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Expedia Flight & Hotel Etiquette Survey 2018: Indians 3rd Most Frequent Travellers in Asia-Pacific Region, With an Average 7.6 Flights per Year

  • Indians #1 to have engaged with an airline over social media about their travel experiences while at the airport, at the gate, or on the plane (34%)
  • Indians #1 to tip the concierge for a room upgrade (20%)

Expedia®, the world’s largest full-service online travel agency, today released the results of the 2018 Flight & Hotel Etiquette study, an annual survey on Flight and hotel behaviour of travellers across 23 countries in the world.

Indians are #1 globally to often engage in a conversation, when sitting next to someone they don’t know (59%) and probably the reason why 70% Indian travellers also dread sitting next to someone who talks too much. Indians find seat kicker/bumper/grabbers (32%, #1), inattentive parents (30%, #1) and audio insensitive passengers (30%), most annoying in a flight or at the airport. Despite these factors, Indians agree that generally, airline travel is fun and exciting (89%, #1), and for most part, fellow passengers are considerate of other passengers (80%).

Indian travellers prefer big chain hotel (29%) followed by vacation/holiday rental (22%, #1), boutique hotel (15%) and short-term room rental (11%, #2) the most. The least preferred accommodations include hostels (39%) and bed and breakfasts with shared bathrooms (29%).

Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Brand Expedia in India says “The findings are a testimony of the growth in traffic being experienced by the aviation industry, as Indians are the 3rd most frequent travellers in Asia-Pacific region, with average 7.6 flights per year after Thailand and Japan. Indians are also increasing shifting to technology as 67% Indians check-in online (#7) while 18% check-in on mobile (#1) and the country stands at #2 in the number of people using the boarding pass on a mobile device (29%) after Thailand”.


Behaviour Onboard

  • Majority of Indians (79%, #1) prefer window seat
  • 53% of Indians (#1) recline their seats only when they are going to sleep, 48% of Indians (#1) recline if it’s a long flight (3 hours or more) and 23% recline when the person in front of them does (#2) New Zealand (24%, #1)
  • To get to the airplane aisle, the most appropriate way to pass a sleeping passenger according to Indians is to wake them up (52%, #6) and ask them to move
  • 77% of Indians (#4) always keep their shoes and socks on during a flight – Mexico (85%), Thailand (81%), Italy (80%), India (77%) & Spain (77%)
  • 41% Indians (#1) have asked a fellow passenger to move seats so they could sit with a friend, colleague or loved one including a child.
  • 30% of Indians (#1) have asked the passenger in front of them to un-recline their seat
  • 25% of Indians (#1) read confidential material or work on documents in flight
  • 34% (#1) have engaged with an airline over social media about their travel experiences while at the airport, at the gate, or on the plane
  • 14% (#2) Ignored carry-on baggage rules (e.g. bringing on more bags than the airline permits or bringing oversized bags)
  • 13% of Indians (#2), after South Korea (24%)) got drunk on a flight
  • Indians #1 at being sexually intimate with someone on a plane with 8% people accepting this

Not Happening!

When flying on an airline, Indians would never be under the drug/alcohol (61%) and 63% would never watch an X-rated movie with violent or sexual scenes. Indians are the least to Read confidential material or work-related documents (44%, #2), drink the coffee offered on an airplane (19%, #1) & use the airplane restroom (19%, #1).

Misbehaviour Not on!

If in case of a passenger misbehaving, Indians would notify airline staff on the plane (68%), 14% would confront a misbehaving passenger directly (#4), while 11% would remain quite/ignore it and 7% Indians would record the incident using their phone video/camera (#2).

Important Aspects

The most important factors important for Indians, when booking air travel are the departure/arrival time (96%, #1) followed by total cost of flight (94%), airline (93%, #1), Fees (bags, seat selection, etc.) (91%), selecting their own seat (#3), number of stops (89%), Seatback/in-flight entertainment (84%, #1), perks (free beverages/snacks, free checked bags) (83%, #5) and status/frequent flyer (81%, #1).

When travelling, Indians would consider paying for in-flight Wi-Fi (43%, #1) and to upgrade their seat at the gate/check-in kiosk (40%, #1).

Most annoying behaviours: Airport and airplane 

Seat Kicker/Bumper/Grabber (32%, #1), Inattentive Parent (30%, #1), Audio Insensitive (30%), Personal Space Violator (28%, #3), Baggage Mishandler (26%, #1), Queue Jumper (24%, #2), Aromatic Passenger (23%, #1), Security Newbie (20%, #2), Pungent Foodie (19%, #2), Armrest Hog (19%, #1), Airplane Mode Violator (18%, #3)

Indians agree

  • A little small talk is fine, but I prefer to keep to myself for most of the flight – 87 % (#4)
  • It’s ok to wake a passenger if they are snoring- 71% (#1)
  • The person seated in the middle of the row is entitled to both armrests – 58% (#1)
  • They often drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages during air travel (including beverages consumed at the airport or onboard)- 34% (#1)


During hotel stay:

  • 21% Indians have complained about another guest to the front desk (#1)
  • 18% Indians have been locked out of their room in a bathrobe because they forgot their key or misplaced it (#1)
  • 17% Indians have used the minibar items and replaced them to avoid paying additional charges (#1)
  • 14% Indians have let multiple people sleep in their room without notifying the hotel (#3)
  • 14% Indians have haggled with the check-in clerk regarding room rates (#2)
  • 13% Indians have smoked in a non-smoking room (#2)


  • 28% Indians have booked a hotel room for the purpose of being intimate with someone (#3), 21% have had a fling with someone they met in the hotel (#1), 21% have invited a stranger up to their room that they met online/on a dating app (#1) and 14% have ordered an X-rated adult movie to watch on TV (#1)

Booking Considerations

  • Important factors while booking a hotel are location (96%, #6), price (95%), family-friendliness (94%, #1), room size (93%, #1), food & beverage options (room service, minibar, bar & restaurant on premises, vending machines, etc.)- (92%, #1), eco-friendly (91%, #1), star rating (91%, #1), complimentary wi-fi (91%), room with a view (ocean, city, etc.) (88%, #2), recommendations from family/friends (88%, #2), uniqueness of hotel, property, room design, etc. (87% (#1), hotel brand (86%, #1), complimentary parking (85%), outdoor space or grounds (85%, #1), accessibility (wheelchair, handicap parking, automated door, elevator, wide entry doorways, etc.)- (85% (#1), 3rd party reviews (83%, #3), ability to earn and redeem rewards points (80%, #1), adult-only (54%, #1), pet friendly (54%, #1)
  • Important hotel amenities are room service (96%, #1) followed by Wi-Fi (93%), in-room entertainment options (93%, #1), in-room compact fridge to store items such as food + drinks, medicine, etc. (89%,#1), complimentary toiletries (89%, #4), freebies such as spa credits, Wi-Fi, food & beverage credits, etc.(87%, #5), complimentary snacks (85%, #1), bar and restaurant on premises (77%), pool (74%,#2), mini-bar stocked with food and beverages for purchase (74%, #1), gym/fitness center (72%, #1), spa/masseuse (66%, #1), babysitting/day care/nanny service (62%, #1)

Most annoying behaviours and things at the Hotel

  • Most annoying hotel guests as per Indians include Bar Boozer (35%), In-Room Revelers (33%, #3), Inattentive Parents (32%, #1), Hallway Hellraisers (31%, (#3), Party-goers (29%), Complainers (27%), Loudly Amorous (27%, #4), Bickerers (25%), Hot Tub Canoodlers (16%, #3), Elevator Chatterbox (16%, #1)
  • The most annoying things Indians find upon checking into their hotel rooms include bed bugs (41%, #5), cigarette smoke or foul smell (38%), hair in the bed (35%), finding a used condom or opened condom wrapper (32%, #1), hair in the shower (25%), no windows (22%, #6), room key malfunction annoying (22%, #3), no TV remotes (20%, #1), inconveniently placed outlets to plug in devices (18%, #2), no robe/slippers (9%, #1), no iron or ironing board (9%, #1).
  • Indians switch hotel rooms if, the room is dirty (displeasing smell, stained linen, etc.) – (73% #1), they are generally displeased with the state of the room (46%, #2), they are near noisy neighbours or common areas (52%), room is too hot or too cold (35%), it has a bad view (27%, #1), or it is too close to elevators (17%, #1)


This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar Research Partners, a global strategic research firm. The survey was conducted online across North America, Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific using an amalgamated group of best-in-class panels. The interview was conducted in the appropriate local language(s) of each country. The study was conducted among 18,229 respondents across 23 countries.

About Expedia

Expedia is the world’s largest full-service online travel agency with localized sites in 33 countries. Expedia is a one-stop solution for all travel needs, with a comprehensive and distinctive suite of travel with 25000+ holiday activities, 550+ airlines, 665,000 properties and 40M+ post-stay reviews and 30M+ real-time reviews. Expedia in India helps consumers book flights, hotels, flight + hotel, car rentals and tourist attractions, all supported by a call center in India. Also Expedia loyalty program, Expedia Rewards, besides earning points on bookings, allows consumers amenities like room upgrade, spa discounts, breakfast, wi-fi and more.

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