Whilst it is always perceived that people are angered by delays, lost luggage or cancellations, a study has found that most people aren't worried by this and will instead "modify their own flying behaviour" to fit in with small disruptions.
They wrote in their report: "The degree of impact of a flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage was also believed to depend on the circumstances of the trip and particularly if there would be knock-on effects, such as to connecting flights or events, and associated consequential loss. Certain types of passengers, for whom air travel was believed to be more challenging generally, were expected to be particularly affected by any disruption. These included PRM, elderly flyers, those travelling with young children and nervous flyers.
"How participants used their time in the event of disruption depended to a large extent on how conducive their environment was to waiting and how much information had been provided to them. A number had modified their own flying behaviour to avoid or reduce the impacts of any potential disruption. These adaptations included allowing additional time, avoiding certain times of day and taking more or only hand luggage.
"Most did not spontaneously consider the impacts of disruption on the aviation industry or consumers generally. When prompted, participants identified that disruption could have a financial cost to industry but they did not make a further connection to the possibility of increased airfares."
In fact, the feelings associated with disruption varied between different London airports.
They added: "There were also some differences in how the four London airports were perceived with respect to disruption. Gatwick, Stansted and Luton were each felt to have relatively more budget carriers, short haul flights and inexperienced leisure passengers, compared to Heathrow.This meant that these airports were sometimes seen as being more susceptible to flight delays and other forms of disruption. In addition, disruption levels were linked to the perceived quality of the infrastructure and level of staffing at different London airports, with Luton and Gatwick subject to most criticisms on these aspects."