Flyland, Nation In The Sky

Thirty thousand feet up in the sky is the high-flying country of Flyland -- the 25th largest economy in the world with a population of 11.9 million airborne citizens adding $1.26 billion each and every day to the global economy. 

Most of Flyland's citizens speak English with Spanish as their second language, 37% prefer chicken over the 16% who opt for beef, they love music and listen to 60.3 million songs per day. 

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Here are some interesting facts about the citizens of Flyland: 

Jetiquette® in Flyland

Like any country, Flyland has its share of social expectations and annoyances. Specifically, Americans of Flyland said letting children kick their seat (65 percent) is the biggest taboo; followed by letting children run riot (59 percent); being rude to flight attendants (56 percent); while taking smelly shoes off (45 percent) and hogging the armrest is just as big a concern as people who drink too much (44 percent).

And like on earth, over-exuberant behaviours can be frowned upon: 15 percent of the Americans in Flyland are bothered by passengers who cheer when the plane lands.

The typical citizen of Flyland takes an average of four-and-a-half flights each year, spending 30 hours in the air. Some of the most interesting things HSBC learned about the citizens of Flyland were how they make connections in the air.

Love and Friendship in the Air

Flyland is a place that fosters human connection. The survey reveals that two couples meet and fall in love on the average flight. With nearly 107,000 flights a day, there are plenty of opportunities to meet your perfect match.

And it’s not just romantic relationships that are created at 30,000 feet. Almost half (47 percent) of air travellers have started a conversation with the stranger next to them; 12 percent have made a lasting friendship on a flight; and 13 percent have made a strong business connection.

The Benefits of Travel

The people of Flyland are overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of travel, with the research finding that travel really does broaden the mind. More than eight in 10 air travellers (83 percent) believe they now understand the world better; with 67 percent claiming to be more tolerant; and 63 percent more patient as a result of travel.

And there are personal benefits, too, with feeling more independent (77 percent) and more confident (73 percent) topping the list.

Buy in the sky

The vacation often starts at the airport, and should be factored into your travel budget. Americans spend an average of $51.32 per flight. This includes paying for on-board Wi-Fi ($4.92), food ($11.68), drinks ($4.56), alcoholic drinks ($4.76) and duty free ($32.53), amongst other items. Most air travellers pay for onboard items using cards (72 percent) rather than cash, with Flyland following a growing global trend towards a cashless society.

HSBC commissioned the Flyland study. As the world’s premier international financial institution, HSBC is the bank of choice for this air-bound economy, supporting millions of customers travelling for business and pleasure. HSBC’s strong presence with advertising and services in many of the world’s most travelled airports reflects the bank’s strong commitment to serving the unique needs of the world’s travellers.  

HSBC Premier credit cardholders enjoy free worldwide travel insurance and a range of privileges including access to 750 airport lounges and free Wi-Fi around the globe. An HSBC currency account helps you stay on top of global exchange rates.