By Hugo Martin, Tribune Newspapers
6:38 PM EDT, May 25, 2013
Most of us will put up with a cramped middle seat on a short flight. But on trips more than three hours long, we are ready to crack open our wallets and pay for a window or aisle seat.
That is one of the findings of a recent Harris Interactive poll of 2,276 adults on the subject of airline pet peeves and passenger fees.
On flights shorter than two hours, 33 percent of those surveyed said they would pay for extra legroom. If the flight lasts more than three hours, 58 percent said they would be willing to pay. Thirteen percent said they would pay more than $25.
But even if fliers are willing to pay the fees, they won't necessarily be happy about it.
Creed Mamikunian, a doctor from Anchorage, describes all airline fees as ridiculous and offensive. "I would rather they charge an honest price and have most things included, not this a la carte price structure," he said.
As for pet peeves, the survey found that 63 percent of fliers would rather sit next to a crying baby than a smelly adult. When asked, 13 percent said they would prefer a plane with a child-free zone.
Michael Ernstoff, an apartment manager from Los Angeles, likes the idea of segregating children on planes.
"Parents with ill-behaved children should be placed in the baggage compartment," he said. "I'm guessing that I might pay as much as 10 percent more to be on an adult-only flight."
Still, he said, such a plan might not work: "Too many people over 21 don't behave like adults, so segregating the adults can be difficult."
63 percent: Fliers surveyed who said they would rather sit next to a crying baby than a smelly adult.
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