– Expedia’s 2015 LCC Airline Index Reveals Asia-Pacific Travellers’ Attitudes Towards Low Cost Carriers; Asia-Pacific Travellers More Likely to Give Up Bathroom Privileges Than Carry-on Luggage
SINGAPORE, March 16, 2015 / PRNewswire — Today the Expedia group’s Global Tour & Transport team released the latest results of its Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Airline Index, a study conducted by Northstar that examined Asia-Pacific travellers’ attitudes towards LCCs. Spurred by LCC growth, supply in Asia-Pacific is expected to increase by 9.5% year-on-year during March 2015*, great news for the 94% of travellers willing to sacrifice perks to save money, according to the study.
The Expedia 2015 Asia-Pacific LCC Airline Index polled approximately 3,200 travellers in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan, expanding on Expedia’s 2014 Western European LCC Airline Index studying the tradeoffs between fares and frills. The survey examined perceptions regarding customer service and perks between LCCs and traditional carriers and asked about which sacrifices travellers were most willing to make to save money. What factors were travellers most likely to consider in choosing an LLC? And what do travellers do with the savings? According to the study, the most important deciding factor when choosing a carrier is the airline’s safety track record.
Men are slightly more willing to sacrifice amenities such as pillows and blankets, free checked luggage and bathroom privileges to save on fares. In addition to gender, younger fliers (under 35) believe giving up legroom and carry-on luggage makes the most sense versus fliers that are 55+ and willing to forgo full-meal service to keep fuller pockets.
No Movies Needed
More than half (56%) of Asia-Pacific travellers were willing to give up in-flight entertainment to save money, followed closely by full meal service (49%) and pillows and blankets (48%). Travellers in Asia-Pacific ranked legroom, bathroom privileges and carry-on items as the amenities they would be least likely to give up to save money.
In-flight Entertainment 56% Full Meal Service 49% Pillows and Blankets 48% Snacks and Beverages 47% Ability to Choose Seat in Advance 44% Free Checked Luggage 22% Legroom 21% Bathroom Privileges 19% Carry-on Luggage 17%
To Go or Not to Go
The complete list shows that travellers in Asia-Pacific rank their carry-ons as more important than bathroom privileges. Those deeming toilet time least important were Malaysian travellers, with nearly half (47%) saying they would give up an airplane bathroom to save. Travellers in Japan placed the highest priority on bathroom privileges, with only 2% willing to sacrifice them to save money.
Asia-Pacific fliers (76%) are willing to accept a slightly lower level of customer service from an airline to save money. Travellers in Thailand were most agreeable to this tradeoff (93%), followed closely by those in Hong Kong (91%). Travellers in the Philippines are least likely to sacrifice service to save (56%), with travellers from India not far behind (59%).
Shorter is Better
It’s not just legroom that matters – flight length is also important to Asia-Pacific fliers, with most willing to consider a LCC for a weekend getaway (51%). Asia-Pacific travellers are least likely to choose LCCs for long-haul (6+ hours) and honeymoon flights. Slightly more than a third of those surveyed would consider a LCC for a flight up to 3 hours. For a flight approaching five hours that figure drops to 23%, and tumbles to 7% for a flight up to eight hours long. Only 1% of study participants would fly a LCC up to 16 hours. Younger fliers expressed more willingness to fly longer on a LCC, with 35% of fliers under 35 willing to fly more than three hours, versus 27% among those 55 and older.
Trading Air Savings for Hotel Splurges
Almost half (46%) of Asia-Pacific travellers agree when booking a flight on a LCC they spend more money on a hotel. This is particularly true among travellers from Taiwan (71%) and Thailand (62%), as well as those under the age of 35 (53%). Across Asia-Pacific, Malaysian travellers were the most likely to use LCCs.
The study found that Asia-Pacific travellers are well-educated on ways to save, with one-third (32%) of those surveyed reporting that they often or always book their hotel and flight together as a package booking. This is most common among travellers in Taiwan (53%) and South Korea (45%). Another study by Expedia on airline pricing trends showed that travellers booking flights and hotel or car together can save up to $540 USD across all destinations.
For country specific results of the Expedia 2015 Asia-Pacific LCC Airline Index, click here.
About the Study
This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm. The study was conducted among 3,263 adults aged 18 years of age and older in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan who have flown in the past two years. Surveys were completed online from February 13 to 22, 2015 using the Kantar-owned GMI (Global Market Insite) and Lightspeed Research amalgamated group of panels. Sampling quotas and weighting were used to ensure the sample is representative of the APAC countries represented in terms of age and gender. Assuming a probability sample, the margin of error would be +/-1.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
About the Expedia group
Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is one of the world’s largest travel companies, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:
• Expedia.com®, the world’s largest full service online travel agency with localized sites in 31 countries
• Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist with localized sites in more than 60 countries
• Hotwire®, a leading discount travel site that offers opaque deals in 12 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia
• Travelocity®, a pioneer in online travel and a leading online travel agency in the US and Canada
• Egencia®, the world’s fifth largest corporate travel management company
• eLong™, a leading mobile and online travel service provider in China
• Venere.com™, an online hotel reservation specialist in Europe
• trivago®, a leading online hotel metasearch company with sites in 49 countries
• Wotif Group, a leading operator of travel brands in the Asia-Pacific region, including Wotif.com®, lastminute.com.au®, travel.com.au, Asia Web Direct®, LateStays.com, GoDo.com.au and Arnold Travel Technology
• Expedia Local Expert®, a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in hundreds of destinations worldwide
• Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist
• Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travellers booking cruises and vacations through its network of 180 franchise locations across North America
• CarRentals.com™, the premier car rental booking company on the web
The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market consumers through Expedia® Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world’s leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia® Affiliate Network. For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.
About Expedia Global Tour & Transport
The Expedia group Global Tour & Transport team supports global, integrated strategies for air, car, package, rail, cruise and insurance products for Expedia, Travelocity, Wotif Group, Hotwire and Expedia CruiseShipCenters. In addition, the team manages Expedia’s relationships with 400+ airlines and connectivity partners, and dozens of car rental companies and cruise lines helping them efficiently reach the 60+ million consumers shopping within Expedia’s trusted travel brand portfolio.
Northstar is a strategic marketing insights and consulting firm that aligns leading edge, customized research techniques and cultural context with proprietary and proven strategic marketing frameworks and models to drive insights to impact. Northstar’s suite of services relate to the most critical elements of brand, customer and marketing strategy, with sector expertise in travel and tourism, retail, automotive, CPG, food & beverage, financial services, pharma / health care, transportation and fashion / luxury. For more information, please go to www.northstarhub.com.
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* Source: Goldman Sachs Analyst Report, Airlines In Pictures: Fundamentals to Focus on, February 26, 2015.