The annual 2019 Airplane and Hotel Etiquette Study results are released by Expedia, offering a deep dive into Canadian travellers’ preferences, behaviours, and pet peeves. And while we all have travel horror stories to tell, this year’s findings call attention to the many ways travellers spread kindness and goodwill.
According to the study, Canadians ranked above the global average in terms of delivering acts of kindness, with almost half (47% vs. 41% globally) expressing that they have helped someone lift their suitcase into the overhead compartment. Though this gesture may be because Canadian travellers like to push the boundaries when it comes to carry-on and they know when they see a fellow traveller doing the same. Canadian travellers were the second most likely, behind US travellers, to stuff their belongings into a carry-on to avoid checked baggage fees.
And, kindness in the sky isn’t limited to boarding the plane, over thirty per cent (33% vs. 29% globally) of respondents offered to switch their seat so another party could sit together. And, over a quarter (28% vs. 25% globally) of Canadians indicated that they’ve shared travel tips and recommendations with fellow passengers, which was highest among travellers from British Columbia.
“There is a lot of time and effort that goes into planning a trip, and no one wants to start or finish a vacation on the wrong foot. The average Canadian takes three flights and spends twelve nights in a hotel per year so having a relaxed and respectful experience is important,” said Mary Zajac, PR Manager for Brand Expedia. “No matter where you’re going or who you’re travelling with, we believe patience and politeness are key elements of a pleasant journey.”
Standing up against bad behaviours on board
While being confined to an airplane seat can bring out the worst in some, Canadians like to deal with things directly, but often reach out to others on board to help manage the situation. This demonstrates that even in difficult or awkward circumstances they continue to show acts of kindness and poise, versus combative behaviour. The report revealed:
- Almost half (47%) of Canadians indicated they would get the flight attendant to deal with a situation if one passenger was being rude to another.
- Over forty per cent (43%) expressed that if someone next to them was spreading across into their space and hogging the arm rest, they would just place the arm rest down when the chance arose.
- And over half (52%) would politely ask the flight attendant if they could be reseated, if they were sitting next to a passenger who smelt extremely bad.
The drunk passenger takes first place as most annoying
This year, a new annoying traveller topped the charts for Canadians – the drunk passenger, after ousting the seat kicker/bumper/grabber from the number one spot last year. Almost forty per cent (39%) identified this traveller as the most annoying person on a plane, and respondents globally felt the same way (43%). Luckily, results show that Canadian travellers do what they can to avoid being that person – only 6% reported ever getting drunk on a flight. The top five most annoying flight passengers are:
- The Drunk Passenger (39%)
- The Seat Kicker/Bumper/Grabber (38%)
- The Germ Spreader (34%).
- The Aromatic Passenger (34%)
- The Inattentive Parent (31%)
Off limits! Vacation rental etiquette for Canadians’
In planning your trip, consider booking a vacation rental. These are great options for larger groups of friends, or families, allowing for more space, a kitchen for the freedom to have some meals in, and typically multiple bathrooms to help with the morning hustle. And when it comes to vacation rental etiquette, Canadians had strong views about what was considered to be ‘off limits,’ proving that most people highly respect the personal spaces of others. The study showed:
- Almost eighty per cent (77%) of Canadians said peeing in a pool was inappropriate behavior at a vacation rental, and in fact, Canadian guests were the most likely to take issue. This sentiment though was felt worldwide, with it coming in as the most universally agreed upon inappropriate action to occur.
- Canadians also indicated that going through personal items of the host (77%) was also a big no-go, as well as wearing the hosts clothes and shoes (68%).
- The “special touch” of having a stocked fridge (22%) was what Canadian travellers appreciated the most when arriving at their vacation rental, and 21% expressed enjoying a quick in-person intro to the sights and restaurants in the area.
Below are some tips to keep in mind to make your travel etiquette top-notch and up your kindness game whether in the air or on the ground:
- Be mindful of the space around you. When flying, consider paying a bit extra to upgrade your seat and giving your legs some more room to stretch out. This will also allow you to encroach less on your neighbour.
- If looking for more space on the lodging side, additional privacy, and a quieter setting, think about booking a vacation rental for your group.
- When staying in a vacation rental treat it like your own and leave everything as you got it. From keeping things clean, to not touching any personal belongings that may be out, having respect for others is a simple, but important action.
- And whether you’re the guest or host of a property, consider leaving either a ‘thank you’ or ‘welcome’ note, either highlighting what you loved most about your experience, or possible local insights about the area for your visitors to explore. These personal touches are impactful and memorable.
- Pay it forward! This could be as small as buying a fellow traveller a coffee, or as grand as even offering to pay for someone’s seat upgrade. For vacation rentals, surprising guests with passes to a local activity is another way to keep spreading the kindness.