Survey finds Britons want a ‘plus-sized zone’ in flights

New research from a flight comparison site in the UK has found the top issues Britons claim to face when flying, as a result of their fellow passengers, with over half of respondents (55%) stating that they had experienced a flight that has been made uncomfortable or intolerable due to fellow passengers.

The team at undertook the research as part of an ongoing study into Britons’ travel experiences with a focus on flying. The team surveyed 2,494 Britons aged 18 and over who have flown at least once in the past two years about any negative experiences they have had whilst flying.

The most common issue was disruptive or unco-operative passengers, reported by 48% of those surveyed, followed by passengers reclining in their seat for the whole flight (40%).

A screaming or crying child on a flight was reported to be a cause of discomfort by 38% of respondents, while 21% of respondents said that an overweight passenger using more than their own space was part of their uncomfortable flight experience, followed by a passenger behind knocking their seat (11%).

The team looked further into how Britons react to plus-size passengers who use over their allotted space and found 34% of respondents ‘did nothing’, while 30% ‘took over the armrest to claim back their space’ or ‘spoke to cabin crew to request a seat move’ (21%). Of those who requested a new seat 17% were granted one while the rest were told there were no spare seats to accommodate the request.

All British respondents were then asked if plus-sized passengers should have a dedicated zone on planes with more accommodating seats, to which 79% stated ‘yes’ and when asked if passengers should be charged more for a larger seat 91% felt they should.

The team then polled 1,000 respondents from France, Germany, Italy and Spain (25% across the countries) to determine if others in Europe felt plus-sized zones should be introduced on flights.

The majority response from France was ‘yes’ at 72%, followed by Italy (61% yes) and Spain (56% yes), while the majority response from Germany was ‘no’ (68%).

A spokesperson for said, “Having a separate area on the plane isn’t about segregating plus-sized passengers, it’s about making sure the flight is comfortable for everyone, not just those fortunate enough to fit into the standard sized seats. With wider aisles and seats, and more legroom in front, plus-sized passengers would be able to enjoy the flight far more, not having to worry about the person sat next to them, what they’re thinking and if they’re comfortable.”

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