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Flights of fancy

If you are a frequent flyer, you will probably have your own thoughts on how airlines could improve their offering, but, according to the results of a survey on in-flight food and amenities by TripAdvisor, an online travel information service,  35 per cent of the 2,300 respondents placed clean, spacious toilets at the top of their in-flight “Comfort Feature” wish-list. Next, with 27 per cent, were clean pillows and blankets. The most-valued freebie in the “Food and Beverage” section of the survey was bottled water, closely followed by fruit and nuts, with wine and soft drinks a couple of places down the list.

When it came to items that luxury fliers might be prepared to pay extra for, 54 per cent cited bigger seats and more legroom. Other items that flyers were prepared to pay for included a bed, followed by gourmet cuisine, massages and good coffee. Most people also wanted a video screen at every seat, and this was followed by on-demand movies and internet access.

Overall, British Airways was voted the best airline for both in-flight food and in-flight amenities. Singapore Airlines came second for food (American Airlines was worst), with Virgin second in the amenities stakes. Cathay Pacific and Emirates also rated highly.

Michelle Perry, director of communications for TripAdvisor, commented: “The survey suggests airlines should forget about the latest bells and whistles and get back to the basics, like clean lavatories and comfortable seating.”