SOURCE: Cheapflights.com

Cheapflights.com

September 19, 2011 14:13 ET

Cheapflights.com Asks "Were the Early Days of Flying Really the 'Golden Age'?"

Cheapflights Survey Takes Pulse Across Gender and Generations on Wi-Fi and Clean Air; Free Booze and Blankets

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2011) - Starting on this Sunday, September 25, the so-called golden age of flying returns courtesy of the new ABC series Pan Am. But were the early days of flying, when drinks were free and smoke filled the air, really the golden age? To find out, Cheapflights.com, the online leader in publishing travel deals, surveyed its newsletter subscribers, asking them -- based on various factors -- which era of flight they preferred: then or now. To make it more interesting, Cheapflights also tracked the responses by age and gender and turned it into a cool Air Travel: Then v Now infographic.

The top line result of our Then v Now survey: while many wish bag check fees would disappear forever, few were nostalgic for life before self check-in kiosks and in-flight Wi-Fi. In fact, Cheapflights.com users seem to want it all as they largely favored new technologies and conveniences as well as the service laden practices from the days of yore.

Dig a little deeper and you will see that younger women more than any other group prefer tech-savvy amenities like check-in kiosks (over agents) and online booking (over the dial-in method). The older women are much more interested in being catered to as they lead the voting in having bags and meals included, and they care most about the health of others as biggest fans of non-smoking and allergy-free flights.

Younger men tend towards self-sufficient, hassle-free travel, with less opposition to paid bag check and meals and a leaning towards less security -- signaling they are devotees of carry-on only flying. (Maybe they all learned something about efficiency from the movie "Up in the Air.") Meanwhile, the older men are the most nostalgic for the '60s-era flight -- including those stewardesses.

The Details

If we could turn back time, here is what our survey respondents would like to get back in their flying experience ranked from most desired to least:

  • Bag fees included instead of paying only for what you check (91% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Women over 60
    • Least favored by: Men under 60
  • Pillow and blanket free and available onboard (91% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Men over 60
    • Least favored by: Women under 60
  • Complimentary in-flight meals instead of carrying on or buying onboard (90% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Women under 60
    • Least favored by: Men under 60
  • Complimentary in-flight cocktails on flights (83% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Men over 60
    • Least favored by: Women under 60
  • Peanuts on all flights instead of having allergy free flights (77% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Men over 60
    • Least favored by: Women over 60
  • Pilots manually flying the planes instead of flying on autopilot (62% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Women under 60
    • Least favored by: Men over 60

Here's what they would keep from today's flying… ranked from the most desired to the least:

  • No smoking during flights (91% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Women over 60
    • Least favored by: Men over 60
  • Checking-in via a kiosk versus waiting in line for an attendant (78% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Women under 60
    • Least favored by: Men over 60
  • Booking travel online instead of using a travel agent or over the phone (77% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Women under 60
    • Least favored by: Women over 60
  • Tech driven entertainment including in-flight Wi-Fi and movies instead of complimentary newspapers and magazines (77% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Men over 60
    • Least favored by: Women over 60
  • Heightened security measures including full body scans (63% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Women under 60
    • Least favored by: Men under 60
  • Flight attendants of today versus the stewardesses of the jet age (57% in favor)
    • Most favored by: Women under 60
    • Least favored by: Men over 60

Want a different view on all the data? Then check out the infographic that breaks it all down at http://news.cheapflights.com/2011/09/air-travel-then-v-now/.

About Cheapflights Media
Cheapflights Media is an international media network helping over 11 million visitors a month find top travel deals. Our Cheapflights brand was launched in 1996 and pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users. Today, users compare a wide range of deals from hundreds of partners including online travel agents, consolidators and airlines to find the very best flight deals. With a mission to be the starting point for travel, Cheapflights works to deliver the industry's best airfare bargains, expert tips and inspiration. There are currently Cheapflights sites in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia & New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. For more information, visit www.cheapflights.com. Our newest brand, Momondo, is a leading travel search engine for finding comprehensive worldwide pricing and availability on airfares. Winner of several awards, the site is ideal for users on specific travel schedules. For more information, visit www.momondo.com.

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