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Surveys say we’re a bunch of liars when we travel

We tell our children that “honesty is the best policy.” We should add, “unless you’re traveling.” Two new studies show that Americans and Brits lie when it comes to traveling. The difference is what we lie about.

Our cousins across the pond will lie to try to get free upgrades to first class. Londoners do most of the lying. Meanwhile, because we’re either egalitarian or plain scared, Americans don’t lie to try to get upgrades. Instead, we lie about how great our vacations were.

Class matters to Brits

As we know, class differences are still a thing in Great Britain, so a working-class woman scoring a free upgrade to first class must feel great. However, most Brits lie because first class is, duh, so much better than coach.

The Huffington Post reports that a new survey found one in six Brits will lie to get upgraded to first class. Of the 2,000 people surveyed by travel app Seatfrog, the admitted liars said they were celebrating an anniversary, going on a honeymoon, feeling very ill or claiming they were newly engaged. Some actually tried to convince flight attendants they were celebrities.

Breaking down the survey numbers, 17% percent of men lied for an upgrade compared to 11% of women. However, women had a higher success rate.

The biggest liars were Londoners, with 20% trying to get the free upgrade. But in an interesting twist, people from Northern Ireland had a better success rate. It must be their charming accents.

Generation Z travelers had the most success in scoring a free upgrade. Of the 16% of Gen Zs who lied, 85% were successful.

The reasons for lying to get a free upgrade were fairly typical; 62% wanted more leg room, 47% wanted to get better sleep and 39% wanted better food.

Here’s another interesting tidbit from the British survey: The average Brit has tried four times to get free upgrades. Some succeeded, others chickened out at the last minute and some told tales the were too tall to believe.

The trip was fabulous

So, while Brits lie to get to where they’re going, Americans lie when they get back home.

The Los Angeles Times reports that in a survey of 4,000 Americans by JetCost, at least one in seven travelers lied about where they went. More than 25% of those surveyed lied about their sightseeing and cultural experiences. In other words, walking by the Louvre doesn’t count as going into the famed museum.


Related: 12 incredibly useful travel apps you didn’t know about until now


Americans lie about their booze intake as well. More than 25% didn’t tell the truth about how much they drank. Unfortunately, the survey didn’t ask whether they lied about how much they did or didn’t drink.

The weather also is fair game for liars. Nearly a third exaggerated about weather conditions. But alas, the survey didn’t drill deeper to find out if they lied about how good or bad the weather was during their trip.

Finally, 29% lied about where they stayed during vacation. I mean, what sounds better, a Best Western or the Four Seasons?

So there you have it. When it comes to traveling, British and American pants are on fire.

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