The #1 Requested Free Airline Amenity Is…

Complimentary deodorant is apparently the number one wish from airlines by UK travelers. *

I think this is misguided.

  1. Most people don’t smell because others fail to give them deodorant.
  2. Very few people who say they want deodorant are the same people who smell.
  3. We don’t really want to be given free deodorant. We want other people to be given free deodorant.

Deoderant is cheap. Price — at least for those with incomes to support air travel — really isn’t a barrier.

According to the CheapFlights UK survey, 40% of English adults have flown business or first class. If that were true, British Airways’ financial performance would be stronger. This is simply a reason to doubt the survey. Along with the following claim:

Passengers who have received a free upgrade from economy are more likely to get one by flirting than by pretending to be ill or other deceitful means.

Or their deceitful means are focused primarily on answering survey questions. Most passengers receiving complimentary upgrades are not doing so by flirting or faking sick. Although I suppose it’s possible that “more likely” means that 1 customer reported getting an upgrade by flirting (they could simply have been delusional) and none reported getting an upgrade by faking sick. We haven’t seen the underlying data…

(HT: Alan H.)

* I might have expected responses of “free dental work” or “food with flavor.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I would love to see Air France pass out this amenity, along with an instruction book (in French) on how to use the product.

  2. While the article says they want the deodorant because of fellow passengers with BO, I doubt that was in the actual survey (I mean, think of the wording on that question). I like deodorant because it goes a long way in feeling fresher/cleaner after a long flight (especially if I don’t have time to hit the lounge for a shower) to the point where I keep it in my carry-on, even if I’m checking baggage.

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