Young professionals keen to show they are ‘making it’

20 Oct 2014

Survey of 1,500 Priority Pass customers show insights into emerging global class of frequent-flyers and unearths a younger generation of “Conspicuous Consumers”

Priority Pass, provider of the world’s largest independent global lounge access program, today released the results of a survey of over 1,500 members which revealed unique insights into the world of an emerging global class of frequent flyers. A new group of “Conspicuous Consumers” has surfaced among 26-35 year olds, increasingly spending where it can be seen and demonstrating distinctive travel and spending habits.

This “millennial group” speaks on average four languages, more than any other age group. They are well-travelled, making an average of 24 round trips per year and nine business class flights. Most spend money on ‘luxuries’ that offer convenience when they travel such as 4* or 5* accommodation, more so than the older demographic surveyed. However, the research found that members in this age group are not generally prepared to pay for premium airline seats and are the group most likely to use public transport to travel to and from the airport (21%).

These consumers feel they need to be constantly connected and take an average of seven gadgets with them while travelling, with over half (56%) using laptops. In addition, lack of Wi–Fi access at the airport was named as a biggest cause of stress and aggravation – over and above poor food choice, lack of seating and even children.

Members of Priority Pass under 35 prefer the premium experience elsewhere, too. Over half (62%) agreed they would be willing to pay more for luxury brands and 30% said they buy tailored suits. These consumers choose to spend predominantly on credit cards rather than cash (75%) and 69% use credit cards that allow the collection of loyalty points. More than four in ten respondents in this age group (43%) said they have a premium bank account – more than any other age group.

Consumers of all ages prefer to travel in style

While Priority Pass’ survey found evidence that consumers in Europe and North America look for value when travelling, consumers in emerging regions overwhelmingly prefer to spend more on a luxury experience:

  • Middle Eastern region showed a general preference for 5* accommodation, with 70% staying there on business and 60% for leisure
  • In Latin America more than half of respondents travel first class for leisure, significantly more than anywhere else in the world
  • In Africa, 93% are willing to spend more to stay in a pleasant location

  • Stephen Simpson, Global Marketing Director at Priority Pass said: “Our research provides a snapshot into the insights of some of the most discerning global consumers. The results presented some surprising findings from the 26-35 demographic who are choosing to splash out on higher end accommodation and other “luxuries” usually expected in the older demographic. This age group, perhaps pre-family, wants to show it is making it and, for them, the airport lounge is a central part of the travelling experience. Organisations looking to engage with these hard-to-reach high end audiences should consider putting the lounge at the centre of their marketing initiatives.”

    According to the survey, top destinations for Priority Pass business travellers include:

  • USA – 30%
  • Germany – 17%
  • UK – 16%
  • France – 12%
  • UK – 16%
  • UK – 16%
  • China – 10%

  • Top destinations for Priority Pass leisure travellers include:

  • USA – 27%
  • Spain – 15%
  • UK – 14%
  • France – 11.3%
  • Italy – 10%

  • Methodology
    A survey was sent to Priority Pass members in May 2014 and was completed by 1555 recipients.

    Priority Pass
    Priority Pass ( provides frequent travellers with airport lounge access, irrespective of their class of travel, airline flown or existing membership in an airline loyalty program. Launched in 1992, Priority Pass now offers more than 1200 airport lounges worldwide in 500 cities in over 140 countries.

    Priority Pass is part of the Collinson Group, a global leader in shaping and influencing customer behaviour to drive revenue and value for its clients. It offers a unique blend of industry and sector specialists who together provide market-leading experience in delivering products and services across four core capabilities: Loyalty, Lifestyle Benefits, Insurance, and Assistance. The Collinson Group has in excess of 25 years’ experience, with 28 global locations, servicing over 800 clients in 170 countries, employing over 1,500 staff, managing over 20 million end customers.