Research published by Loco2, the only search and booking engine for train tickets in the UK and Europe, has shocked frequent flyers by revealing that they are allocated less space than that given by law to cattle on their way to slaughter.
Out of the 544 frequent flyers who took part in the space study, 100 percent said they were shocked to realise that they pay to travel in a space smaller than that given to cattle, by law. A majority (60 %) said they would consider other, more spacious transport modes, such as trains, before booking their next flight.
Based on a medium-sized calf weighing 75kg (the average weight of an adult) the legal entitlement for cattle in transportation is 0.5m2, whereas, on a flight, the average space per passenger is 0.35m2. The infographic below shows how other modes of overground transport compare with this space allocation:
To show how this compares with the assumptions of 544 frequent flyers, Loco2 asked them to rank each transport mode, based on their understanding of how much space each passenger is allocated:
|The reality (most spacious to least spacious)||What frequent flyers said (most spacious to least spacious)|
|Cattle truck (100cm x 500cm = 0.5m2)||Car|
|Train (85cm x 47cm = 0.39m2)||Train|
|Bus (80cm x 44cm = 0.35m2)||Plane|
|Plane (78cm x 45cm = 0.35m2)||Coach|
|Coach (76cm x 43cm = 0.32m2)||Bus|
|Car (68cm x 43cm = 0.29m2)||Cattle truck|
Kate Andrews, Loco2’s co-founder and COO behind the research comments on the findings: “As a train travel evangelist, I’m always looking for ways to enlighten frequent flyers on the benefits of getting a train, over flying. Environmental factors such as CO2 emissions are regrettably not a priority for all frequent travellers, so we decided to focus on a subject that would get attention – personal space.”
“We were quite surprised by the results, in that all overland transport options allocate less space than the legal requirement for animals in transportation but were pleased to learn that trains are at the top of the transport list when it comes to space. We are conscious that peak time train travel for commuters can be a real squeeze, however non-peak and pleasure travel via train is a whole different experience.
“Out of the 544 frequent flyers we spoke to, 30 percent said they would still fly despite knowing trains provide more space due to their belief that Pan-European train travel is too complicated to book – this is where we come in. At Loco2 we have gone to great lengths to make booking a train in the UK and across Europe in a single transaction just as easy (and sometimes cheaper) than booking a flight, and we hope this campaign will urge people to give trains a chance.”