Avoiding The Crush

According to a new survey by Emirates, 64% of Canadian travellers would travel on Christmas to escape the holiday crowds at the airport.

Emirates’ survey also found that those questioned showed a clear desire to maximize value for money with close to a third (30%) of Canadian travellers indicating that food and drink not only mattered, but made a difference to their flying experience; and a vast majority (69%) agreed that comfortable seats would most enhance their experience on a long-haul flight.

As Emirates’ country manager for Canada, Don McWilliam sees it, “Canadians are habitual holidaymakers. In fact, 35% of Canadian travellers take international trips at least once a year.”

McWilliam continued that, “As a result, they are smart about how and when they choose to travel. Offering exceptional product and service at every level of the experience — when booking, when in the air and after landing — is essential for airlines looking to attract and retain these savvy consumers.”

The survey also found that Canadian travellers report that their time in the air has an affect that extends beyond the flight.

When asked how they adjust to local time zones following an international, long-haul flight, the most popular response was to play it by ear depending how the in-flight experience was.

Whether it’s uncomfortable seats, the number one frustration for 32% of Canadian travellers, or limited leg room, which most bothers 27% of those surveyed, it’s clear that an unpleasant or uneasy flight has the potential to disrupt the onward journey that follows.

Leading McWilliam to observe, “It’s important for airlines to think about every kind of traveller,” before pointing out that: “On Emirates, for example, we make special arrangements for families with young children, offering Fly with Me toys, activity bags and an impressive selection of youth programming. These little details make a huge impact, and really help to ensure your vacation gets off to a strong start.”

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • Canadians are generous gift givers – with 38% of those surveyed saying they would give a vacation as a holiday gift, and 10% noting that they already have done just that.
  • Airplane alone-time – When asked with whom they most often travel internationally, 54% said their partners.
  • Savvy shoppers – Canadians use a wide variety of methods to book their personal travel, with an event split between airline web sites, travel agencies and online travel websites (each selected by 31% of respondents).

Emirates currently offers three weekly flights from Toronto to Dubai and beyond as well as convenient connections throughout Canada on its flagship A380.

In the photo:
Emirates welcomed some its top agents and operators to a festive open house at its Toronto office yesterday. The easy-going affair gave the airline’s partners a chance to chat with Rob Gurney, Emirates recently appointed senior vice-president, North America who was up from New York for the event. From l to r, are Emirates’ Don McWilliam; Huntington Travel’s CEO, Kiran Budhdev; Vision Travel’s COO, Brian Robertson; and Emirates’ Rob Gurney.

For more on Emirates, click here.