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Boomer air travelers are more confident and less stressed than their younger counterparts, according to new AARP research released this week.
Contributing to boomers' overall positive travel experiences: They arrive at airports early, use airport amenities such as restaurants and shops, and embrace technology on the go.
Though they report less stress than Generation X and millennial travelers, boomers say that clearing security, flight delays at the departure airport and lack of legroom in flight are their primary travel headaches.
"Boomers tend to be more relaxed during the travel experience than younger travelers, and they have learned to fully embrace travel technology — much like their younger counterparts," says Stephanie Miles, AARP Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Member Benefits.
One key difference, Miles says, "is that boomers actually take advantage of airport amenities — unlike their younger counterparts, who often arrive for flights just in time to board."
Other highlights from the survey of travelers 18 and older who reported taking at least one leisure trip in the previous 12 months:
Technology: Boomers love their smartphones and free Wi-Fi. More than 90 percent of boomers travel with some type of electronic device, primarily a smartphone, and 56 percent of boomers say they use airport Wi-Fi if it's free.
Domesticity: U.S. destinations are popular among boomer travelers. More than 75 percent of boomers say they took their last trip domestically.
Preparation: Boomers arrive at airports at least two hours before a flight, earlier than their younger counterparts. Nearly 50 percent of boomers say they bought food and drinks or sat down at a restaurant in the airport before their flight.
Flight: Younger generations report higher levels of travel stress and nerves about flying than boomers do. More millennials say they are stressed while on the plane; boomers are the most relaxed in flight.