Online illustrations- Legroom

Six out of 10 APEX survey respondents said they would pay extra for more legroom.

Based on data from over 3,400 travelers from 18 countries, the APEX 2015 Global Passenger Insights Survey reveals crucial industry information on cabin comfort, in-flight connectivity and entertainment.

APEX Insight: Given the option of adding space to increase seat comfort, where do passengers most want it? At their feet. APEX’s 2015 Global Passenger Insights Survey says the majority of travelers favor more legroom to stretch their limbs over a well-padded seat – and would even pay for extra inches.

Wanted: More Legroom

Space is precious inside an aircraft cabin. An extra inch or two is often the difference between one class and another. So given the option, where would extra space be most appreciated? Passengers say, down by their feet.

Source: 2015 APEX Global Passenger Survey. See the full infographic.

Source: 2015 APEX Global Passenger Survey. See the full infographic.

For travelers from the Pacific Islands, Latin America, Europe, North America and Africa, legroom is even more crucial than a comfortable seat. APEX’s 2015 Global Passenger Insights Survey cites this amenity as being especially important for long-haul flights, economy flyers and heavy-set passengers. Six out of 10 would even pay extra, and one third would shell out up to $10 or more for additional legroom. However, those from Asia and the Middle East sit differently on the issue, placing more value on a cushier seat and decent back support.

Following closely behind legroom are two areas that go hand in hand: more distance between seatmates and a wider seat. Overhead storage and armrest space ranked of least importance to travelers polled. It seems passengers would rather pack light and keep their elbows to themselves than rub shoulders with a stranger.

Social Space Invaders

But space isn’t just a physical issue, it’s psychological too. APEX’s survey links increased distance between passengers with increased socialization. Three-quarters of first-class passengers chatted with their neighbours, compared to only half in economy. What does this say about human interactions? An invasion of personal space can lead to social shutdown.

Three-quarters of first-class passengers chatted with their neighbours, compared to only half in economy.

And while it’s nice to start a conversation with fellow passengers, please keep the volume to a minimum – some of us are trying to sleep. According to the survey, wider seats likely have something to do with how much shut-eye you get in flight: Seventy-six percent of premium cabin passengers slept on their last flight compared to only 64 percent in economy and economy plus.

Click here to view the survey highlights infographic from the APEX 2015 Global Passenger Insights Survey. Are you an APEX member? Log in to access the full survey results

Read more about passenger space preferences in the APEX Experience 6.1 January/February Issue.

Caroline is a copy writer at APEX Media.