What coach passengers want

Comfortable seats and wifi are amongst passengers’ most favoured aspects of a coach journey, according to a Volvo Buses study.

The study was conducted in six European countries (Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, France and Sweden), taking the views of 6,000 people who travelled by tourist coach or long-distance bus. Sleeping, chatting, watching films and reading were popular onboard amongst those surveyed. The study found comfortable seats and plenty of legroom were among the most important conditions for a good journey. It found a fast wifi link something for which many passengers, above all younger ones, are prepared to pay extra for.

Most feel it is important to be able to buy something to drink or eat onboard. A few even want the option of ordering a three-course dinner. Security consistently receives a high rating, with 47% wanting information about the vehicle’s safety before they book their tickets and 66% use the coach seatbelts. Seatbelt usage is highest in Sweden, France and Spain.

Noisy passengers are consistently felt to be the most annoying problem on a trip, according to 79% of respondents. Also, 71% of those surveyed reported having the knees of the passenger behind them digging into their back as irritating. Strong-smelling food is not appreciated (50%), although Italian passengers show remarkably high tolerance of this (25%). Swedish passengers appear to have fewer problems with passengers taking off their shoes.

VP Strategy and Product Management at Volvo Buses, Niklas Orre, said: “Together with our customers we work constantly to make coach travel as appealing and competitive as possible. In this perspective, passenger viewpoints are immensely important. Through our surveys we see that most of the passenger viewpoints are pretty similar in all the countries, but there are also some things that set them apart. All told, we can say that comfort, safety and pleasant fellow passengers are significant factors for anyone travelling far by bus. So, yes to wifi and comfortable seats, but no to sharp knees and bare feet.”

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