Going on vacation is, by its very nature, supposed to be a relaxing, recuperating experience. But inevitably in life, to get to the good stuff there has to be some stress first – namely, traveling to reach that sundrenched beach or metropolis of urban and cultural cool.
Airport travel in particular can induce astronomical stress levels, from simply getting there to navigating the maze of passport control and security, duty free, restaurants, shops, bars and of course the often lengthy walk to get to the far flung airport gate in good time. Not to mention the waiting.
With this in mind, airport lounge access specialist Priority Pass has taken a look into the most stressful parts of the airport experience to uncover the black spots and help us navigate our travels with a little more serenity.
A survey of more than 1,700 Brits found that almost half (49%) agree that baggage collection is the most stressful part of airport travel, closely followed by passing through security and waiting for transfers with 47% of the vote each.
Interestingly, any actual of fear of the flying itself appeared further down the results with one in three saying during the flight was when they were most stressed and 35% citing the landing as their moment of greatest stress. Boarding and finding a seat were seen as largely stress-free experiences (not I’d have to say something I entirely agree with, considering the usual chaos I see with people fighting to stuff oversized cases into undersized compartments directly above where they’re sitting!)
The single thing that worries 63% of travelers the most is simply getting to the airport – with traffic and public transport significant factors. At 57%, three in five people actively worry about losing their passport or missing the plane altogether. And while 61% are concerned about somehow losing their luggage, only 41% worry about losing a child!
Convert those stresses into reality and the most common problem is actually overweight luggage, with 19% of travelers admitting they’ve been caught out in the past. Just one in ten say they’ve actually missed a flight with 16-24 year olds being the most common culprits.
Men are more than twice as likely to forget their passport as women – 8% compared to 3.78%, while business travelers, male or female, are the worst with 16% having left that vital document behind at least once.
The average Brit gives themselves one hour 14 minutes in the departure area, with 65% of families quoting anything from 30 minutes to two hours. Despite this, one in five families ends up having to sprint to the gate to catch their plane.
On the bright side, at least there’s a relaxing vacation to look forward to on the other end – once you’ve navigated that foreign airport, collected your luggage and made it to your final destination, that is…
Revealed: The Most Stressful Aspects Of Airport Travel – Forbes