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Most Indians don’t use their holiday allowance: Survey

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A recent survey by British Airways has found that a vast majority of Indians are not utilising their holidays allowance due to work commitments, often fearing stigmas and ultimately losing out on valuable time away from work. Conducted with 2,006 respondents in India between December 20 2017 and January 4 2018, the study reveals that 65 per cent of employed adults have had leftover holiday allowance at the end of last year, as over half of them (55 per cent) were too occupied with work while close to 30 per cent were caught in vices of guilt over using all their holidays.

The survey further revealed nearly 60 per cent expressed their discontent for not being able to completely ‘switch off’’ during their vacation. Nearly 32 per cent attributed this to the short duration of the break, about 11 per cent said they dreaded the thought of returning to the grind and 59 per cent wished they had spent more time on vacation.

This indicates that many Indians, facing the pressure of work responsibilities and changing priorities, are unable to fully detach, detract and take a step back. According to the study, 16 per cent of the workforce begins to panic about using up holiday days in the month of December. Yet, approximately 97 per cent have rolled over holiday days, out of which 49 per cent spend the day at home, 34 per cent are usually embroiled in work and 27 per cent have all the time blocked for administrative responsibilities.

Rob Williams, British Airways’ head of sales, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, said, “Taking a break from the drudgery of the daily life is but essential. At British Airways, we truly understand the value and importance of a proper holiday, and that is why we are offering a variety of great value deals for travellers from India to go abroad to the UK, Europe and US to enjoy and unwind.”

“Booking packages for a flight, hotel or car hire using technology like British Airways holidays finder tool is a great way to simplify the research and booking process. We want to encourage as many people in India as possible to embrace their sense of adventure and try something new this summer – it’s time to commit to our holidays!” , Rob added.

British Airways found that despite a fixed holiday entitlement stipulated by organisations, most employees refrain from taking leave due to the stereotypes attached to it. On average, employed adults in India get 17 days paid holiday days per year. Despite that, 42 per cent are often concerned with the mounting load of the work while the other 26 per cent are unable to find the time to disengage from the official responsibilities. Close to 30 per cent are unable to summon the courage to ask for leave, as a large share believe that two-week holidays are frowned upon or discouraged by their workplace.

Indians, however, did exhibit an upward trend in vacations taken globally, topped by only the Japanese who took eight trips abroad in 2017. This is a testament to the spending propensity of the people, the will to explore cultures and the shrinking borders of the world – made accessible with convenient and affordable air travel.

British Airways has been flying to India for more than 90 years. It currently offers 49 flights per week from five key cities, namely New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad to London. All flights from India land at the airline’s state-of-the-art home London Heathrow Terminal 5. From there customers can head to the city on the Heathrow Express or other means of transportation; for customers who have onward flight connections, they can do so seamlessly at London Heathrow via the airline’s extensive network across the UK, Europe and the U.S.

British Airways is investing £4.5 billion for its customers over the next five years, covering the installation of the quality Wi-Fi 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 £600 million specifically in its Club World business class, including catering and The 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 from January and The Seychelles from March.

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