The younger generation is embracing the finer things in life, according to a study from Priority Pass, a provider of luxury airport lounges.
They’ve dubbed a subset of Millennials (ages 26-35) “Conspicuous Consumers” and say they are traveling by air far more than the older generations—and shelling out for four and five-star accommodations in prime locations once they get where they are going.
Priority Pass surveyed 1,555 of its members and found that Millennialstake more flights than any other age group, averaging 24 roundtrips and nine business class flights per year. In contrast, people ages 56-65 took 16 round trips per year, and six business class flights.
They also outspend their elders when it comes to hotels, paying more for luxury accommodations. Forty-two percent of Millennials said they’d pay extra to stay at a four-star hotel, and 62% said they would spend more to check in at a five-star hotel. The older folks were less likely to pay more for nicer hotels: only 23.3% would spring for a four-star hotel, though over half (51%) were willing to pay more for a five-star stay.
When it comes to paying for those luxury stays, Millennials are far likelier to pull out a rewards credit card. Seventy-five percent of them prefer using credit cards to cash, and 69% use travel rewards credit cards that let them accrue loyalty points. Thirty-seven percent of respondents 36 or older said they had a rewards account.
Red-eye flights, electronic gadgets more popular among the young
One place when Millennials will cut corners and older people won’t: overnight flights. Thirty-one percent of the younger set would take a red-eye flight to save money, but only 19% of those over 55 said the same.
These so-called Conspicuous Consumers are also traveling with quite a bit of digital gear to stay in touch on those overnight flights—and everywhere they go. This demographic totes an average of no less than seven gadgets while traveling. That’s a lot more than just a smartphone, tablet, and laptop. With all these electronics, perhaps it’s not surprising that lack of Wi-Fi was named as a bigger travel headache than anything else. Thirty-one percent of Millennials chose inability to get online as a bigger aggravation than dealing with airport security, airplane food (or lack of it), having nowhere to sit, and children screaming or kicking their seats.
Location, location, location
Just like in real estate, location matters in travel. Eighty-eight percent of Conspicuous Consumers were willing to pay top dollar to stay in the best location. Seventy-three percent of people ages 36-45 felt the same way.
When traveling far from home, people of all ages preferred to pay more to stay in five-star hotels. In the Middle East, 70% of respondents stayed in five-star hotels when they were there on business, and 60% stayed in five-star spots when traveling for pleasure.
In Latin America, over half of respondents reported traveling first class—more than any other place in the world. And in Africa, 93% of people would pay more to stay somewhere luxurious.