- Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Gatwick Airport uncovers the travel trends of the older generation as it launches its search for the UK’s Oldest Traveller
Gatwick Airport today reveals that travel amongst our older generation is booming with over half (56%) of over 70s admitting to travelling more often now than when they were younger. This rises to 61% of those aged 85 and over.
The research, which polled 1,000 respondents over the age of 70, investigates the travel habits of ‘O.A.Ts,’ as Gatwick Airport launches its search to find the UK’s Oldest Traveller.
The research revealed that one in three (30%) older travellers say they could benefit from special assistance when travelling. In 2011, Gatwick supported 381,000 passengers with reduced mobility – a double digit growth on 2010 figures – and currently provides assistance to approximately 30,000 passengers a month, rising to about 47,000 at peak periods.
Other key findings:
- Travel confidence amongst older travellers is at an all time high with one in three (30%) saying they are more comfortable travelling now than when they were younger
- 88% of older travellers take up to three holidays a year, with the UK (82%), Spain (41%), France (35%) and the US (22%) proving the most population destinations
- City breaks (53%) and beach holidays (51%) are the most popular type of holidays for the over 70’s. Less than a third (27%) of older travellers preferred a cruise
- More time (66%) and more money (22%) are listed as the core driving factors for an increase in travelling while cost (67%) and ease of travel (60%) are the two key considerations when selecting a destination
- More than one in ten (13%) of older travellers say they travel most frequently by themselves
- When passing through an airport, assistance throughout the airport (66%), dedicated seating areas (55%), assistance through security (39%) and mobility scooters and wheelchairs (38%) are considered the most useful added extras
To help highlight how accessible airport travel can be for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM), Gatwick Airport is launching a nationwide search to find the UK’s Oldest Traveller and courtesy of British Airways and Vdara offering one lucky individual the chance to win two return flights to Las Vegas with British Airways from London Gatwick as well as three nights’ accommodation at the 5* Vdara Hotel & Spa*.
John Carter, one of travel’s most experienced commentators and a Gatwick Airport Passenger Panel member comments; “Travelling as you get older doesn’t have to be a daunting experience - it’s a great way to keep yourself active and to extend your worldly experience with friends, family or even alone. There’s an abundance of services and facilities to help older passengers or passengers with reduced mobility when travelling and my top tip is to always plan ahead, making sure you pre-book assistance to ensure the smoothest and most enjoyable travel experience.”
Gatwick Airport’s Head of Terminal Operations, Paul Fitch, comments: “The findings of our research show that older age travellers are more confident than ever before but often welcome a little extra help. At Gatwick we provide support and special assistance at every step of an airport journey – from the moment people enter our doors to the moment they leave. From customised transport and dedicated seating right through to specially trained staff, we’re dedicated to making the airport journey easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
“Our search for the UK’s Oldest Traveller is designed to inspire more people to keep on travelling - plus we’re keen to get first-hand insights so we can continually improve our services. So if you’re an experienced traveller, or you know someone else who is, get in touch – you could win another wonderful travel experience for two.’’
Silla Maizey, Managing Director, British Airways Gatwick, commented:"We are delighted to be able to support this competition and offer a holiday for two to Las Vegas. With the new British Airways non-stop flights from London Gatwick starting at the end of October, this is a great opportunity for the winner to enjoy this cosmopolitan city offering a wealth of sights, sounds and experiences which is perfect for any age."