front rows

Survey on Airline Seat Swaps

Seat Swaps

Crowded Flights

Airline seat swaps occur regularly during commercial air travel. Air travelers are willing to pay or be paid to swap seats with other travelers, according to survey results released today. Air travelers sitting in a less desirable seat are willing to pay other travelers to swap for a more desirable seat. Similarly, in return for receiving payment, air travelers are willing to swap from a more desirable seat to a less desirable seat.

Airline Seat Swaps: Survey Overview

Presented below is an overview of the survey on airline seat swaps.

Survey Respondents

Seateroo hired SurveyMonkey to survey U.S. residents aged 18 to 65 years old who are mobile device users and had traveled via commercial airline at least 3 times during the previous 6 months. SurveyMonkey gathered responses from 401 respondents meeting the above criteria during the week of November 15-19, 2015. The margin for error based upon this sample size is +/- 5%.

Survey Design

Based upon prior studies related to air traveler preferences and complaints, we made certain underlying assumptions regarding the types of airline seats and situations that air travelers consider to be either more desirable or less desirable, respectively. Specifically, the airline seat swaps survey included the following assumptions:

  • Aisle and window seats are more desirable than middle seats;
  • Seats closer to the front are more desirable than seats towards the back;
  • Seats closer to family, friends, or colleagues are more desirable than seats next to strangers;
  • Seats in a premium seating section (i.e., business or first class) are more desirable than economy seats; and
  • Seats near quiet passengers are more desirable than seats near crying children, loud talkers, or other potentially annoying air travelers.

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Airline Seat Likes and Dislikes

airline seat

View from the back

Do you care where you sit on a flight? Airline surveys suggest that you probably do. Based upon an air travel survey, 27.2% of passengers indicated that the on-board experience is the most important aspect of their overall air travel experience.[1] Anecdotally, we believe an important aspect of a passenger’s on-board experience relates to the location of the airline seat. We present studies that indicate the preferred airline seats by airline passengers and the airline seat that is most disliked by airline passengers.

Airline Seat Preferences Revealed

A survey of 1,000 passengers published by Skyscanner revealed the following data on airline seat preferences:[2] [···]

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