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Brits are creatures of habits when they travel, a study has found. Almost half of travellers admit they always go through the same habits and rituals to ensure their journey and holiday goes to plan.

Fliers also follow the same routines when it comes to the time they arrive at the airport, the food and drink they consume and even going to the toilet before boarding.

Carolina Martinoli, director of brand and customer experience at British Airways, which commissioned the research to mark its multi-million pound investment in its World Traveller catering, said, “Travelling by its very nature requires people to relinquish an element of personal control, so we know it helps people to have routines in place to manage that, be that one person being in charge of the passports, getting to the airport early or being ready at the gate as soon as the flight is called.

“These habits are an important part of the holiday ritual and they don’t stop at the airport – in-flight habits such as choosing what to eat on-board are all part of it too, which is why our investment in our long haul catering is proving so popular. It caters to all those needs, from the travellers who want to try new food to those who like to squirrel snacks away for later.”

The study, of 2,000 Brits showed that after heading through security, one in six Brits will always enjoy a ‘pre-holiday drink’ in the bar – regardless of the time, while another 24 per cent will sup an alcoholic beverage if it’s an appropriate time of day.

When it comes to eating and drinking, travellers also have their own habits, with 28 per cent of people seeing flying as an ideal opportunity to indulge in food and drink.

Thirty-five per cent will tuck into meals, snacks and beverages as soon as it is served on board so they have finished everything when the flight attendant comes around to collect the rubbish, while almost half will hold on to at least some of it to have later in the flight.

But 36 per cent admit they often consume food and drink in the air that they wouldn’t usually have on the ground.

More than a third are more likely to eat pretzels while flying and 28 per cent eat more nuts on a plane than they do on the ground. Sweets, chocolate and cheese and biscuits are also among the foods people are more likely to eat in the air.

Brits were found to be most consistent with their food choices in the air and on the ground, with just 36 per cent saying they often eat snacks and meals in the air which they wouldn’t usually have on the ground.

Martinoli concluded, “We’re delighted with the response we’ve had to the new catering. We’ve focused on introducing more quantity and quality. A four-course main meal has been developed by our team of chefs to be full of flavour at 35,000ft and we’ve created regional options depending on the route. The second meal option is either a tasty sandwich or a more substantial pizza wrap, both served with additional snacks, depending on the length of the flight.”

“Our customers have also told us they want to be able to save some items for later in the flight, so we’ve replaced the water cup with a bottle of Highland Spring on the first meal, and added snack boxes on our longest flights. We’re also offering Magnum ice-creams on daylight flights from London and a Tuck Box on inbound and overnight flights.”

The popular meal options for customers with special dietary requirements will continue to be available to book on ba.com/managemybooking more than 24 hours ahead of their flight departing.

Travellers looking for a special treat can also pre-order meals on flights from Heathrow up to 24-hours before their flight. Options include a Gourmet Dining meal for £18.00, Taste of Britain and Taste of the Far East for £16.00 and a Great British Breakfast, a Healthy Choice meal or a Vegetarian Kitchen option all for £15.00.

British Airways is investing £4.5 billion for customers over the next five years, covering the installation of the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline is also investing £600m specifically in Club World, including outstanding catering and luxurious White Company bedding - plus, from 2019, a new seat with direct aisle access. This year British Airways will start services to six new routes including Nashville and The Seychelles.

(source: BA)