Four million Britons give up flying due to airport stress


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More than a third of Britons who have flown now claim the airport experience is more stressful than the working week.

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Four million Britons give up flying due to airport stress

  1. 1. Results of our Airport Survey RevealedFour million Britons giveup flying due to airport stress More than a third of Britons who have flown now claim the airport experience is more stressful than the working week. Find out more…
  2. 2. Results of our Airport Survey RevealedOur research revealed:• 42% of people say airports make them feel stressed• 23% find the prospect of getting on to their flight as stress inducing if notmore stressful than moving house.• Because of this, one in ten of us are now avoiding flying altogether as aresult.•The most nerve-wracking parts of the airport experience include: • flight delays • mislaying belongings • getting to the gate on time
  3. 3. Results of our Airport Survey RevealedCPP’s tips for avoiding airport stress:1. Choose your airport carefullyBigger airports tend to be busier which can mean higher stress levels.Consider flying to a smaller, local airport to reduce transfer times and hassle.2. Do as much as you can online beforehandIf possible check in online before you travel to reduce the amount of timespent queuing when you arrive. If you do choose this option, remember toprint off your boarding pass.3. Minimise parking timeAirport car-parks are huge, so consider dropping off all your passengers atcheck in and having one person park the car to avoid unnecessary stress.
  4. 4. Results of our Airport Survey Revealed4. Check in minimal luggageWith airlines increasingly charging for checked-in luggage, you can avoid queues and save cash by taking carry-on luggage, especially for short breaks.5. Opt for fast-track securitySome airports allow passengers to pay for the opportunity to fast-trackthrough the security gates; speeding up the airport process.6. Take advantage of airport loungesAirport lounges are a great way to relax and get that holiday feeling beforeboarding the plane – you’ll be guaranteed a seat and get complimentary snacks.CPP’s Airport Angel AirText service will even text you when your flight isboarding to ensure you get there on time.7. Have a boarding strategyIf you have pre-booked seats it may be worth boarding last, meaning you canspend longer in the lounge and less time queuing at the gate. If you haven’t gotpre-booked seats, think about getting priority boarding or leaving a little moretime at gate to get to the front of the queue.
  5. 5. Results of our Airport Survey RevealedBut it’s no wonder that Britons are so worried about making it to the gateon time…• Over 2.9 million travellers have missed a flight in the past• 20% have had to run to the gate with minutes to spare.Studies have shown that the airport experience is having significantphysiological effects on a traveller’s anxiety levels – one previousexperiment using Heathrow airport saw holidaymakers’ heart-rates riseto a level equivalent to doing intense exercise.This was echoed by our research, which revealed that holidaymakers whohad visited more than one airport cited Heathrow as the most stressful,followed by Gatwick and Manchester.
  6. 6. Results of our Airport Survey RevealedAirports are inherently stressful places, according to Psychologist DavidMoxon, who says that a number of factors combine to make airportsuniquely challenging to the human psyche. Moxon comments,“Humans are wired to experience stress in situations where many feelout of control – and airports, where you have to follow instructions thatare likely change at the last minute, and procedures that areunpredictable, lead many to react with a stress response.There is also what is known as an accumulation effect, resulting fromother anxieties that we may be harbouring. If you head to the airporthaving worried about waking up on time, or what you’ve left behind atwork, the airport itself will seem more stressful as a result.”
  7. 7. Results of our Airport Survey RevealedIt’s not all bad news however…Holidaymakers have come up with some ways that the airport could bemade a more pleasant experience – popular improvements include lessqueuing, and cheaper and nicer food and more seats.• 40% of travellers say a quiet environment or access to a lounge (35%)would help to reduce their stress levels• 42% would like to be treated as a first class passenger!Visit our website for more information on airport lounge access.
  8. 8. Results of our Airport Survey RevealedResearch MethodologyICM interviewed a random sample of 2005 adults aged 18+ online between 6-8 May 2011. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at According to research conducted for CPP by ICM, 9% agreed with the statement “I dont fly because I dislike the airport experience”. The total adult (18+) population in Great Britain that has been through an airport is 43,678,000. 9% of these equates to 3,979,000 people or close to four million.2. According to the ICM research, 8% of Brits who have been through an airport find being in an airport more stressful than moving house and 15% find it at least as stressful as moving house. Therefore a total of 23% find the airport as stressful if not more stressful than moving house.3. According to the ICM research, 7% of Brits who have been through an airport have missed a flight in the past, this equates to 2.9 million people4. According to a study conducted by Chartered Psychologist Dr David Lewis in 2007. Four passengers travelling through Heathrow had chest monitors fitted to record increases in heart rate, pressure pads attached to their arms to monitor changes in blood pressure and sensors were attached to their finger-tips to measure changes in physiological stress. Dr Lewis’ experiment showed passenger heart rates peaked at four times their resting levels and physiological stress levels exceeded those recorded amongst Formula 1 racing drivers or free-fall parachutists.5. According to data sourced from and collated by the Civil Aviation Authority, available at charter flights were delayed by an average of 29 minutes in summer 2010.