Will millennial travelers shape the future of air travel? Probably. So expect bars with free booze, themed flights with seasonal goodies, and child-free flights, says a Hipmunk survey released Thursday.
The travel booking website polled 3,000 travelers last October to gauge the difference in what millennials (ages 18 to 34) and Gen-Xers (35 to 54) value when they fly. All were users of Hipmunk’s website, mobile apps or part of the company’s email audience.
Not surprisingly, electronics matter supremely to those born in the 1980s. The survey found 45% of millennials want to e-chat or play games with other passengers, while only 36% of Gen-Xers wanted to do so.
And some offbeat ideas got a thumbs up too. For example, 70% of millennials would sit near the restrooms and 28% would stand if it meant saving money on airfares, according to the survey.
“Airlines used to live in a world where the only things that mattered were fares and schedules,” company CEO Adam Goldstein said in a statement. “Millennials show how the industry is shifting. Tech-savvy travelers care more about the in-flight experience.”
Other options: 79% of millennials would like themed flights with seasonal snacks and movies, and 24% would pay more to be on a child-free flight. But younger travelers don’t book vacations as early as their older counterparts. Less than half of millennials plan a trip at least six months in advance.
Last fall Expedia and its business travel site Egencia tapped this same demographic. Its survey found millennials take almost nine trips a year (combining business and leisure), like good meals (and pay for them too) and can’t live without Wi-Fi on flights. The company surveyed more than 8,500 people in 24 countries.