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How Men & Women Think Differently About Flying


If men are from Mars and women from Venus, is it really a surprise that flying means different things to business travelers gender-wise?

The overall numbers of male business travelers still outpaces female road warriors, but the percentages are closer than ever before. A number of airlines in the U.S. report that 54 to 56 percent of their frequent flyers are male, according to the Wall Street Journal, while some airlines overseas, such as British Airways, report carrying more women than men. As more and more women fly on business, gender differences in travel preferences have become increasingly apparent and are gaining more attention from airlines. 

recent study by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) highlighted some of those differences. Under the auspices of representing airlines and vendors, APEX conducted a survey of 1,500 flyers from eight countries as part of its newly initiated State of the Air Passenger Experience Program. Flyers from Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. who traveled by plane at least one time in the preceding three months were included.

One of the differences between men and women business travelers the study highlighted involved pre-flight jitters. Based on survey responses, the biggest pre-flight worry for men was whether or not their flight would depart on schedule, while women respondents were more concerned with arriving at the airport on time. In addition, women are more concerned than men about airport security, bag checking, seat selection and overhead luggage space pre-flight than men, while men worried more than women pre-flight about things like legroom and boarding order. Both sexes were equally concerned about airport parking before their flight.

Further differentiation between the travel preferences of men and women involved the in-flight improvements they wanted to see. The number one thing women respondents wanted to see improved on their next flight was bathroom facilities, while men placed a higher priority on a less noisy cabin.

The survey also found that men seem to go for an aisle seat more readily than a window seat, while women seem to prefer the opposite. Of male flyers surveyed, only 29 percent said they paid to check their bags; 21 percent of women said they paid to check their bags. She tends to curl up in a ball. He tends to spread out and take up space. Prior to takeoff, women reported being irked by the TSA’s restrictions on liquids, which can mean the difference between a checked bag and a carry-on.

Although men reported feeling calmer and more confident than women when planning a business trip, women were the ones who handled situations better and with less stress when things went awry while traveling. Additionally, women respondents indicated feeling more compelled than men to consider home matters while planning a business trip.

Women tended to send more itineraries to family members than men, and while 63 percent of men said they travel alone for business, only 48 percent of women reported doing so.

Leave it to the two sexes to fly different routes when it comes to air travel preferences.

[Photo: iStock]

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