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Travel Etiquette, Americans answer "What would you do?"


It's a common sight at airports around the country – clusters of travelers in key locations hoping to eke out a little more "juice" for their smartphones and tablets before boarding a flight. So, too, is jockeying for position to get a seat, or be at the front of the line in the airline boarding gate area. In a recent survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group, Americans were asked how they would handle certain uncomfortable – yet fairly common – travel dilemmas. Examples are: "line cutters" boarding airplanes and while on cruise ships, people behaving badly by damaging historic tourist attractions or abusing airline flight crew members, proper etiquette for charging electronics in airline gate areas, what to do if the only open seats are for disabled travelers, and more. The survey includes responses from 2,854 consumers throughout the United States.

"Travelers are faced with countless choices as they plan their vacations, as well as a myriad of situations they encounter while on each journey. Occasionally, there may be some awkward incidents – ones that don't have a definitive 'right' or 'wrong' way to handle," explained Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko. "In our survey, we identify these potential scenarios, gauge travelers' reactions, and hope this helps start a dialogue on what would be the proper way to address these dilemmas. The results also allow our travel agent experts to better counsel their clients, whether traveling by air or cruise ship anywhere in the world."

Airline Etiquette – Gate Area:
(participants could select all that apply)

When asked, "In an airport waiting area, if the only seats available are the seats reserved for disabled travelers, would you sit in one?" the responses were:

No, I would not - 56.7%
Yes, but only if there wasn't a disabled traveler in the area - 24.8%
Yes, but I would move as soon as asked - 19.7%
Yes, but only if there was more than one seat available for disabled travelers - 11.1%
Maybe - 4.9%
I don't know - 2.5%

When asked, "If there aren't enough outlets in the gate area to charge your electronics before your flight, what would you do?" the responses were:

Go to a different gate or area - 43.9%
Not an issue for me - 31.5%
Wait patiently - 25.0%
Sit or stand right by the outlet waiting to pounce on the next available outlet - 11.2%
Ask the others if they are done and will unplug - 8.5%
Give up - 3.2%
I don't know - 2.1%
Secretly remove someone else's device, if they aren't next to it, to plug mine in - 0.2%

When asked, "If you are lined up to board a flight and someone cuts in front of you, what would you do?" the responses were:

Do nothing, even though it bothers me - 37.4%
Say something directly to the individual - 35.3%
Do nothing, because it would not bother me - 19.2%
Say something to the other people in line with me - 7.8%
Say something to an airline staff member - 7.7%
I don't know - 5.9%
Take a cell phone picture and post to social media - 0.5%

Airline Etiquette – On the Plane:

When asked, "If you were flying alone and a couple or family asked you to switch seats so that they could sit together, what would you do?" the responses were:

Move regardless of what kind of seat it was - 45.3%
Move only if new seat was not a middle seat - 34.5%
Move only if new seat was an aisle seat - 11.2%
I don't know - 8.7%
Move only if new seat was a window seat - 4.5%
Move only if new seat had extra leg room - 4.0%
Move only if it were closer to the front of the plane - 3.0%
I wouldn't move for any reason - 1.2%

When asked, "If someone on a plane is watching a graphic video or program on their personal device or inflight entertainment – that a young child is able to see – what would you do?" the responses were:

Call a flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation - 47.7%
Say something directly to the person - 17.4%
I don't know - 14.0%
I wouldn't take any action - 13.7%
Sit quietly and say nothing, even though it bothers me - 7.2%

When asked, "If you saw an airline passenger mistreating a member of the flight crew, what would you do?" the responses were:

Call another flight attendant and let him/her handle the situation - 59.9%
Step in and say something directly to the person - 21.1%
I don't know - 16.9%
Pull out a cell phone and record it - 13.7%
Sit quietly and say nothing, even though it bothers me - 9.0%
I wouldn't take any action - 3.5%

Tourist Etiquette: Travelers Behaving Badly

From smashing 18th-century candelabras in Rome's Pantheon to breaking the finger off of a 600-year-old statue in Florence, more and more people are damaging centuries-old, historical sites.

When asked, "If you were at a major tourist attraction and saw another visitor damaging the attraction, what would you do?" the responses were:

Tell a security guard or official personnel - 89.7%
Take a video or photo of the incident with my mobile phone - 27.9%
Say something directly to the person - 22.3%
Not sure - 5.9%
Say and do nothing - 1.1%

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