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Study: North Americans are the World's Heaviest Airline Fliers

NEW YORK, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ In the world of passenger flight, North America is home of the heavy with the largest number of heavy fliers by a significant margin. Nearly one-quarter of all fliers weighing more than 200 pounds (91 kilograms) live in North America. In troubling news, heavier passengers tend to be less satisfied with the flight experience in general. In contrast, Asia hosts 71 percent of the world's passengers under 150 pounds (68 kilograms) with a significantly higher rate of passenger satisfaction.

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The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)recently unveiled data from its recent survey of airline passengers from around the world, including crucial industry insights related to cabin comfort, passenger connectivity, entertainment and more. From seat requirements to entertainment preferences, the APEX Global Passenger Insights Survey reveals exactly what's keeping passengers loyal or what might be driving them away. The Association collaborated on the survey with APEX memberLRA byDeloitte, the leading global provider of Brand Protection and Customer Experience Measurement services for multinational companies with complex customer interactions.

For most global passengers, cabin comfort is top of mind. With 70 percent of respondents naming it as the single most important aspect of a satisfying flight, it beats out entertainment, service and food & beverage combined.

"This survey reinforces the fact that passenger experience investments go a long way in providing a return to our airlines," saidAPEX CEO, Joe Leader. "Airlines have made it clear that they prioritize a more enjoyable and memorable flight for all passengers. I have no doubt that this data will give them unique insight."

Some key findings from the survey include:

  • One-thirdof passengers used Internet or social networking during their last flight
  • Passengers become more sociable as class of service increases;three-quartersof First Class passengers spent time talking to other passengers during flight, compared withjust more than one-halfof Economy fliers
  • Thirty-five percentof passengers were "very satisfied" with their last flight
  • Extra leg room is the most desired cabin amenity, followed by more comfortable seats and more distance between passengers;6 in 10fliers say they would pay for extra leg room, withone-thirdwilling to pay $10 or more
  • More than one-half (55%)of passengers have downloaded an airline's mobileapp, using it primarily to check flight status, check rates, make reservations and check in for a flight
  • In-seat entertainment remains thetoppreference for entertainment, compared with overhead or personal device

APEX is widely considered the world's top authority on the passenger experience. In addition to hosting world-class events around the globe, the association brings together industry thought-leaders and innovators who work to constantly improve how we travel.

The APEX passenger survey is one of many association tools employed to gauge how passenger expectations are evolving. Over the years, APEX has grown to represent a more comprehensive picture of the passenger experience, notably in the areas of seating and cabin comfort. With the APEX 2015 Passenger Insight Survey, APEX and its member companies will continue to lead the way in terms ofin-flightinnovations and improvements to the overall passenger experience.


APEX collaborated withLRA byDeloitteto conduct the APEX Global Passenger Insight Survey. A total of 3,400 respondents on a web-based survey platform were screened to ensure that they had traveled within the last 12 months and were over 18 years of age. Surveys were completed between May 7 and May 28, 2015. Results were weighted by region and country and were collected in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia/Malaysia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.


APEX encompasses a network of businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. As a non-profit, APEX reinvests all of its resources to better serve its members. Every day, APEX members evaluate the passenger experience through an influential community and are improving every aspect of the airline experience: from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges andinflightdining. APEX works to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition. For more information, please


LRA byDeloitteis the leading global provider of Brand Protection and Customer Experience Measurement services for multinational companies with complex customer interactions. Leveraging deep travel and hospitality expertise, LRA byDeloitteworks with aviation clients to design, develop and execute tailored customer experience measurement programs founded in what is most important to that client's customers, their target markets and their brand. LRA byDeloitte'sinnovative brand standards examinations, quality assurance inspections, mystery shopping programs, research, and consulting services have helped clients provide consistent, memorable, and differentiated experiences to their customers.


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