British Airways study reveals Hongkongers’ holiday journeys
An online study by British Airways reveals that 46 percent of Hong Kong adults tend to stick to the same routines and habits every time they travel. In general, Hongkongers tend to play safe when flying overseas as reflected by their travel habits revealed by the study. Interestingly, the study found that Hongkongers behave differently in the air than on the ground when it comes to the type of food and drinks they desire as well as the way they enjoy them.
What kind of travellers are Hongkongers?
Commissioned by British Airways and conducted between 5 and 23 January, the online study surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 18 and 55 from Hong Kong about their pre-boarding routines and their onboard dining habits. The study found that Hongkongers like to be well-prepared for a smooth kick-off to their holidays as over half of the respondents said (57 percent) they are most likely to arrive at the airport before the check-in desks even open, whilst 41 percent would arrive at the airport after the check-in desks have opened, but still with plenty of time to get sorted before boarding time. After checking in, two in five respondents will head to the boarding gate as soon as it is announced, whilst 57 percent said they will hold back a little to miss the rush, without leaving it too late. Sixty per cent of respondents said they are organised travellers whilst 38.3 percent said they generally get everywhere on time with only occasional struggles, and only 0.5 per cent admitted to being a bit of a nightmare as they are always late and forget things. To find out what kind of traveller you are, take the quiz.
Reserving the quota to indulge inflight
When it comes to eating habits, Hong Kong travellers show a shift in attitude before and after they board, behaving differently in the air than on the ground. Survey results showed that Hongkongers tend not to eat or drink before they fly. In addition to the 44 percent who said they would wait to eat until they board the plane, only 10 per cent said they would have a ‘pre-holiday alcoholic drink’ at the airport, even if it’s early in the morning. Nearly 50 percent of the respondents said they never had a drink before they fly.
A different taste for food in the air
More than half (52 percent) of the respondents said that they see flying as a time to indulge when it comes to food and drinks. With the holiday mood kicking in as they finally settle down in their seats, 61 per cent of them revealed that they often consume food and drink that they wouldn’t usually have when on the ground, such as nuts (46 percent), chocolate (38 percent), sweets (35 percent), pretzels (33 percent) and cheese and biscuits (32 percent). There is actually a scientific explanation behind this change – during a flight, our bodies are subjected to a number of environmental stressors, including reduced oxygen levels, atmospheric pressure changes and low humidity, all of which can affect our ability to taste. It is said that our ability to taste can be reduced by as much as 30 percent at altitude, which could make us crave for food that we are not particularly fond of when on the ground.
Noella Ferns, British Airways’ executive vice president for Greater China and the Philippines, said, “We value and always listen to the feedback from our customers, which is a huge driver for us to provide them with a greater flying experience. For example, when we found out that over 50 percent of passengers like to save certain meal items for later in the flight, such as water and sweets, we replaced the water cup in the first meal with a bottle of Highland Spring water. This way customers can save it for later.
“Last month, we announced a multi-million-pound investment in catering service in World Traveller economy class. This ambitious initiative features an exciting and expanded new menu, with more quantity and quality to both meals and snacking options throughout the flight. For example, to satisfy passengers’ taste for confectionery and savoury snacks in the air, we are now offering passengers a tuck-box so they can help themselves to various British guilty pleasures.”
British Airways is investing £4.5 billion for its customers over the next five years, covering the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline is also investing £600 million specifically in its Club World business class, including outstanding catering and luxurious White Company bedding plus, from 2019, a new seat with direct aisle access. This year, British Airways will start services to six new routes including Nashville from January and The Seychelles from March. For more information, please visit ba.com.