Choose your seat wisely – romance is in the air

On September 08, 2009 at 02:00 PM
  • One in ten Aussie men admit to having had a mid-air romance
  • New technology on helps air travellers ‘get more comfortable’

One in ten Australian men admit to having had a relationship or romance with someone they sat next to on a flight, making them more than twice as likely of finding a relationship at high altitude than women, according to a poll conducted by, operated by Expedia®, the world’s leading online travel company.

The survey, which looked at the air travel preferences of over 1,000 Australians, also revealed that one in five air travellers feel safer with a male pilot at the helm than a woman pilot. Whilst 80 per cent had no gender preference, less than one per cent said they would feel safer in the hands of a female pilot.

Almost 70 per cent of Australians said the location of their seat was the most important factor affecting their enjoyment of a flight. The front of the plane came in as the most popular seat location (37 per cent), followed by an exit row (29 per cent), while less than a fifth (19 per cent) said they prefer to sit over the wing. The back of the plane ranked least popular, with only 15 per cent choosing it as their preferred seat location.

Recognising the importance of seat location for air travellers, has introduced new technology through TripAdvisor's SeatGuru®, the internet's most comprehensive source of airline information that enables customers to view and select the best seats and to avoid the bad ones when booking certain international flights on the site. This functionality enables travellers to view colour-coded aircraft seat maps that identify superior and sub-standard seats as part of their search and booking transaction on Travellers are then able to request specific seats as part of their air trip booking on, thereby ensuring that travellers fly more comfortably.

Louise Crompton of says: “We know that being able to choose the most suitable seat improves the comfort of a flight and the overall travel experience of our customers. Expedia is now able to provide Australian travellers the opportunity to research and select the best seat for certain international flights, making it an easy one-stop option to ensure Expedia customers have the most enjoyable flight possible.”

The Expedia survey also revealed that most Australians (73 per cent) find sleeping on a plane difficult. When asked what they found most irritating on a flight, 65 per cent said cramped seats and just under a quarter (24 per cent) cited crying babies. Other irritations included poor in-flight entertainment (six per cent) and preferred food options not being available (five per cent).

Ms Crompton also reminded travellers that has removed booking fees on all flights booked through the site until 18 October 2009 and that if one million people visit before then, flight booking fees will be dropped for good. Another great reason to book your next flight on right now!’s top tips for landing the best airline seat:

Select a seat at the time of booking

It is important to select your preferred seat as early as possible. Even if your first choice of seat is not available, select another option to ensure you have a seat assignment; it can usually be changed later.

Confirm your seat assignment the week you are flying

Airlines sometimes change the aircraft type close to the departure date due to load factors and maintenance. When these changes are made, pre-reserved seats are re-assigned and you could lose the seat you had selected. Conversely, airlines will often release seats that were previously not available for assignment.

Check-in online

Online check-in allows you to secure a better seat without having to arrive at the airport several hours before your flight. You can even check-in online if you have bags to check in.  

For excellent packages and special deals, visit

Notes to Editors

About the survey – methodology

Pureprofile fielded the online survey on behalf of™ between March 16 and March 19, 2009 among a nationwide cross-section of 1001 adults aged 18+ in Australia. The data was weighted to be representative of the total Australian population on the basis of gender, location and age (18-64 years).

With probability samples of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the sample have a sampling error of plus or minus two percentage points.

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