When booking a holiday flights from regional airports are the preferred option for the over 50s, according to new research by Saga Holidays.

In a poll of more than 10,300 over 50s, 51% said they prefer to fly from regional airports, with 46% overall stating they even would pay more for the convenience. Only one in five said they would rather fly from larger airports, including Gatwick and Heathrow.

The research went on to reveal that over half of respondents would change airline in order to fly from their preferred regional airport. Furthermore one in four would not book a holiday package from a travel company if it didn’t offer flights from their regional airport and one in five would change their destination altogether. The top reasons for opting for regionals were; they were closer to home (88%) and were less busy (73%).

This age range also showed their travel savvy nature with one in three saying they chose regionals as they offered cheaper parking and one in four because of better transport links. The poll revealed that 62% of respondents had flown from regionals in the past three years and when rating these by experience, as very good or good, the three that came out on top were Doncaster Sheffield Airport (90%), Exeter Airport (88%) and Newcastle International Airport (88%).

Maria Whiteman, managing director of the operator, said: “The over 50s have a passion for travel and an appetite for adventure, they want to explore the world and discover new and exciting destinations but they clearly want to do it in a way that is as stress-free and convenient as possible. Over recent years we have seen an unprecedented interest from customers who want to travel from their regional airports.

“Accounting for 58% of the UK’s travel and tourism spending, the over 50s are an extremely important age group for the industry. We know how important it is to keep ahead of the trends and have been increasing the number of regional departures for our holidays to meet this increasing demand, recently adding more than 290 additional regional flight options for our customers”.

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