luggage has been over the weight or size limit.

Almost one in ten (9 percent) admit to having missed a flight but solo leisure travelers and people aged between 16 – 24 are the most likely to miss their flight, with 1 in 8 (15.90 percent) solo travelers and more than one in ten (12 percent) of 16 – 24 year-olds admitting they have missed a flight before.

Nationally, only 6 percent of people have forgotten their passport. However, men are more than twice as likely to forget their passport than women, with 8 percent of men admitting to having forgotten their passport, compared to 3.78 percent of women. Additionally, it is business travelers that are the traveler type most likely to forget their passport, with 16 percent saying they’d forgotten it.

Despite 65 percent of people traveling with their family saying they give themselves between 30 minutes and two hours to spend in the departure lounge, one in five (20 percent) family travelers have had to sprint to the gate.

“The survey has shown some very interesting results, particularly relating to people’s worries and stresses while traveling. It seems that people are more stressed when preparing for their flight and thinking about passing security, checking in, packing and traveling to the airport and less stressed about the flight itself. Almost 1 in 10 have missed their flight which is quite a shock considering you need to be at the airport two hours before your flight,” said Andy Besant, Priority Pass Travel Experience Director.

Priority Pass offers 1,200 lounges around the world that bring down stress levels and up the comfort factor for travelers as journey.