What Australian travellers are like when they fly on a plane: We're a nation of flying slobs

Australians are known for their laid-back attitude and relaxed approach to life, even their relaxed style of dressing – thongs, shorts and singlets.

And this carefree fashion attitude they carry with them everywhere – even to the airport. 

According to recent findings in the Expedia Passenger Preferences Index,  Australians just don't care how they look on a flight. Loose-fitting clothes, jumpers and stretchy pants – appearances don't matter. Ninety-one per cent of respondents in the study said they chose to dress for comfort first –  only one in 10 (9 per cent) chose chic plane wear over comfort.

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Not only are Australians slobby when it comes to dressing for a flight, they're also a bit tight when it comes to paying for added extras on flights.

Australians were the nationality least willing to pay for any added extras on short-haul flights (three hours or less) – two in five (43 per cent) were not prepared to pay versus a global average of one in four (26 per cent). The amenities  Australians were most willing to pay for were: a seat with extra leg room (20 per cent), a full meal (16 per cent) and a wider seat (12 per cent). But Australians are not alone when it comes to refusing to pay for flight extras – Canadians were also an unwilling bunch.  

When it comes long haul flights (over 10 hours), Aussies love to sleep – eight in 10 respondents (77 per cent) said they would sleep to pass the time. Eating (61 per cent) was the next most popular time-killer for  Australians followed by using inflight entertainment (60 per cent) and reading (58 per cent). Australians are also very social with almost one in five Australians (18 per cent) saying they would strike up a conversation with a fellow passenger to keep themselves occupied. And the older Australians get, the more likely they will talk to their seat neighbour – 25 per cent of those aged over 50 years have started a conversation with a fellow flyer.

See also: The nationality most likely to steal from hotels

But having no one to talk to won't be the make/break for  the Australian traveller. The one thing they can't live without on a flight is water. More than half of the respondents (56 per cent) rated water as the top item they couldn't do without when flying, followed by a meal (54 per cent), headphones (29 per cent), a phone/mobile device (29 per cent) and magazines or newspapers (21 per cent).


However travellers from Mexico, South Korea and Thailand rated a mobile device as more essential than water on a short-haul flight.

The one thing Australians avoid when it comes to flying is paying excess baggage fees. Two thirds (62 per cent) of Australian travellers say they would avoid baggage fees at all costs. However they were among the nations least likely to let excess baggage fees impact how they pack their bags, falling below the global average of 70 per cent.  Australians cited not having to queue at check-in counters (40 per cent) as the main reason for not checking in a bag, followed by not having to wait at the airport baggage carousel (39 per cent) and fear the bag would be lost (26 per cent). 

See also: How to avoid paying for excess baggage fees

So according to this survey, Australians are a nation of flying slobs who are happy to chat on the plane, so long as they get water and enough sleep. Oh, and they'll be the ones skipping  past you at the baggage carousel.

Expedia Passenger Preferences Index is a global study that examines the preferences and behaviours of air passengers country by country. The study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by consulting firm Northstar. 

Over 11,000 travellers were surveyed (11,026) from across 22 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and South American region.

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