Being cost-conscious has not stopped Malaysians from being jet-setters – literally. A new survey ranked Malaysian folks among the Top 5 nationalities that take the most flights annually.

The Global Flight and Hotel Etiquette Study, an initiative by travel booking website Expedia, highlighted that most Malaysians have no reservations jumping on a plane – despite being prudent with their finances.

Malaysians take 5.5 average flights annually – 3.6 average flights for personal holidays while 1.9 average flights for work trips. In comparison, Thais take an average of 10.1 flights per year while the Belgians fly the least (2.9).

Malaysian travellers are also a digitally-savvy lot, with 83% of them checking into flights online or via mobile. The study was conducted among 18,229 respondents across 23 countries with Malaysians forming 602 participants.

When it comes to flight costs, Malaysians are the most economical in Asia with 97% admitting that price is an important factor for air travel booking. They also weigh price as most important (74%), followed by complimentary WiFi (71%) and location (63%) when making hotel bookings.


Complimentary WiFi is an important factor for Malaysians when making hotel bookings.

Expedia regional communications head (Asia) Lavinia Rajaram said the results aren’t surprising.

“In the recent 2017 Expedia Vacation Deprivation Study, affordability issues are the primary reasons cited for not taking sufficient vacations among Malaysians. And when they do, the total cost of flight and accommodation do weigh in heavily,” she said.

That frugal behaviour also extends to tipping – or lack thereof. Malaysians were revealed to be the least generous with tipping. More than half of them would consider only parting with not more than RM5 or none to hotel employees.

Only around 10% of hotel guests from Malaysia would tip generously, far behind Americans who are the most generous with over 40% willing to tip more than US$4 (RM16) to hotel staff.

Booking and flying patterns aside, the study also highlighted some general pet peeves that affect travellers.

Dirty rooms, general dislike of the state of the room and noisy neighbours are reasons travellers would ask for a room change. Malaysians for one, would demand to change rooms if it’s either too hot or too cold (36%).

The study was conducted between Feb 22 and March 19 this year.